Stroll says he was driving normally as Vettel blames him for post-race crash

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel blamed Lance Stroll for the collision between the pair which occurred after the end of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver finished eighth, four places ahead of the Williams, but the pair collided at turn five on their way back to the pits.

2017 Malaysian GP in pictures
“I went on the outside to pick up a bit of rubber,” Vettel explained. “I think Lance wasn’t looking and wanted to do the same but that was too late, I was already there and we had contact.”

“That was completely unnecessary. I think he just didn’t look and then decided to go and pick up some rubber.”

“Obviously it’s not my fault if somebody just decides to pick up some rubber and hit another car,” Vettel added.

However Stroll said he did not do anything unusual when the pair made contact. “I was going into the box and I was doing a normal line, picking up rubber,” he told Channel 4.

“It was the in-lap, I was just driving slowly back to the pit lane,” Stroll added.

The stewards have announced they are investigating the incident. “We’re going to have to go to the stewards and talk about it,” said Stroll. “I don’t know, it’s a very strange incident. Obviously the race wasn’t going on so it wasn’t intentional for either of us.”

Vettel already has five penalty points on his licence while Stroll has none.

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

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    66 comments on “Stroll says he was driving normally as Vettel blames him for post-race crash”

    1. Vettel should have left more room for manoeuvre, Stroll should have used his mirrors, both were stupid. I hope there are no penalties, that would be even stupider.

      1. Indeed. Both were reckless.

        1. Sky were showing the footage from the car following them, and on that one it looked clearly like Stroll’s fault. I think stewards made the right decision.

      2. Vettel left a lot of room. Stroll just turned right on a left corner. How anybody can blame vettel is beyond me

        1. Amazing. It seems this place has turned into Facebook or YouTube comments section lately.

        2. I agree, at that moment i turned sky off. Edwards is in ecstasy whenever Ferrari hit troubles but sky is beyond reasonable, the conspiracies Martin takes out of nowhere are bewildering.
          Honestly, this time, nobody can point the finger at Vettel, he has raced for decades and he has certainly over 150 finishes, the likelihood he made a mistake on the cool-down is very slim.
          Stroll says he drove normally, by normal he means crashing like he use to in f3 then I agree.

          1. You can’t compare a cooldown lap with anything.
            you can’t be there going 25 mph faster and expecting how someone should behave on a lap to pick up rubber. they can go off the track, off the lines, they can go wherever they want.

            it was just another incident. both could have avoided it, none did.

          2. yeah, like the time Hamilton hit Vettel’s nose with his gearbox, and then Vettel’s car went into self drive mode and drove into Ham. side pod… nope, no chance SV made a mistake.

        3. i can’t help but laugh at all these comments defending Vettel saying he left Stroll had plenty of room. Stroll was off to the left side and then yes started drifting right as Vettel swept by way TOO close. If Vettel isn’t passing him so closely, they don’t collide. Vettel was off to the right collecting marbles then turns in from the middle of the track towards the apex and then into Stroll. Vettel should have been much more careful and had enormous amount of room on his right. You rarely see cars on the parade lap so close to eachother. Stroll didn’t see Vettel but Vettel did see him as he attempted to pass him therefore Vettel was much more aware but still put his car in close proximity and thats why the collision happened. You can blame Stroll for drifting but the biggest blame lies in Seb’s lap who can never accept blame for anything dating back to Turkey 2010. Stroll has inexperience and youth to blame for any of his incidents but Vettel? How many times has he collided with someone since being at Ferrari, especially with his own teammate Raikkonen?

    2. To race debutant Gasly: Follow Vettel. – hhhhh

    3. Can Vettel get a penalty free gearbox change if Stroll is found guilty?

      1. @jcost
        Good question, a penalty free gearbox is possible when a driver fails to finish the race due to reasons beyond his or his team control. Vettel was already classified but I think “finish the race” means bringing the car to the parc ferme after the session.

        1. @jcost for the sake of the championship, really hope so

          1. @siegfreyco I hope FIA exempts Ferrari

            1. @jcost just hope it’s not damaged hahaha

            2. I hope they don’t @jcost. Many already complain about Ferrari getting better treatment. I mean why should they get a free change ? Stroll wasn’t to blame so if the FIA can’t be strong enough to blame either driver then surely they can’t allow a free change. Any punishment from it must stick or the rules become a joke.

    4. geoffgroom44 (@)
      1st October 2017, 10:16

      I have always liked Seb as an intervieweee, an entertainer, a bit of a comedian – even as an F1 driver.. I have to say,though, that it is becoming a bit boring to always be hearing how ‘its the other guys fault’. If I seemed to be attracting so much negative karma – I think I would probably be a little more cautious and careful. Beginnings and endings seem to have an especial Italian opera quality about them where Seb is concerned. The middle bits seem fine.

      1. Go watch the footage from the car behind and explain how is that sebs fault

        1. What kind of people are commenting on this website nowadays? It’s amazing how some people are trying to make this out to be Vettel’s fault somehow and trying to create some bizarre narrative out of it. They would do well at Sky Sports though.

      2. Agree, it’s almost comical, the lack of self reflection (and control) he shows when pressure builds.

        It seems to me that Ferrari right now is not the right team for him. For Ferrari, unless he manages to win a WDC, he is just another, replacable, driver.

        Vettel needs someone to protect and support him unconditionally to take some of the pressure away. Helmut Marko was his guardian angel in his RB time.

        Now there is Arrivibene, who seems to be most occupied by not losing his job the next day, judging from his facial expressions and nervous stuttering in interviews whenever a problem arises. Ferrari is a team consumed by fear of not delivering.

        Hamilton knows what he needs to do. He hasn’t missed a beat since Ferrari started to self destruct.

        1. +1000 I think that is exactly right. Seb had Horner and Marko protecting him no matter what at RBR. At Ferrari, each guy is looking to protect himself and he is on his own. The errors are coming from the pressure and lack of cover Seb has here.

        2. @br444m

          Now there is Arrivibene, who seems to be most occupied by not losing his job the next day, judging from his facial expressions and nervous stuttering in interviews whenever a problem arises

          Before considering your assumption, let’s have a look at facts. Arrivabene (not Arrivibene) used to have a better job (from a technical point of view because for me inviting people to smoke more cigarettes isn’t right) than a team principle in a Formula 1 team, he was Vice President of Marlboro Global Communication and Promotions for Philip Morris.
          Arrivabene is a close friend to Andrea Agnelli (Juventus president who alongside his cousin John controls both Juventus and the FCA group) and was appointed directly by Marchionne upon his advice since he was his mentor at Philip Morris prior to joining Ferrari and finally Juventus. Arrivabene is also a board member in Juventus board of directors
          BTW just look at were Domenicali and Mattiacci ended up after resigning/being sacked from their jobs to know that what you have just said is pure imagination.

          1. @tifoso1989 It could be my imagination. But he doesn’t exactly look as if he is in control. Most other team principles do a much better job handling the press. I believe the way he deals with it damages Ferrari’s reputation. (not showing up for interviews on a regular basis, and when he does he’s too scared to comment on anything of relevance. It extends to the drivers).

            Secrecy is part of Ferrari’s culture, so much is clear. But their fanbase deserves a whole lot better than what they are getting right now. Marchionne may be fine with this, as long as Ferrari wins the WDC or CC this year. But he will be one frustrated man when they don’t. Next year RB and Mercedes will likely be stronger and McLaren & Renault could also start challenging for podiums.

      3. @geoffgroom44 You are saying that of the guy that didn’t blame nobody for the Singapore crash, the guy that lost all hope on the championship through a typical 1st lap incident and reliability. Go read this 44 excuses read like that.

        1. He didn’t blame anyone in Singapore because he knew it was his fault @peartree

          1. geoffgroom44 (@)
            2nd October 2017, 8:53

            Is it not unfair to blame Seb when he clearly seems to think he had the right to be where he was and no-one else should have had the audacity to pinch his space?
            Clearly a Verstappen sandwich has unpleasant side effects.

        2. geoffgroom44 (@)
          2nd October 2017, 8:50

          When the Cumberland joined the Ajax and Achilles, the C in C flashed the message “how did you get here so fast” The replay came: A N T I C I P A T I O N.
          and that, Pennyroyal tea, is what my observation is all about. Simply observing an apparent lack of this that seems to have now become regrettably embedded.

    5. I’ve seen only once the accident (live), but it seemed to be VET’s fault. Stroll was on the left, and VET took the corner way too tight, he didn’t leave any space. The only way to avoid the crash for STR would have been to go on the grass. So, I see this as another VET mistake… and it’s crazy. Most of his champ chances went out of the window because of some clumsy/rookie mistakes.

      1. If you see the onboard from the car behind them both, then you can clearly see that Stroll had a lot of space on the left hand side and even slightly turned right. Im just wondering why FOM won’t show Stroll’s onboard.

        1. Cause maybe they don’t have it. AFAIK only 10 on-boards camera recordings are used at 1 moment. There was some sort of important incident at a start 1-2 years ago and the stewards could have used the on-board recording from a certain car, but did not have it because that camera wasn’t used for any recordings at the start. Could be wrong tho.

      2. @mg1982 Initially i thought about that too from his onborad but look at the camera from behind him, it was not his fault. Bottas left a much smaller space to Ric while racing but neither touch

    6. I ant see how Vettel was at fault here. He clearly left more than a cars width on the inside, and Stroll just wandered away from the apex. I understand drivers need to pick up rubber, but jeez check your mirrors before manouevring like that…

      1. They weren’t racing anymore, so they should keep a lot of distance between them. He closed the door right in Stroll’s face. Kinda was like Singapore revisited: VET squeezed STR to the left thinking there’s no problem at all. Reality proved for the 2nd time it’s a big problem. VET had like 3 cars room to the right, but still went for the same piece of tarmac as Stroll. This is not bad luck anymore, it’s poor driving at it’s best. It’s like karma wanted to learn him/Ferrari a lesson for blaming VER for the last race crash. BTW, I’m a VET/Ferrari fan.

        1. Sure you are.

        2. Vettel didnt blame Verstappen

          1. No, his team did. Doesn’t really matter anyway, he didn’t not say he did something even remotely wrong either. So, indirectly, he kinda blame somebody/something else. That something else (i.e. car issues) did not exist, so it’s only RAI and VER left to blame. So, yeah, VET didn’t blame any of them directly, but he did it indirectly when said he has no fault. If he had no fault, it’s only VER and RAI left to blame, no?

            1. @mg1982 If you dont belive in unavoidable racing incidents sure…

              Vettel was very agressive but theres no way he could have known Raikkonen out of the blue had a superior start and was alongside him. I think all three drivers know exactly what and why it happened and noone blames the other, we have seen moves like Vettels in numerous starts without any problems. Kimi and Max did what they could to avoid it.

        3. VET didn’t squeeze STR

        4. @mg1982, it’s a left hand turn, of course he’s going to turn left. When did you ever see a car use the right most part at that turn.

          1. @siegfreyco When there is another car already at the left side?

          2. When did you ever see a car use the right most part at that turn.

            LOL That’s what Stroll tried to do really. He pretty much turned right on a left hander and collected Vettel in the meantime. For which Vettel is blamed here or on Twitter/Facebook by some salty fans for some reason apparently.

      2. The race was over, there are no racing lines to observe. The car coming from behind must ensure he leaves enough room for whatever the driver ahead might be doing. It’s almost like the formation lap thing.
        Vettel had no reason to take a tight turn, because Stroll was not obligated to also take a supposed racing line.
        Stroll didn’t need to look in his mirrors, he wouldn’t have seen him anyway, because he wasn’t racing anyone or being lapped.
        Vettel had another brain fade is my conclusion.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          1st October 2017, 14:06

          I think this is a very accurate description of the incident. When the race is over and you are going slowly, it is the driver who decides to go past another in front that should be paying more attention. As the one in front has no reason to look in his mirrors. Stroll went just a little wider than he needed to. But Vettel went past and started to close in which was totally unnecessary. There was no action taken but it looks like Vettel could end up getting a gear box penalty. I really can only blame Vettel for this, but as it was Vettel who suffered, it was the right decision to leave it as a racign incident.

          1. geoffgroom44 (@)
            2nd October 2017, 8:57


        2. Of course you still need to check your mirrors after the race. Stroll turned right in the middle of a left hand turn to pick up rubber. Something he’s entitled to do – but only after ensuring you’re not about to run into somebody else. The fault was entirely his.

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            1st October 2017, 14:48

            Stroll never turned right. He just didn’t turn left as much as he could. But there was no reason he should have done. Vettel had no need to overtake, it was the end of the race.

            1. In Monza the two Mercs drove side by side for almost half a lap. In Malaysia Ham passed Ver and took his hands of the wheel to applaud him for his win! What are you talking about. During the after lap cars go side by side all the time. Watch the footage fron the car behind. You can see Stroll having at least one car’s width at his left

        3. Vettel didn’t take a tight turn, you are completely making up stuff to suit your narrative. He’s following the right-hand side of the track and Stroll changes his line and goes outside without checking his mirrors. SMH. And it’s idiotic not to check what others are doing around you during the closing lap because everyone’s overtaking everyone else in that lap all the time.

          1. SevenFiftySeven
            2nd October 2017, 10:49

            +1 It isn’t just one guy’s narrative. English-based media and mindset, in general, are heavily biased against Ferrari, especially if there’s a German driving it. They’ll use every opportunity to take a dig at Vettel. The sad part is some key players in the sport are in on it.

            On this occasion, Stroll turned right at the last minute without looking. That is Stroll being Stroll, the pay driver. The key point here is Ferrari should not be given a 5-place grid penalty if that collision were to prompt a gearbox change in the next race.

        4. geoffgroom44 (@)
          2nd October 2017, 8:56


    7. Its fascinating how VER has taken no blame for Singapore, when he started the whole thing.

      Anyway, Hamilton last year was throwing his toys out of the pram when reliability started hitting him

      1. VET you meant I assume.

      2. VER

        when he started the whole thing.

        What? (unless I missed Vergne instead of VES doing something there?)

    8. I can’t see how this is Vettel’s fault. Stroll clearly leaves his line and barges into Vettel. Only way to stop this from happening is to have no overtaking until they return to pits even in the cool down lap.


      1. @evered7 I’m not convinced that video actually shows what it seems to. The problem is that the camera from which the video is taken is not static, so the impression of Stroll moving right could actually be because the following car moves left and the widening gap could be caused by the following car getting closer to Stroll. Certainly this at least partly explains the perceived movement but without seeing an in-car from stroll (so we can see what his steering inputs are) or possibly an overhead shot which gives a clearer perspective of relative movement then it’s hard to say.

        It’s clear from the Vettel in-car that he certainly continues to steer left even beyond the point at which a crash looks inevitable (and he doesn’t even correct at the last split-second when a crash is unavoidable suggesting he wasn’t looking where he was going). It’s possible he was fiddling with steering controls and not looking at the road but again the in-car shot doesn’t give anything conclusive on that.

        From the shots I’ve seen there is definitely fault by Vettel and there may be some fault on Stroll but I don’t think it’s conclusive. Presumably the stewards have access to the missing information and perhaps have concluded that both drivers were equally unobservant leading to equal blame.

    9. Alex McFarlane
      1st October 2017, 12:13

      Surreal incident, looks like Vettel’s fault from his onboard but when you see the incident from the car behind, looked like Stroll dozed off and drifted from the apex towards the centre just as Vettel was passing – he had acres of space to the left of the track.

      Even as a HAM fan it seems a shame if Vettel has to take a gearbox penalty in Suzuka for that.

    10. I don‘t understand how anyone can think Vettle is at fault here. Every single replay I saw showed clearly that Stroll was the one who changed direction and was completely unaware about his surroundings.

      Vettel‘s steering input is constant and his distance to the left hand side of the track stays roughly the same during the corner.

      I get that the stewards want to be more lenient, but in this case I don‘t understand how they came to the conclusion “no driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for the incident”.
      It would be a huge shame if Vettel has to take another +5 penalty for his gearbox as a result.

    11. Just thinking.. If picking up rubber is common practice, why didn’t VET anticipate on STR doing the same ?

    12. Michael Brown (@)
      1st October 2017, 14:01

      I can’t ascribe more blame for either driver. Vettel was very aggressive with his pass, but it was going to be safe until Stroll moved off to the right at the last second.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        1st October 2017, 14:20

        Stroll didn’t move to the right. He just kept going strait on. So I guess he did go to the right of the track, but he didn’t turn there. But the driver behind (who was Vettel in this case) should always be aware that the drivers could drive anywhere when the race has finished. Vettel started to overtake Stroll and he was the one who turned in. Yes Stroll didn’t turn for the corner, but Vettel triggered it by attempting a needless overtake.

        1. Don’t be biased, even from Vettel’s onboard you can see Stroll moved right.
          Plain as day.
          But yeah no ones fault really, accidents happen.

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            1st October 2017, 18:35

            You really haven’t read my comment. Stroll did not go right. He just stopped going left as much. He never even put his wheel fully strait as he still was turning left. In order to count it as turning right, he would have needed to go the opposide direction of the corner which he didn’t do. So why are you saying it is as plain as day he moved right? Vettel had no need to overtake and given that no penalty was given to Stroll and Vettel suffered damage, I doubt they blame Stroll more than Vettel. At worst, it was both of their faults, but quite posibly, the stewards thought Vettel was more to blame, but because he suffered the consequences, they didn’t take it any further.

    13. Vettel was reckless to be so faster and running so close.
      You can’t expect any behavior from a driver picking up rubber. They can do almost what they want.

      Stroll should have looked in his mirrors, Vettel should have left him more space. It wasn’t worth anything anyway.

    14. Both were careless – Stroll didn’t know where Vettel was (his fault). Vettel should have have been more careful and reacted – maybe he wasn’t paying close enough attention.

    15. Next time daddy Stroll finances a private “get to know the circuit” test, he might want to lease an F14 T and put Massa in there to practice some marble collection laps. Train as you fight!

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