Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, Shanghai, International Circuit, 2018

Verstappen apologised for collision – Vettel

2018 Chinese Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel said Max Verstappen has apologised to him for the collision between the pair in the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver ran into the Ferrari at the turn 14 hairpin, putting both into a spin. It left Vettel with damage which caused him to drop back to eighth place at the chequered flag.

“He came straight away and apologised,” said Vettel. “I think he knows he did a mistake. I don’t think he needs much reminders.

Vettel said he did not intend to put up a strong fight against Verstappen because he thought it was inevitable the Red Bull driver, who was on softer tyres, would overtake him.

“Obviously it was a tricky braking for the hairpin all race, there was a tailwind. At that point there was 15 laps to go. I wasn’t going to resist much anyway.

“I was waiting for him to come down the inside, he didn’t. So I wasn’t sure exactly where he was.

“I gave him a bit of room, as you can see I wasn’t right at the apex, in case he misjudged his braking. Obviously he misjudged more than I thought. To some degree you can factor in people’s mistakes but not always. In that case it didn’t work.”

Verstappen has collided with both Vettel and Lewis Hamilton within the past eight days. Hamilton caused controversy with his description of the Red Bull driver after their clash in Bahrain.

“We were both lucky that we could continue but as I said it destroyed both our races,” Vettel added. “No need to call him anything: He knows, I know, we’re fine.”

Verstappen was given a 10-second time penalty and had his licenced endorsed for the crash.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 61 comments on “Verstappen apologised for collision – Vettel”

    1. Sorry Max…I’m a huge fan of your’s…but you need to learn to be more patient…I hope you learn from this because you screwed up yourself

      1. To bad you can’t learn experience ;)

        Congratz to Ricciardo for his amazing 2 overtakes on Vettel and Bottas…Were Verstappen couldn’t…Ricci could

        1. Sorry, do not think it has much to do with experience. Not this case. I think it’s just the way he is, he was born like this. RIC didn’t make so many mistakes in his entire F1 carreer as VER did in these 3 races so far. Do not think there’s someone on the grid now as “clumsy” as VER. The only driver from recent times I can compare with VER is Maldonado.

          1. Lol didn’t you see Gasly this race and many others as well in other races.

            Max made mistakes, 100%. But others make them as well.

            1. You compare Gasly’s experience in F1 with VER’s experience?! Yeah, in Gasly’s case we can talk about experience, not anymore in VER’s case. I’ll give you that if after 2-3 years in F1 Gasly will be as clumsy as VER is today.

          2. Completely agree. 4 seasons in F1 in a top team is a LOT of experience!

            1. It’s almost 2 years at redbull and just over a year at Toro Rosso

              And it’s just over 4 years car racing after karting

              You guys really make too much fuzz out of this all. He’s very fast and good but not perfect.

              But maybe you’re just starting to watch F1 and don’t remember very great drivers making mistakes in the past. That would make sense

            2. This is his fourth season; simple. Too much out of such a mistake; not really.

            3. @makana HAM’s mostly not very good 2011 was his 5th season but he’s improved after that so I think VES will as well eventually.

              In terms of how things will work out in the future I think it is possible that too much is being made out of what’s happening at the moment. Though then again, his dad wasn’t the best driver when it comes to not crashing either if I’m not mistaken.

          3. That is a bit unfair isn’t it? Max made less mistakes last year then Vettel or did you forget Baku and Singapore which lost him the WDC??

      2. Me too. I want him besides Lewis at Mercedes as a dream team. But until he masters controlled aggression, it is just sad to see. He could have easily won this race. At least he is learning. Question is how long will it take…

      3. I feel you. It’s like rooting for Arsenal. You get emotionally invested and get excited time after time but deep down you knew he never finished better than 4th.

    2. I think this race is what Verstappen needed. Last season he could barely do wrong. He outpaced his teammate and was rated by most everyone as the second best driver of the season. His faults and weaknesses weren’t highlighted, but they also weren’t gone. This season they’ve been shown up a bit, through a combination of timing, reputation and sheer impudence. But what Verstappen really needed was seeing Ricciardo beat him, by being different – smarter – patient. Verstappen shouldn’t change his approach entirely – he’s a great racer, really good at overtaking, just not always great at judging situations and risks. Ricciardo is. Verstappen’s modus operandi after mistakes is to deny it affects his end game, to deny he needs to change. Today will have proven that’s not entirely true: by admitting this was his mistake, apologising, realising his mistakes cost him a wonderful win (his race was great until that moment he tried on Hamilton) and that by hiding behind inexperience and ‘that’s my way’ he may never turn his once-in-a-lifetime talent into WDCs and glory, he may actually change for the better.
      (Not counting on it, mind).

      1. Best analysis so far @hahostolze

      2. I don’t know how you can go through 4 seasons of F1 without properly judging such a impossible move. Well I do know; if you’re a spoiled brat who think everyone is your inferior, then you act this way. Max can only be a great champion if he accepts that he’s not entitled to win just because he’s the hype. Maturity is not the word; he needs to be a different person, which I don’t see happening. The paradox is if Max tones down; he won’t be the Max we look forward to and he’ll hate himself. But then if he’s today’s Max; he won’t be champion.

        1. I don’t think you’re assessing Verstappen’s personality correctly. I don’t think he’s spoiled or arrogant, just incredibly confident in his own innate ability – much as Hamilton always was. And your premise assumes that in those four years (he’s barely into his fourth, but OK) he’s not developed. That wouldn’t explain his development last year, when all the setbacks culminated in some out of this world performances. I also think that attributing his time in F1 as his development time is a flawed premise, because it’s his fifth year in professional motorsport. If you were to compare his stage of development with Hamilton, he’d be in GP2. Vettel, in his first full season of F1. Ricciardo, F3. Etc. That’s the starting point you have to extrapolate from, and in my reckoning none of the above were particularly more self-aware of less self-overconfident at that stage than he is.

          1. @hahostolze I do not know Max so all I say is speculation. I can only sense and the comments are just sentiments; for all of us. So, compared to others, I can see he’s different and that it’s taking him longer to learn. Only when it’s blatantly his fault that he admits it. Again, my sense is that he’s a very fast driver and a very slow learner; and that he faces a tough choice now.

          2. I agree about the confidence but I think he differs from Hamilton in how he estimates the other driver when he’s overtaking. Hamilton’s collisions have very often resulted from assuming that other drivers have better spatial awareness, reflexes or skill than they actually have. Verstappen, I think, tends to underestimate other drivers and assume he can breeze past. Trying to pass Hamilton on a high speed corner was reckless – in fact, Hamilton just flicked the car his way, he reacted instinctively, seemingly unprepared for any defense, and he was off the track. Ricciardo’s brilliance seems to be to have a superb awareness of precisely how the other driver will react and timing and placing his attack accordingly, which is why he has such a good success rate and far fewer collisions.

          3. Finding so many excuses to save him make me think there’s an issue indeed and pops up one big question: why is VER allowed to race in F1 then?!? If there’re so many aspects in question, maybe he’s not supposed to be in F1. Basically you just pointed out all the main reasons why before it wasn’t allowed to enter F1 for drivers under age of 18 and which did not challenge certain categories. Things are going in a bad direction, no doubt: first F1 started to become more spec and Le Mans-like than we even dared to imagine, now it’s starting to become a kindergarden, accomodation and gaining experience series. Come on, this is F1 for crying out loud! Plus, he’s in the 4th year of F1, how much time do you want to offer him to come to senses? Some other drivers were champs already in their 4th year in F1. HAM was a top driver from day 1, almost champ in 1st season, champ at the end of the 2nd season in F1…

            1. Then we also should kick Vettel? Baku 2017, the most stupid deliberate action I have ever seen in F1, 29 years old at the time. And yes, Hamilton is a saint…not.

            2. @MG1982 You’re profile info tells you started following F1 in 2014. That explains everything: you didn’t follow the sport to see HAM and “crash kid” VET going through similar phases of erroneous driving as VER these days.

      3. +1 Exactly my thoughts.

      4. @hahostolze gee l remember Max driving straight into the side of Danny’s car last year and bleed it out.. lol @max could barely do wrong

    3. Let’s hope it’s not just lip service, and that he learns from this as well. He has the potential to be a great driver, but he needs to channel that aggression constructively.

    4. Yeah, but won’t keep VET warm if he loses the champ by less than 10 points. VER doesn’t have the car to win any of the champs anyway, so he’s “overbetting” big time in order to get some podiums.

    5. Nice cool and collected reaction from VET, was expecting more of a HAM reaction, given that he lost way more than Lewis did in Bahrain after his contact with Max. He seems to have matured lately, good for him!

      On the other side, Max has hit an all time low this season, and i do believe that it all started with the pass he tried on Lewis in the wrong place. If he’d been more patient and tried on the back straight with DRS, he could have won the race, given that he would have probably been in a better mind state when he got to VET.

      1. @gechichan In all fairness VET did get an apology pretty soon. That and if he swore after the race when cooling down there wouldn’t have been cameras to transmit that to the live feed.

    6. Ferrari should have pitted after the collision in my opinion seeing the pace of the Red Bulls. Other than that, can be a very expensive incident in the WDC.

    7. Nice cool and collected reaction from VET … He seems to have matured lately, good for him!

      Yes, I do hope so. After the Mexico and Baku incidents, I almost stopped supporting Vettel, so I hope he continues to be level headed in general.

      If he’d been more patient

      Max: “I’m sorry, could you please tell me what that word means?”

    8. Well, Vettel got 10 undeserved points for Australia. He lost at least 11 today because of Max’s move. What goes around comes around I guess.

      1. Sad but true. It all balances out over a season. The race can pan out as it did today so nothi g is certain but in a standrard race Red Bull are just not quick enough but have shown on any given weekend with the right circumstances they can get involved and cause pain for the top 2 teams.

      2. No! Things do not “work” like that. VET was robbed of points today, in AUS Mercedes threw away HAM’s points by themselves. It’s a BIG difference.

    9. Funny, without a safety car max was one of the drivers of the weekend

      He made 2 very good and clean overtakes in the 1st lap.

      Had he only realized how much easier he could have overtaken others after the safety car pit stop.

      1. @anunaki – very good point. At that point in the race, I was actually thinking – wow, those are some nice and clean overtakes.

      2. What a ridiculous statement. When will you folks stop making up excuses for your idol? Never, I know, it was just rhetorical.

        1. When will you folks stop making up excuses for your idol?

          he disagrees with me, therefore he’s IDOLLISSSING VES.

          I mean, the fact that he did see his race fall apart like that will hopefully make him learn to drive a bit better in the future (imo a bit like HAM in 2011 and early GRO), and that’s a good thing and one should probably be thankful that there was an SC to trigger that, but before the SC VES’s race was going very well.

          1. @davidnotcoulthard

            Before Hamilton both this and the previous race went very well for him…

            1. so from Massa to Verstappen except now HAM’s mostly not at fault (IIRC HAM usually was with his contacts with MAS)? would be interesting :p @rethla

        2. euh, before the safetycar, Max overtakes very nicely so they were right. So what your comment about @krxx?

          1. @macleod @davidnotcoulthard
            Yes, Max’ his race was going well for him until the safety car. But what anunaki does, is looking at one small part of the race, namely the first half of the first lap, and based upon those 2km he’s awarding the (would be) DOTW. It’s DOTWeekend, not of the first 2km in the race, now is it? He’s pinpointing on good 2kms and disregarding some crucial mistakes that ruined the race for Max and, partly, RB, his employer. Cherrypicking. A proven tactic, also in politics, and apparently, judging by your comments, it has worked this time as well. @rethla seems to got this part of my comment.
            Now why does he do this? Why does he basically manipulate reality? Bc he wants it to be portrayed in a, to him, favorable manner. And the only favorable manner to him, is one in which Max has no shortcomings and can’t put a foot wrong. He and hahostolze and a couple of other dutchies, are welknown fanboys who are always making comments like this, in which they usually blame others for their idol’s misfortunes.
            Also, the SC actually provided Max a great oppurtunity, namely a race win, something he would never be able to fight for under ‘normal’ circumstances. See where it got Ric. Yet he seems to blame the SC of taking the opportunity away from Max of becoming DOTW, whereas he has nobody to blame but his idol himself. And how does anunaki know how the race would have unfolded without the SC? There were still 25 laps out of a possible 56 when the SC came on track. It’s not unthinkable Max would have made another mistake.
            So @davidnotcoulthard, I didn’t say he is idolizing bc I disagreed, I disagreed bc it WAS a ridiculous statement, and yes, Max IS his idol. If he wasn’t, it would be even weirder.

    10. Helmut Marko went to Verstappen when he saw him entering the RBR hospitality straightaway after the race and it was obvious that he wasn’t happy with his behaviour. This is the first time Verstappen’s ear was pulled publicly, we know that Helmut Marko isn’t the most diplomatic guy in the paddock but he could have had this conversation ,that lasted for about 5 minutes, with Max in private instead of the front of the RBR hospitality. The following video shows the conversation after both were joined by Max race engineer if I am not wrong.

      1. This is the kind of f-up that cost Kvyat his F1 career. Helmut doesn’t take kindly to drivers who do dumb things. Then again, the Verstappen’s don’t take kindly to people who criticise them. Could be drama in no time in the RB camp.

    11. Someone must talk with Max and showing him F1 is not Nascar…

    12. Today Max did a stupid job, but I see a lot of overreaction in comments here. The truth of the matter… in 2017 he could only be held accountable for ONE actual driver mistake which was his first lap accident with Ricciardo. On the other hand he was taken out by other drivers on multiple occasions (Bottas/Spain, Kvyat/Austria, Vettel/Singapore, Massa/Italy). On top of that 2017 was largely without controverses, apart from the overtake in ultimate lap of the US GP (which I wouldn’t call irresponsible or misjudged). Granted… in 2016 there were a few occasions where Verstappen was a bit reckless (Belgium on Raikonnen and Mexico on Vettel) and Monaco was of course a disastrous weekend. But I can’t think of any incident at all where he took a driver out in 2016… In fact, when did Verstappen ever in his career reallu compromised or ended any other drivers race where he was fully to blame? Except for the already mentioned Hungary crash and today’s accident with Vettel of course…

    13. Versteppen again!
      A train wreck every week.
      And a measly 10 second penalty.
      Hamilton assessment was correct.

      1. To be fair to the FIA, they also gave him points on his license. Verstappen previously was only a few points away from a race ban, I think it was two seasons ago, so it’s quite possible that he’ll be banned if he doesn’t start behaving quickly.

        1. A train wreck every week… Ok but can you mention more than 2 incidents where VES ended or severely compromised another drivers’ race? I can only come up with Hungary (RIC) and today… In other crashes like Singapore & Spain 2017 VES wasn’t at fault

      2. I cringe any time Verstappen is anywhere near the Ferrari or Mercedes drivers because he seems to crash into them more often than not. I am so sick of his immature and reckless driving. And 10 seconds was a joke, non-penalty.

        1. Likewise. In Belgium 2016, Spain, Mexico and Singapore 2017 we’ve seen Ferrari’s and Mercedes crashing into VES and not the other way around!

          1. Maybe, but did not compromise his races that bad, plus he never was a title contender. It does matter. Pretty sure he’ll a lot more vocal and ask for penalties if another driver would be so agressive towards him and endanger his title chances. Now it works for him because there’s no big stake for him/RBR. Anyway, he’s made for himself and there’re more questionable situations next to his name than you let us know: at Spa 2016 he’s the one who braked at +300km/h on the straight while they’re still accelerating, he’s the one who destroyed VET’s front wing in Canada and compromised his race, he went off-track on purpose in Mexico to avoid being passed etc. The guy’s a complete rebel. I’m not remotely trying to remember his questionable actions, but he’s done enough already.

            1. I don’t agree with you with the “not compromising as bad” part… You see, VER never took VET (or any driver apart from RIC) OUT of any race, while just Ferrari and Mercedes drivers alone have ended VER his races multiple occasions! I acknowledge that VER has been associated with quite some controversies, but the past two weekends I notice an annoying “holier than thou” sentiment around VER’s actions, particularly coming from HAM and VET fans, while in their earlier days both had equal or worse service records when it comes to hitting other cars (take the incidents between VET and Webber for example) and also recently both have had questionable moves (VET ramming HAM in Baku, HAM cutting the track in Mexico, HAM constantly squeezing ROS off the track while overtaking etc. etc.)

    14. Although Ves made some mistakes on track sometime, I think F1 would be a lot boring if we don’t have him.

      1. Last race was ok even without him but yeah he absolutely adds alot to the show.

    15. Dirty Max again ruined the career of a great champion, Sebastian Vettel, with a stupid maneuver for a brainless and unethical driver.

    16. Something wrong when so called penalty leaves max ahead of driver he rammed off track ! Should have greater and stop go .

    17. Right seeing the comments they ‘coach’ drivers are making up things again. A Racer could understand when Vettel made a little error togo too deep in the corner during braking and driver behind him could go for the gap. Max only made a mistake by being to much left of instead of just next of the corner (which would made the corner) I think Max was surprised of Vettel lockup.

      1. Neah. He just makes overtaking moves he doesn’t master. He leaves absolutely no room for error. He preffered to crash into VET rather than avoiding contact. He had the option to go even deeper and avoid VET, but he preffered to go for that gap although he knew he won’t make it. If VET would have approached the corner earlier, I think he would have still done it and t-boned VET. Look at his maneouver, he was still in VET’s slipstream and too far behind when the braking zone started. When trying a dive-bomb maneouver like that, RIC is always moving out of the slipstream when the braking zone starts and he’s pointing the car to the inside of the corner already before he starts braking. So, he leaves some space between cars just in case aka room for error and also he makes sure he’s first into the corner. “Simple” things matter a lot.

    18. Had max played his cards right he would have won this race. Now his mistakes not only did rob him of a win but also robbed red bull a 1-2. All he needed to do was to take his time and make those passes. Instead he showed his immaturity by going to the first possible gap and lost it all. The first mistake was trying to hang on the outside of hamilton in that fast corner. It is risky trying that because in f1 the inside driver can just push you off the track as we have seen many times. And once you get to the rubber debris that is on the outside line on that corner you lose grip and go off the track. A move like that works only against lapped cars who want to let you by. Or in the rain when there is more grip on the outside.

      But in the end verstappen now has dirty tires that he needs to clear before starting his attack from zero again. Cleaning his tires causes him to lose tire temperature which he also needs to bring back up. All costing lots of time and laps. Both of which he had but he also lost track positions. Add in possible dirty radiators causing overheating or driving over something and destroying the floor of the car. Couple more corners and he would have at least have safer place to try a pass. It was unnecessary. If it was last lap then go for it but when you have huge tire advantage and something like 15 laps to go it is just wrong move.

      Second mistake was the contact with vettel. While the door was open and it was a legit attempt verstappen could not hold his line and collided into vettel. It was just unnecessarily ambitious move against someone who can not really fight you with their worse tires. Being the car inside you can push others off the track if they are on the outside but if you don’t have the overlap you are going to hit them with your front tire or front wing which will end bad for you. In the same situation vettel also showed his immaturity. Doing a burnout on those tires destroyed the rest of his race. Throwing a tantrum does not fix the issue vettele just had even if he was the not guilty part.

      For verstappen this bad race can go two ways. Either he takes more controlled and calculated approach next and next time when he finds himself in this kind of position he has the smarts to think more than the next corner ahead. But this bad race can also cause verstappen to push even harder. He may feel he needs a result and this can put him into mindset where he is even more eager to jump at any chances he gets. It is a fine balance between attack and sensible driving in f1. You need to be brave and sometimes take huge gambles. But you also need to see the big picture. There is time and place for bravery and gamble and for verstappen those overtakes weren’t those times and places and he paid for it dearly.

    19. I think Lauda tells it in the best way.

      “Normally, you learn from your mistakes, but it doesn’t work with him. At some point, it’s no longer a question of age, but a matter of intelligence,”

      Moron keeps crashing other drives.

      1. I liked Laudas comment and in my eyes it fits perfect to Verstappen.
        I liked him the first season, he is what F1 needed but now I start wondering if he is competent enough.

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