Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2018

Bottas collision could’ve ended in disaster – Vettel

2018 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says he feels lucky to have avoided a “disaster” after contact with Valtteri Bottas during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Vettel clashed with the Mercedes driver while battling over second place in the closing stages of the race, with the Mercedes hitting the rear of the Ferrari.

Despite the contact, Vettel escaped relatively undamaged – something he put down to luck after the race.

“When you’re so close behind another car, you practically have no grip at all,” explains Vettel. “So I’m not surprised he locked up but we were quite lucky that he didn’t take us out. I could’ve had a puncture as well and it could’ve been a disaster but in that case it was obviously good to get the move and get ahead.”

After inheriting the lead from Lewis Hamilton as part of a long opening stint on soft tyres, a slow pit stop saw Vettel fall behind the second Mercedes of Bottas.

“Obviously we should’ve been ahead, so there was something not entirely correct,” says Vettel. “But once you’re behind it doesn’t matter and I had to find a way past on the track.

“Knowing from the first stint with these soft tyres that they will drop off at the end and the rears will be in trouble, I wasn’t rushing with 30 laps to go to pass him. I was sitting back waiting for the last ten laps to try and close on him, knowing I would get more and more in range to try and do something, and that’s what we did.

“At turn one, he defended and I got a good exit and had DRS and obviously more traction with my rears that I’d tried to take care of earlier to be in that position. Then I think I was ahead and I was quite surprised when I got the hit from behind. But I think he had no grip being so close to me at that point.”

Despite having lost more ground to Lewis Hamilton in the championship battle, Vettel remains optimistic about Ferrari’s chances during the second half of the season.

“Obviously last week was a disaster if you look at the result and what it could have been, but now it’s like that I can’t rewind the clock and I’m happy to look forward,” Vettel says.

“I think we have a car we can fight with.I think in France, they were faster than us. And then in two, or three races we’re able to get back to being matched and probably just a little ahead in qualifying and generally able to fight in qualifying. It seems that the rain god has a Mercedes in his garage, but I’m sure we can get him an upgrade for the second half of the season.

“So I’m quite confident if we have the speed and can improve our car still from where we are that we can still be in the mix and in the fight. I’m happy with how the season’s went so far and I believe there’s more to come.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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27 comments on “Bottas collision could’ve ended in disaster – Vettel”

  1. Why does Vettel keep taking these risks? That could have ended in a DNF regardless of whose fault it was. He is really trying his best to throw this championship away.

    1. But they’re doing it together, VET + his team, and quite succesfully.

      1. His team gave him the fastest car what more does vettek need

        1. An average pit stop should be enough

    2. He’s constantly fighting against THE silver rocket single handedly! One that has a bodyguard ready to step in and crash him off when he gets too close to its chosen child!

      1. He, you mean whose teammate hit the silver rocket in Silverstone?

        Pull your head out mate

        1. Different circumstances mate. Lewis was only about half a car length in front of Kimi and cut across the corner leaving Kimi no where to go.

          Same with the incident in Hungary except Vettel was about 80% car length in front of Bottas.

          1. Different circumstances mate. Lewis was only about half a car length in front of Kimi and cut across the corner leaving Kimi no where to go.

            I suggest you re watch that incident, Hamilton left plenty of room, Vettel left 0 room for Bottas.

          2. @martin

            If Ferrari crashed into the back of a Merc, it is called racing incident… because Ferrari makes these incidents fairly regularly, so it is nothing new… when Merc does that to Ferrari, oh nooooo… that opens whole can of worms, because Merc is obviously trying to take out Ferraris in dirty manner… God forbid, if Ham gives Vettel a slow puncture, and he gets away with it (in Ham/Vers like crash), they will talk about it for 10 years i believe… When vettel does it, it is obvious unintentional racing incident…

            How can you be objective if you are not a ferrari fan! /s

          3. @mysticus

            Ferrari fans eh?

            Hamilton/Wolff suggest Ferrari collisions might be more than just racing incidents. “HOW DARE THEY SAY THAT ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC F1 DRIVERS WOULDN’T DO THAT”


            Vettel deliberately collides with Hamilton in Baku: “….. Erm ….. maybe he …. ummmm…… didn’t know where he was steering ….. ANYWAY HAMILTON BRAKE TESTED VETTEL HE SHOULD BE BANNED FROM RACING”

      2. Single-handedly? Both Vet and Ham have their own personal Finnish bodyguards. Ferrari bungled the pit stop, that much is true, but Vettel had the tires and the track position yesterday to pass Bottas. That he couldn’t make a move until Bottas’ tires ran out is his own fault.

  2. Classy of Vettel.

    He must be seething inside. Always classy though in victory or defeat.

    Far cry to the Mercedes response after France and Britain.

    Accusations of conspiracies, cheating, dirty tactics. What was it? Either deliberate or incompetent that Toto said about Raikkonen?

    Hammy called them “interesting tactics” implying it was deliberate.

    Vettel on the other hand just says “that’s racing”.

    1. Because Vettel also acknowledges that he took way to much risk cutting Bottas off like that. So yeah, Vettel will say “that’s racing” when he just came off unscathed from an incident where he carries part of the blame. He realizes he was lucky.

      Whereas Bottas gave Vettel ample space in France and Hamilton gave Raikkonen plenty of space too in Silverstone. When you go out of your way to avoid getting rammed and they still ram you, that implies gross negligence or intent from the other party.

      1. that implies gross negligence or intent from the other party.

        haha, are we sure this guy isn’t Toto?

        1. @davef1 Lol, I wish.

          Still, I think it’s more gross negligence and not so much intent as Toto implied.

        2. Haha you have zero idea about racecraft but yeah

    2. Neil (@neilosjames)
      29th July 2018, 20:55

      Can’t compare this with past Ferrari/Mercedes iincidents because Vettel didn’t lose out from this one… and this one was partly his fault.

    3. Hear hear.

    4. That’s because in one incident, no points were lost, in the other a race victory shot was stolen because of a collision

      1. LOL Hamilton did not give Kimi any space in Silverstone, he was only about half a car length in front of Kimi when he turned in the corner. If you compared both incidents, Bottas shouldn’t have touched Vettel given that Vettel is 80% car length in front of him when they went into the corner.

    5. +1 that is what differentiates a good sportsman from a bad one

  3. I couldn’t agree more with him. Bottas shouldn’t have tried his luck too much with worn tyres.

  4. When you cut in cross of another driver and you clip his front wing , is he serious . I am an admirer of Seb. I particularly like his sense of humour .

  5. I said this in another post and say it here again. Vettel should count himself lucky that he got away scot free this time because I blame him for the collision. Vettel has history of chopping in front of drivers he’s trying to overtake before fully clearing them. In fact it was a trademark Vettel move in the Redbull winning years. Everyone knows that and he was heavily criticized for it in those years including Webber who was at the brunt of the Vettel chopping before full clearance I believe in Turkey. The Stewards are spineless. Nothing Vettel does will be penalized in order to keep the championship going.

  6. Vettel got lucky, but you ride your luck in a whole season. He’s already had doses of misfortune mixed with lapses of judgement so this one was just the latter mixed in with benevolent luck

  7. Blaming Vettel is only possible if you’re wearing tinted or broken glasses, preferably with a star in the centre of the field of vision. OK, Vet could’ve given Bottas more space, but look at it from inside of Bottas’s car: There was no way he could keep the already lost position, so why did he try to outbrake himself? He’s lucky to be in a Mercedes, because that was a Maldonado move.
    Same thing happened with Riciardo: He already lost the position, and outbraked himself to end up halfway beside Ric at the moment of contact. Those were Kamikaze moves

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