Vettel drove back to the pits and retired. As he returned to the pits, Vettel appeared unaware it was his own team mate who had hit him. “I don’t know what that was,” he said. “I was taking it easy into turn three and then someone went completely up the inside.”
Leclerc also pitted for a new front wing and tried to continue, but told the team the car “was very difficult to drive”. He returned to the pits shortly afterwards and joined Vettel in retirement.
Speaking after the collision, Vettel said there wasn’t room for Leclerc to make the pass he attempted. “I was very surprised because I was at the inside and I wasn’t expecting Charles to try something. I don’t think there was space.”
Leclerc accepted responsibility for the collision and apologised to Vettel afterwards. “Obviously excuses are not enough in times like this,” he said.
“I’m just disappointed in myself. I’ve done a very bad job today. I let the team down. I can only be sorry even though I know it’s not enough. I hope I will learn from this and come back stronger for the next races.
“But it’s a tough time for the team. We don’t need that, the team doesn’t need that. And I put all the efforts of the team in the bin. I’m very sorry but it’s not enough again.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2020 F1 season
- Bottas vs Rosberg: Hamilton’s Mercedes team mates compared after 78 races each
- F1 revenues fell by $877 million in Covid-struck 2020 season
- Hamilton and Mercedes finally announce new deal for 2021 season
- F1 audience figures “strong” in 2020 despite dip in television viewers
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #1: Lewis Hamilton