Sebastian Vettel: No intention to hold Verstappen back
Sebastian Vettel has stated he had no intention of holding back the charging Max Verstappen before their collision in the latter stages of Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.
Both Red Bull drivers were serviced for fresh Soft tyres when the Safety Car was called on lap 31 of 56, and once the track was cleared Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo made their charge towards the front.
On lap 43, Verstappen attempted to pass Vettel at the Turn 14 hairpin and misjudged the attempt, making contact with the four-time world champion and putting them both into a spin on the exit of the corner, forcing Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen to take avoiding action.
"I didn’t see him until very late so I left a little bit of room as well, I mean, to be honest, I was expecting him to come earlier," Vettel told Sky Sports,
"I had no intention to resist because it was clear with Daniel [Ricciardo] as well that there was no point doing so.
"They were just too fast on the fresh tyres so I didn’t want to compromise my race to the guys behind but then obviously he did a mistake, he locked up, which happens, you know we have tailwind down the straight for the whole race.
"I guess he misjudged and obviously sort of compromised both of our results."
When asked whether Verstappen should be given more benefit of the doubt because if his age, Vettel said: "He’s not young anymore.
"He’s done enough races so you know, but again, this can happen to you also when you’ve done 300 races so inside the car, you know, you mustn’t forget that the judgements are very difficult to make but you ultimately have to have these things in mind and yeah, make sure you don’t crash.
"I mean he could have easily taken his front wing off, get a puncture, whatever you know, and then it’s game over for both of us in that case. Obviously, we’re both lucky but yeah, that’s how it goes."