Sebastian Vettel takes blame for Max Verstappen British GP shunt
Vettel found 'wholly to blame' by Silverstone stewards and awarded time penalty; Ferrari driver finished 16th, Verstappen takes damaged car to fifth
By James Galloway at Silverstone
Last Updated: 15/07/19 12:03am
Sebastian Vettel accepted blame for crashing into Max Verstappen in a dramatic British GP accident which has done further damage to the Ferrari driver's season.
Vettel slammed into the back of the Red Bull under braking for Vale, sending both cars spinning into the gravel, after misjudging an attempt to get back ahead of Verstappen having just been overtaken for third himself into Stowe.
Stewards ruled that Vettel was "wholly to blame" and handed him a 10-second time penalty, with the German eventually finishing a point-less 16th after pitting for repairs. Incredibly, both cars finished the race - with Verstappen taking his damaged car to fifth.
"It was my mistake," Vettel told Sky Sports F1.
"He passed me into Stowe, he ran a bit wide which gave me the chance to run back. Then it looked for a second he was going to the right and I went to the left, but it didn't open and it was already too late and I crashed."
Verstappen said Vettel apologised to him immediately after the race, with the incident costing the Dutchman a podium finish.
"I defended into 17 and got rear-ended," said the Dutchman. "The speed difference was less because he could see I was going to close the door, so a bit different to Baku (when he collided with former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in Baku 2018).
"Here you can expect me to close the door when I'm ahead.
"We already spoke to each other and he apologised."
Vettel had been enjoying a strong race up until the incident, with the German one of several drivers to benefit from a timely Safety Car around the first pit-stop phase. However, his first non-points finish since last July means he is now a whopping 74 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who won the race.
How the stewards saw it
The Stewards reviewed the video evidence which showed car 5 [Vettel] locked wheels under braking and collided with the rear of car 33. The Stewards concluded that the driver of car 5 was wholly to blame for the incident [ref Article 38.2 a) of the 2019 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.
Vettel was handed a 10s time penalty, which was added to his race time, and had two penalty points added to his racing licence, taking him up to six for the last 12 months.
How the Sky F1 pundits saw it
Jenson Button: "This is an unusual mistake for someone with so much experience."
Damon Hill: "You can go back through his career and see them. There was the one with Mark Webber in Turkey, for example. You don't want to pull him apart, but he's not making it easy for himself."
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