Sebastian Vettel: Lewis Hamilton squeezed me into Italian GP spin
03 September, 2018, 18:46 | Author: Conrad Doyle
Vettel then tangled with world champion and eventual race victor Lewis Hamilton, spinning back to 18th and having to fight through to a damage-limiting fourth - 30 points adrift of the British Mercedes driver with seven races left.
Hamilton's win equalled the number achieved by Ferrari great Michael Schumacher at Monza, a circuit where Mercedes have won for the last five years.
Lewis Hamilton said winning the Italian Grand Prix and extending his championship lead to 30 points was beyond his hopes going into the race. I left him space, but it was me who was the one who spun around.
Vettel was at his commanding best seven days ago to win in Belgium, but he was on the back foot from the start here after his critical collision with Hamilton.
That definitely took a lot of pressure off and just meant I could focus on Kimi for the whole race. "We still have a long way to go but I am definitely happy with the day's result".
Vettel appeared to touch Hamilton as the pair battled for second place and then spun.
"I tried to obviously get out of there but I couldn't".
"I think Lewis probably saw his chance around the outside but didn't give me any room and turned in", he said. Unfortunately, we didn't deliver.
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"It just damaged the auto a little bit but I was able to continue and the rear was moving around a little bit more so it made it a little bit more hard, but not impossible".
The incident was investigated, but the stewards took no action, ruling "neither driver was wholly or predominantly at fault". "I don't think I could have gone any quicker".
The victor was also helped considerably by team mate Valtteri Bottas who led after Hamilton pitted and managed to hold up Raikkonen long enough for the other Mercedes to close the gap.
Once again, Vettel's temperament was called into question after a collision that some pundits felt might have been avoided; he viewed it differently, of course. "I respect him so much and I really enjoy racing with him". "Then I got used to it and drove around it but when I got out of the auto I was surprised myself".
"But in Budapest I think it was a bit different, that really compromised my race big time".
"We gave it everything we could - it's obviously incredibly close between us but they've had the upper hand this weekend, " said Hamilton, who was booed by the crowd during his post-qualifying interview.
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