Friday, 16 November, 2018

Hamilton calls Vettel-collision "massive turning point"

Vettel continues to outpace Hamilton, but gap shrinks Vettel demands answers from Ferrari
Ginger Lopez | 03 September, 2018, 18:44

Team mate Kimi Raikkonen, who had started on pole position, finished second.

Raikkonen had looked to be in with a chance of his first win in 108 races but the Finn, who seized back the lead after Hamilton passed him on lap four, was unable to hold off the Briton.

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.

Vettel said he was surprised when he inspected the auto at the finish.

The tow, coupled with a scruffy final lap by Vettel, provided Raikkonen with enough speed to edge out Ferrari's number one championship contender by 0.161 seconds, and Hamilton by 0.175 sec.

Vettel pitted again on lap 30, rejoining 10th, while Hamilton flew, trimming the gap to Raikkonen to 1.6sec with stunning laps while Bottas kept Raikkonen at bay.

The safety vehicle was deployed and Vettel went into the pits for a new front wing, coming out 18th. "We speak after", the German replied.

The four-time World Champion described the handling of his damaged Ferrari as "horrible" during the race. "His vehicle at that point feels a lot better than mine with nobody in front, and I had nowhere to go".

"At the beginning I tried to overtake Kimi in Turn 1 and 4, but I couldn't". I am guessing he locked up.




Vettel, on the inside, suffered understeer and slid into the side of the Mercedes, pitching him around, with some small pieces breaking away from the Ferrari's floor and bargeboard. Fourteen of the last 18 pole-sitters here have gone on to take the chequered flag.

"That's not how you are going to be able to beat Lewis Hamilton". It was a one-car Silver Arrows challenge with Valtteri Bottas half-a-second back in fourth.

"We have a different style, but I miss him a lot". The first set of tyres was ok, while the second one didn't last as long as we had expected.

"It was just fantastic how intense qualifying was, and that's how racing should be. They gave us a lot of support and we didn't delver for whatever reason".

New Ferrari president Louis Camilleri says he is not ready to confirm Kimi Raikkonen for 2019.

The collision resulted in Vettel spinning his Ferrari and damaging the front wing while Hamilton's vehicle survived undamaged and he went on to win the race and increase his championship lead to 30 points, AFP reported.

His wife, Minttu, was moved to tears by the result in the Ferrari garage. The forward edge of the floor almost to the end, the outside structure of the floor, was gone.

On Friday the two Ferraris had been fastest, followed by Hamilton and Bottas.

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