Japanese GP: Vettel blames Verstappen for collision at Suzuka
“I was pushing to get past. I wasn't desperate to get past,” Vettel told Sky Sports. “I knew he had a five-second penalty. The gap was there, but as soon as he saw me, he defended, but I had the inside. In my opinion, he tries to push when he shouldn’t.”
The collision spun Vettel round and he ended up in 19th place as all the cars were bunched up after a safety car restart. Thankfully, his tyres or car were not damaged and he could continue the race.
Vettel also brought up Verstappen's incident with Kimi Raikkonen, one which gave him the 5-second penalty in the first place. “Look at the incident he had with Kimi,” he said.
“It's not always right the other guy has to move. I got through the whole field without any trouble. You need to always leave a space. In that case I couldn't go anywhere."
Vettel initially defended his move on the Red Bull on the team radio but he obviously feels aggrieved by it because it has led to him having a 67-point deficit to Lewis Hamilton, who in turn can wrap the title as soon as the next race in the USA.
The duo has had a history of clashing with one another over the years, with the most recent one occurring in China when Verstappen went into Vettel. The German had an angry response for the reporter who asked him if he would ever make a move on Max again.
“Do you ask him if he should think twice when he defends?", he fumed. "This is part of racing. I don't regret the move. With hindsight, it's always easy."
“His battery was clipping, mine was boosting. He didn't give enough room and we touched.”