Sebastian Vettel says the collision between himself and Lance Stroll at the Russian Grand Prix was just a “misunderstanding”.
It was a disappointing day for Aston Martin in Sochi, with the British team leaving empty-handed despite the fact that both drivers were running inside the top 10 at one point.
Things could have easily been even worse too, with Vettel and Stroll making contact when the German passed the Canadian in the closing stages, shortly before the rain started to fall.
Vettel went to make a move around the outside and Stroll moved over to the left very late, causing the two to touch and almost crash out.
Speaking about what happened afterwards though, the four-time World Champion felt that his team-mate just wasn’t aware he was there.
“I guess it was a misunderstanding,” he told reporters in Sochi.
“Not sure, I don’t think he saw me, he probably didn’t expect me either but, fortunately nothing happened.
“Unfortunately we’re both out of the points in the end”.
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And as the rain closes in, Seb makes his way into the points! 👏 #RussianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/NKR9kLrrHR
— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) September 26, 2021
When Vettel passed Stroll, it was to move up to P9, and with him on relatively fresh tyres, he looked set to score some good points.
However, that all changed when the track became wet, with the 34-year-old one of those to lose positions after pitting too late.
He says he and the team decided that he’d stay out initially as they didn’t expect the rain to get any heavier, which it ultimately did.
“It felt like a 50/50 call as to whether we should pit for Intermediate tyres,” he added.
“It felt like the rain would stay light, so we stayed out, but then it became much heavier and caught us out. So we had to pit in the end and fit Intermediates, which dropped us down the order.
“When you have rain late in the race it can give you a big opportunity, but it did not go our way today.”
One team that did expect more rain was Mercedes, and that ultimately led to Lewis Hamilton claiming his 100th victory in the sport.
Vettel is happy for the Brit and says he deserves it.
“I think it was an entertaining race for the fans and I am happy for Lewis to have won his 100th Grand Prix: a huge achievement and well deserved today,” he said.
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