Vettel Slams Hamilton for Lap One Clash

Italy Grand Prix Marcus Ericsson

New Zealand F1 driver Brendon Hartley will start the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in 16th place on a grid fronted 1-2 by Ferrari after Kimi Raikkonen set a new lap record on the sport's fastest circuit.

With Kimi Raikkonen leading, Hamilton attempted to overtake Vettel around the outside of the second chicane on the opening lap, and light contact between the two resulted in the German spinning on the inside.

As Hamilton claimed the second apex and took the position from Vettel, the Ferrari driver was spun round and sustained damage to his front wing and the floor of his auto. "Then I was the one who spun around, which was ironic".

Now, Vettel has fallen 30 points behind Hamilton in the championship fight. Then I had room left and no chance anymore. I don't know, we touched it was a brief moment.

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Vettel finished the race in fourth place after battling his way through the field. That's my fuel and the positivity I get from them. "The points sound a lot but actually it doesn't take a long time to get them down". But I thought there was enough space between us.

The race stewards investigated and ruled the crash a normal "racing incident" that merited no further action. "It wasn't really a case of "let's just go around and save the tyres for the last moment", we had to go, and unfortunately it didn't pay off today". "So I don't take anything from it and I know how it is to be in that emotion, and I'm sure he didn't mean too much by it".

"Disappointed but there was nothing I could do", said Raikkonen, who struggled with a tire problem in the final few laps.

"I don't think I would have been in a different position to that".

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"In future, the negativity is really a positive thing for me because I harness it and turn it from negative to positive", added the 33-year-old, who also paid tribute to his fans for holding firm.

"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".

Vettel said the clash was a result of a sequence of events starting with the first corner and implied that his spin was partly caused by the fact he had Raikkonen in front of him, which would cost him some grip. "Then I got used to it and drove around it but when I got out of the vehicle I was surprised myself".

"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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