Vettel holds up his hand in Bottas collision


Sebastian Vettel acknowledges he was to blame for the crash that cost both himself and Valtteri Bottas at the start of Sunday’s French GP.

Second and third on the grid, Vettel tried to make a move on Bottas but instead caught the slightly slower Finn.

The Ferrari driver hit the back of Bottas’ W09, breaking his own front wing while leaving Bottas with a puncture.

“My start was too good and then I ended up with nowhere to go,” he told reporters.

“It was my mistake. I tried to brake early and get out of it but I had no room.

“Valtteri tried to get his position back which is fair enough but then I had nowhere to go.

“The turn goes left and I tried to slow down but with that little grip, I therefore unfortunately made contact with Valtteri.”

Vettel, who dropped to 16th place, recovered to finish P5.

“I think we had good pace,” he added. “I tried to hammer through the field to recover, and damaged the tyres.

“I think we had decent pace to go at least with Mercedes.”

As for Bottas, the Finn reckons he left Vettel room only for the German to hit him.

He finished the grand prix in seventh place as his troubles continued into his second pit stop where a slow right rear change cost him time and a position.

He tells Sky Sports: “We were going side-by-side I went for the outside, left enough room for him, but he went wide and hit me. I got a puncture and damage to the floor, which compromised the race.

“The pit stop, just took a lot of time, there was a problem with one of the rear tyres. That may have cost us one place with Kevin (Magnussen).”