Vettel: It looked worse than it was


Sebastian Vettel has again apologised for his rant at the Mexican Grand Prix and insists his block on Daniel Ricciardo looked "worse" than it was.

Vettel was in the thick of it in the closing laps of the Mexican Grand Prix as he battled against the Red Bull drivers trying to take third from Max Verstappen while keep Ricciardo at bay.

The Ferrari driver felt hard done by when Verstappen was not immediately penalised for going off the track at Turn 1.

Crying for the Dutchman to be penalised, Vettel turned his wrath on F1 race director Charlie Whiting saying he should "f*** off."

He was widely criticised for his rant but escaped punishment after apologising in person to Whiting and in writing to FIA President Jean Todt.

He did so again in Thursday's press conference for the Brazilian GP.

"I am sorry for what I said, when you are racing and fighting, I think you can understand why I wasn't so happy at that point," he said.

"For sure I regret what I said, certainly didn't mean it. 

"It was a very clear thing for me to look for Charlie right after. I am happy that Charlie accepted the apology and happy to move on."

As for Whiting he accepted the four-time World Champion's apology.

"It is not the first time bad language has been used, of course," he said.

"That it was directed at me was unfortunate. I think there were a number of mitigating circumstances which led up to Sebastian’s obvious frustration.

"But the fact that he sought me out very shortly after the race to apologise for me that was enough, and I am prepared to forget and move on. And that is really what we should do.

"Things happens in the heat of the moment, and I think you've seen what the FIA's position on this is and I personally feel that is enough."

But while the two may be agreeing that the apology is enough, they are not seeing eye-to-eye on Vettel's penalty.

Handed a time penalty for moving under braking in his tussle against Ricciardo, Vettel lost third place in the race.

Whiting explained: "[The stewards] felt Sebastian had moved under braking.

"It was clear from the data and the video, it was potentially dangerous and was an abnormal change of direction which could lead to an accident."

Vettel disagrees.

"Obviously I don't agree with their decision that was made, I moved over once to defend my position, after that I think gave Daniel enough room on the inside.

"I kept the car straight for more than majority of the braking, [the reason] Daniel locked up so badly [into Turn 4] is that there was no grip on the inside.

"There were people locking up on other corners off line so it looks worse than it was, I don't think it was dangerous for Daniel at that point."