In Italy he made an unnecessary first lap assault on Lewis Hamilton which saw the German spin out of contention, while today, even knowing that Max Verstappen had a 5s penalty, a similar lunge resulted in another spin for Sebastian Vettel, dropping him to last place in the process.
Speaking after the race, he insisted he had no regrets in terms of making the move, but blamed the Dutch driver for the outcome.
“I was obviously pushing to get past,” he told Sky Sports F1, “but I wasn’t desperate to get past. I knew he had a penalty, but I also felt that we were faster. The gap was there but as soon as he saw me obviously he defended. But I had the inside.
“As soon as he realises somebody is close or next to him, he tries to, in my opinion, push when you shouldn’t push anymore,” added the German.
Look at Kimi,” he continued, referring to the first lap clash with his Ferrari teammate which earned Verstappen the penalty, “he’s off the track and he comes back and if Kimi just drives on they’d collide. It’s not always right that the other guy has to move. We’re all racing, the race is long.
“For me, the gap was there,” he insisted, referring to his own clash with the Red Bull driver at Spoon, “otherwise I wouldn’t do it. I think I got through the whole field without any trouble. Sometimes closer, sometimes with more margin. It’s normal that it sometimes gets close but you need to always give the space and in that case I couldn’t go anywhere and then we touched.
“This is part of racing, don’t get me wrong,” he added. “I don’t regret the move, obviously with that outcome you would do it differently because with hindsight it’s always easy. But the gap was there, his battery was clipping, I was boosting, I saved my battery, I had more speed, I would have made the corner, I was side by side and then he didn’t give enough room and we touched.”