Date published: October 9 2018
Sebastian Vettel says he won’t get involved in a war of words with Max Verstappen in public, rather he wants a private chat with his rival.
The two clashed during Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix when Vettel tried to pass the Red Bull driver through Spoon Curve.
Going up the inside of Verstappen, the two touched and Vettel was pitched into a spin that dropped him to the back of the field.
It was Verstappen’s second incident in less than 10 laps as earlier the Dutchman clashed with Kimi Raikkonen.
But while the stewards blamed him for that incident, only Vettel seems to believe Verstappen was responsible for their coming together.
He, however, is refusing to engage in a public spat with the 21-year-old.
“He is quick, but it doesn’t help also the way he came back onto the track with Kimi,” said Vettel.
“I don’t want this to end up as ‘Seb says this, Max says this’.
“I will talk about it with him when it is the right time, so this is the way I would prefer. But you ask me these questions so I give you my answer.”
He added: “The problem was that as soon as he saw I was side-by-side, he opened the brakes, and tried to push.
“But I think that is wrong. I don’t think he makes the corner either [if he does that].
“He just looks at me, but he should keep the overview of the track and we should both try to make the corner in the first place, and then work out who is inside/outside.”
The German reiterated his belief that his move was not overly ambitious.
“What do you think about how many times you can afford to wait?
“Obviously I am racing not just him. I am racing also the guys in front ideally.
“His battery was derating. I saw the light flashing, I saved up my battery on the way up through the Esses trying to stay close, and I had a good exit from the hairpin.
“I had a big tow through Turn 12, and was side-by-side when we hit the brakes and turn in.
“I had similar encounters with others and we managed to make it through the corner.
“It is not the prime overtaking spot, but if you are side-by-side then I think it is fair in that scenario and that occasion.
“I did my best to try to avoid contact but if he kept closing then where am I supposed to go?”