Lewis Hamilton defends move after clash with Sebastian Vettel in Monza

Oscar Cross
September 3, 2018

Sebastian Vettel felt Lewis Hamilton was at fault for their collision on the opening lap at the Italian Grand Prix, despite the stewards clearing the Mercedes driver.

The Mercedes driver and his Ferrari title rival Sebastian Vettel tangled at the fourth corner of the opening lap, with the German spinning around while the Briton sped off with an undamaged auto.

Vettel is 17 points adrift of Hamilton in the standings with eight rounds remaining and can expect Raikkonen to give him every assistance when race day comes.

"Lewis obviously saw a little gap around the outside", Vettel told Sky Sports F1.

"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". "(I'm) lucky to get second and not third".

"I couldn't think of a better place to be on pole", said Raikkonen, who appeared to benefit from an aerodynamic tow after running behind his team mate on track. "But it was that way".

Raikkonen took a surprise pole position ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel on Saturday, with Lewis Hamilton settling for third place in the Mercedes.

The safety auto was deployed and Vettel went into the pits for a new front wing, coming out 18th.

Vettel was back in the points by lap 15, helped by the safety vehicle coming out immediately after his spin as marshals removed New Zealander Brendon Hartley's damaged Toro Rosso. I think we all still wake up tomorrow morning.

"It was one of the most exciting of victories that I've had, that I can remember", Hamilton told reporters later.

"Their support has been incredible. 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".

"It was unfortunate for us to get spun around and have a lot of damage but it could have been him spun around and us carrying on".

"It could have been a good race, but it wasn't". It was still very entertaining, probably more entertaining that way.

The thrilling victory was a fifth in a row for Mercedes at Monza, the former royal park near Milan.

He insisted his conviction that Ferrari was now faster than Mercedes meant the fact his championship deficit to Hamilton was the biggest it had been all year was nothing to be concerned about. "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". It's easy to say what we should have done in an ideal world, but we did what we thought was right and I think there was nothing wrong.

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