Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel finished 11th in the Malaysian Grand Prix today, and the double world champion was understandably frustrated after an excellent 2nd just one week ago in Australia. The German had a coming together with HRT driver Narain Karthikeyan; the Indian driver’s F112 front wing clipping the Red Bull’s rear tyre. Vettel suffered a puncture, costing him a points finish, and clearly blamed Karthikeyan for the racing incident:
“He was off the track. In my view, it was over. As in real life, there are a few cucumbers on the road. It’s extremely frustrating, because in a chaotic race where I lost the radio right at the beginning, a fourth place would have been satisfactory … We are somewhere in the middle (of the pack). Fernando did a good race today but the key was to always come into the pits at the right time.”
However, a close inspection of the replay revealed that it was, in fact, Vettel’s fault for the puncture, returning to the racing line too hastily after overtaking the HRT.
Button, too had a coming together with Karthikeyan much earlier in the race, damaging his front wing on the the rear tyre of the HRT. However, unlike Vettel who chose to point the finger, Button rightly owned up to the collision, clearly at fault:
“I was struggling to keep the tyres up temperature and it was totally my fault. I hit the brakes, I lost the rear. I was struggling to get the car slowed down. I tried to get around the corner but I couldn’t do anything but hit him really. A tough, tough afternoon, and then it just spiralled out of control. Everything that could go wrong did. All I could do was laugh really.”
On watching the replays (if he hasn’t already), hopefully Vettel will correct the injustice and apologise to Karthikeyan, who subsequently received a 20 second post-race penalty from the stewards.