Vettel has only himself to blame for crash - Villeneuve

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Sebastian Vettel only has himself to blame for his part in the Singapore Grand Prix start crash that caused his retirement and dented his title hopes, says Jacques Villeneuve.

Max Verstappen was pinched between the Ferraris of Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen on the run to the first corner, causing all three cars to collide.

While Vettel avoided that second impact at Turn 1, his car was damaged and he crashed out moments later from the lead of the race.

Title rival Lewis Hamilton went on to clinch victory, extending his championship lead over Vettel to 28 points with 150 remaining.

"Vettel only has himself to blame," said 1997 F1 world champion Villeneuve when asked by Motorsport.com for his view of the incident.

"If you take a start and move across the line, the chances are something might happen because you don't know what is happening behind.

"They all do that at every start, you see that in Formula 4, Formula 3, they move across the line. Well if you do that, you pay the price. When you fight for a championship, you cannot take a risk like that."

Vettel said he did not know what happened during the crash, while Verstappen claimed it was Vettel's fault.

Villeneuve said Vettel made a dramatic change of line in a bid to keep the lead after a poor start - a tactic he disagrees with.

"You don't change line like this," he said. "It doesn't matter if he could see Kimi or not. In his mind, he didn't know if there were two or three cars there.

"He knew he had taken an average start, so he knew other people had taken better starts than him. That's why we went across.

"To think that way they will slow down - no, he ended up crashing. Don't point at the finger at Max. He was just there."

The stewards investigated the incident after the race and decided to take no further action.

When asked if Vettel deserved a penalty, Villeneuve said: "I think he has penalised himself already enough."

Despite the frustrating result, Villeneuve believes there is still life in the title battle.

"That was a track where the Ferrari should have taken a lot of points, so yes, it's very heavy," said Villeneuve.

"But there are still six races, anything can happen. Lewis will do something. Just relax. It's annoying, but that's the way it is."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Singapore GP
Track Singapore Street Circuit
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news