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Vettel: Important to own up to Verstappen crash "misjudgment"

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Jul 15, 2019, 9:39 AM

Sebastian Vettel says his crash with Max Verstappen in the British Grand Prix was prompted by a "misjudgment" in him thinking he could "sneak back" past the Dutchman after being overtaken.

The two drivers were locked in an exciting battle for third place on lap 37, when Verstappen was able to make a move around the outside of Stowe corner to take the final podium spot.

But after the Red Bull driver lose some momentum on the exit, Vettel thought there was a chance to regain the position – and got dragged in when he thought the door had been left open for the following corner.

Once he realised there was nowhere to go, he tried to brake to avoid hitting Verstappen but it was too late and he slid in to the back of the Red Bull car.

“Obviously I got passed on the way to Stowe and he ran a bit wide, so I was able to get a better exit out of 15,” explained Vettel. “Then from my point of view it looked like he was giving a bit of room on the inside, so I wanted to go for that.

“But by the time I went that gap closed again and then it was too late. I tried to go back to the right – but it was too late to avoid him and the crash.”

Asked whether he felt the incident was caused by a misunderstanding, Vettel said: “In the end it's my mistake.

“I also spoke with Max afterwards, but obviously he was a bit faster and closing quite quickly and passed very easily before Turn 15. But then ran a bit wide, so I thought I could sneak back.

"But as I said I thought there was a gap that then turned out to not be there. It's a misjudgement from my side.”

Vettel was handed a 10-second time penalty, as well as two points on his licence, for his part in the crash. He ended up finishing in 16th, having required an extra stop for a new nose, while Verstappen recovered to finish fifth.

In parc ferme afterwards, Vettel immediately apologised to Verstappen for his error, an action he thought was more important than any penalty he got for what he did.

“Of course initially I thought that there was a gap and the gap closed, but after some laps I realised that it was my mistake,” he added. “So I went to Max and told him what I thought. That to me counts more than anything or any stewards decision, to be honest.”

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Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 after running into the back of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Hasan Bratic / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 pit stop for front wing change after contact with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 pit stop for front wing change after contact with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 pit stop for front wing change after contact with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 pit stop for front wing change after contact with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 pit stop for front wing change after contact with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90 pit stop for front wing change after contact with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

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