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Vettel says Verstappen’s lock-up cost him third on the grid

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Vettel says Verstappen’s lock-up cost him third on the grid
By:
Nov 26, 2016, 6:06 PM

Sebastian Vettel says Max Verstappen’s lock-up in the final part of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying cost him the chance of taking third on the grid.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12

The Ferrari driver had been running behind Verstappen during the crucial final runs in Q3 when the Dutchman locked a brake and ran wide at Turn 11.

Vettel ended up fifth quickest, less than a tenth of a second behind third-placed Daniel Ricciardo – and feels a compromised final sector, caused by Verstappen's mistake, was to blame for missing out on a second row spot.

"He went off, I saw some smoke, I got past him," recalled Vettel of Verstappen's lock-up.

"I don't think he was in the way, but I lost a little bit the rhythm and the last sector wasn't as tidy as it should've been. Otherwise I think we would have gone to P3."

Verstappen, who qualified sixth, said he felt an opportunity to line up third, and best of the rest behind Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, had slipped through his fingers as the result of his error.

"Q1 and Q2 were very good, no issues, but in Q3 in my first run I locked the fronts in Turn 11, and lost at least two tenths on my previous lap," he said.

"It was still looking good, I was one-and-a-half tenths off P3 [after that lap].

"Then in my second run I improved two tenths in sector one but I had a massive lock-up at Turn 11 with the outside wheel, so I went even wider.

"It could easily have been P3 today but couldn't get the right feeling under braking in Turn 11."

Additional reporting by Frankie Mao

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