Sebastian Vettel has explained his mindset over the incident involving Max Verstappen during the Chinese Grand Prix. The Ferrari and the Red Bull came together at the Turn 14 hairpin after Verstappen attempted a late overtaking move.
Vettel ran slightly wide, and Verstappen took the chance to leap into the gap. However, contact was made, causing both drivers to spin around. Verstappen was deemed at fault by the stewards, and received a ten-second time penalty for the crash.
Vettel says that he simply didn't expect Verstappen to make the move so late in the corner: "I didn’t see him until very late. I left a little bit of room as well. I was expecting him to come earlier. I had no intention to resist because it was clear with Daniel as well that there was no point doing so – they were just too quick on the fresh tyres.
"I didn’t want to compromise my race to the guys behind. But he made a mistake, locked up – it happens with a tailwind down that straight – I guess he misjudged and compromised both our races," he continued.
"He’s not young anymore. But this can happen when you have done 300 races. Inside the car judgements are very difficult to make. But you have to ultimately have these things in mind and make sure you don’t crash. We were both lucky."
Vettel continued to struggle after the collision and was past by Fernando Alonso late on. On the final lap, he came under pressure from Carlos Sainz but held on to take eighth place. Verstappen crossed the line in fourth but was demoted to fifth after his penalty was applied.