The duo involved an incident on lap 47 of the 56-lap Malaysian Grand Prix, where the German punctured his RB8 left rear tyre after clipping the front wing of Karthikeyan’s HRT.
After dropping from fourth to eventually finish 11th, Vettel express for his frustrations on live television while speaking to the BBC. He didn’t mention Karthikeyan by name, but it was very apparent who Vettel was referring to. Defending double world champion says; “Just like on the normal roads you have some idiots driving around, it seems like there is also one driving here.”
Karthikeyan has not taken the criticism sitting down though, standing up for himself and accusing Vettel of conduct unbecoming of a double-World Champion.
“For a world champion to say things like that is really shameful,” Narain Karthikeyan told the Hindustan Times. It is really unprofessional. For a driver who has achieved so much to take out his frustrations on me just because he is having a difficult year is really sad. One does not expect a professional sportsman to be such a cry baby.”
Karthikeyan found an unlikely supporter in Vettel’s compatriot and Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg
“I heard about whatever happened and I also saw it on TV,” Hulkenberg is quoted as telling reporters.
“From what I saw, it was not Narain’s fault. So, I don’t really understand why he said all of that.
“I think Vettel was just emotional at that point of time. He lost out on points, it was frustrating for him and his team. At the end of the day, he is just human and sometimes you get emotional.”
FIA race stewards sided with Vettel though, handing Karthikeyan a 20-second penalty to add on to the end of this race time for causing an avoidable collision.