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2017 F1

Vettel accuses Alonso of “jumping in the middle” during battle for podium

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The Ferrari ace Sebastian Vettel has accused – McLaren speedy Fernando Alonso of “jumping in the middle” of his fight for the final place of podium with Daniel Ricciardo at the Malaysia GP, demanding Alonso was delayed as he tried to lap the McLaren.

The German star, Lewis Hamilton’s major title rival, finished impressively in fourth after starting the race at the back of the grid.

Vettel caught Ricciardo on lap 46 but had only one look at passing, four laps later, as the Australian defended successfully and second attempt made on lap 48, but Alonso — a backmarker at this stage — held him up for a few seconds and the German was stuck behind until Turn Four.

“Come on Alonso,” Vettel first fumed over team radio. “I thought you were better than that.”

Vettel continued his criticism of the former Ferrari friver after the race, adding: “Fernando decided to jump in the middle. I think he said when he left Ferrari that he was a Ferrari fan but today he didn’t act like one.”

Talking the incident with Vettel, the Spaniard told Sky F1: “For me it looks OK but we’ve heard ‘blue flags, blue flags’ from him before so it was just one of those.”

Alonso said “Already from the very beginning, the second corner, the two Williams touch each other in front of us and slowed us a little bit. We lost a few places and then we were always in the secondary groups.

“A little bit slower than our pace but we could not overtake and that really compromised our race. We had better days and hopefully in Japan we come back in strong form.” Double-world champion concluded.

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