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2017 F1

Vettel slams Stroll after post-race crash

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Sebastian Vettel rescued a woeful day for Ferrari at the Malaysian Grand Prix with a brilliant drive from last place to fourth.

The German says his crash with Lance Stroll after the finish of Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix was “completely unnecessary”.

Vettel, who selected as a driver of the day at the Sepang International Circuit, suffered severe damage to the rear-left corner of his Ferrari when Stroll moved his Williams off a racing line to pick up rubber on his tyres during the slow-down lap.

“I went on the outside to pick up a bit of rubber – I think Lance wasn’t looking and wanted to do the same, but that was too late,” the German said.

“I was there already and we had contact. That’s completely unnecessary. I think he just didn’t look and then decided to pick up some rubber. It’s not my fault if somebody decides to pick up rubber and hit my car.”

The Canadian Lance Stroll, who finished eighth for Williams, says the crash was a complete accident.

“It was the in-lap, I was just driving very slowly back into the pitlane, just a very strange incident. The race wasn’t going on so it wasn’t intentional from either of us.” The F1 rookie said

The stewards at Sepang agreed with Stroll’s reading of the incident, and opted to take no further action.

Earlier Vettel, who had started in last place after engine problems prevented him from setting a time in Saturday’s qualifying, stormed through the field to finish fourth.

“We have a very quick car, and if we start ahead, we win the race,” he said.

“That didn’t happen today – we were the quickest car for the majority of the race, but we had to start last.

“It was more entertaining, the first couple of laps in particular.”

Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen didn’t even start the race, after seeming to suffer a turbo problem that forced him to surrender his front row spot.

“It’s far from perfect, but it’s one of those things that happens sometimes,” the Finn said.

“Impossible to say but I’m pretty certain I would have had a very good car today, but we didn’t go far enough – where we would end up we’ll never know.”

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