SHANGHAI(Reuters) - Sebastian Vettel and Daniil Kvyat engaged in a verbal spat after Sunday’s Chinese Formula One Chinese Grand Prix as the four-times champion blamed the Russian for pushing him into a collision with team mate Kimi Raikkonen.
The two Ferraris came together at the first corner in the race after German Vettel was forced to go wide by Kvyat who steamed up the inside in his Red Bull.
Raikkonen and Vettel, starting third and fourth, suffered damage in the incident and had to pit for new front wings, which put paid to their chances of challenging Mercedes pole-sitter Nico Rosberg for the win.
“You came like a torpedo,” Vettel, who finished second over half a minute behind Rosberg, told third-placed Kvyat before the podium ceremony. “I was racing,” the 21-year-old responded before Vettel, who also called Kvyat a “madman” and described his move as “suicidal” over the radio during the race, cut him off.
“Not racing,” Vettel said. “If I keep going the same line, we crash.
“You need to expect when you attack like a crazy that you damage your car. You were lucky this time. I had damage and Kimi had damage.” Vettel’s point of view did not find many backers, however, with former driver turned television pundit Martin Brundle saying Kvyat was well within his rights to attempt the move.
“If he had made contact with the Ferrari and shoved it across the track, I think then, as we’ve seen with other incidents going into turn one, he could well have been to blame,” Brundle said.
“But he didn’t. That’s motor racing. That’s his job to do and he’s absolutely right to say I will do the same thing again.
“I think Sebastian’s frustrated, he’s embarrassed because he’s run into his team mate…I don’t think Kvyat needs to hang his head at all on that one.”
Vettel’s team-boss Maurizio Arrivabene also refused to dish out blame.
“Pointing the finger on somebody is not correct,” the Italian said. “I think that Seb or Kimi, they were doing the same in Kvyat’s position. This is racing, it’s not monopoly.”
Editing by Ed Osmond