Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Verstappen accepts responsibility for Vettel collision

Verstappen accepts responsibility for Vettel collision

Vettel, who put in an error-strewn first attempt, then pulled out just enough through the final corners to deny the 38-year-old what would have been his first pole since last year's Monaco Grand Prix.

The forecast is for a warmer race today and that should be better suited to Hamilton's Mercedes auto, but the Briton, who will have the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo occupying his mirrors, fears he will be looking over his shoulder rather than hunting down Vettel.

Hamilton left China nine points behind Vettel, who finished eighth.

Ferrari's driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany competes during the qualifying of Formula 1 2018 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, east China, April 14, 2018.

Crimson Bull'smax Verstappen acknowledged attribute for an Chinese grandprix crash with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel on Sunday however rejected a suggestion he may need to calm down his driving mode.

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But Daniel Ricciardo was the focus of Q1 as the Australian required a total engine rebuild after FP3.

"I was in no man's land today". I had no pace. The pace just wasn't there, he said. Otherwise more valuable points will be lost. I think we could have done it, but this is racing, these things happen.

Star of the session: Raikkonen has really been the star of the weekend so far and can consider himself quite unlucky to not be on pole position.

Red Bull had pulled off a masterstroke in pitting under the safety vehicle, giving their drivers the advantage of fresh tyres in a newly bunched-up field.

"Obviously, I wouldn't mind if it stays there, but I think it will be a tight race among the top three teams".

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The situation looked desperate for McLaren as the two teammates attempted to help each other with a slipstream on the one kilometre-long back straight, but at the end of Q2 Alonso was still 0.262s off a place in the top ten.

"The balance of the auto is good but we have some fine-tuning to do on it tonight". "We thought coming into today that we would be fighting for pole position but it was definitely out of reach today".

"I mean he could have easily taken his front wing off, get a puncture, whatever you know, and then it's game over for both of us in that case".

"Lewis's tyre was a medium with at that stage barely 10 laps on". "You need a one-second advantage to overtake here". Much more than we expected.

"He messed up, took out the world championship leader, his team-mate won it in an incredible way".

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Vettel, who finished second in Shanghai previous year, has five career podium finishes at this race but his only win came all the way back in 2009, so don't be surprised if Hamilton and Mercedes get back to their winning ways this weekend.

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