Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel has defended his overtaking manoeuvre on Max Verstappen at the Turn 14 hairpin during qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix. As the pack prepared for their final laps in Q3, Sebastian Vettel overtook the Dutchman in front of him, who was then also passed by the two Renaults.
The German driver says that he had to pass him or risk missing out on setting a timed lap, which was the fate that met Verstappen as well as teammate Pierre Gasly and the two Haas’.
“Obviously everybody timed it around the same so we all left for the same spot,” Seb said after the session. “If you were at the end of the train, which I was, then it was quite difficult. When the team told me we only had 10 seconds margin to cross the line in time to make another attempt, I had to think of something. I don’t know if the others were not told if everyone would have sped up the way I did, then we should have all made it. But I obviously prioritised at that point to make the lap. It felt like others were not aware.”
Sebastian Vettel ended the session in third place, marginally ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc, securing a second-row lockout for Ferrari. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was frustrated with the incident, stating that he was “trying to be nice” during the session.