Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel has described his contact with Williams rookie Lance Stroll on the cool-down lap at the Malaysian Grand Prix as “completely unnecessary”. Sebastian’s recovery from the back of the grid to fourth at Sepang ended in bizarre circumstances, as he clashed with Stroll shortly after the chequered flag. As the pair exited Turn 4, the German driver went to the right-hand side of the track to pick up rubber, with Stroll, on the inside, also moving across, resulting in contact at Turn 5.
Sebastian Vettel’s car was launched into the air, with significant damage inflicted on the rear-left, forcing him to stop, as Stroll continued at slow pace back to the pits: “Stroll is not looking where is is going! He completely shunted into my car!” Vettel shouted over the radio, before receiving a lift back to the pits from Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein. Stewards looked into the incident but opted against further action.
After the race, Sebastian Vettel commented: “I went on the outside to pick up a bit of rubber. I think Lance wasn’t looking and wanted to do the same. It was too late, I was there already, and we had contact, which was completely unnecessary. I think he just didn’t look and then decided to pick up some rubber.”
Stroll then told his side, explaining: “I was just driving very slowly back to the pit lane. It was a very strange incident, it wasn’t intentional for either of us.”
Asked if a gearbox change, and penalty, may follow, Sebastian Vettel added: “I’m sure that we’ll find a way. It’s not my fault if somebody just decided to pick up rubber and hits another car.”
After the Malaysian Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel is now 34 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the 2017 Formula One title race.