Vettel and Schumacher diplomatic over ‘chaotic’ late-race shunt
It was on Lap 53 of the first ever Miami Grand Prix when friends and compatriots Mick Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel collided while fighting for P9, thus ending their chances of finishing in the points. And while the two drivers were frustrated not to finish in the top-10, each stopped short of blaming the other for the crash.
Schumacher – who was looking set for his first points finish in Formula 1 – was battling with Esteban Ocon for P9 when he ran wide at Turn 17, which let Vettel through. As they approached Turn 1, Schumacher attempted to slide down the inside in an attempt to regain the position, but hit the inside of Vettel’s car as the Aston Martin driver turned into the corner.
“I didn’t expect it, let’s put it that way,” said Vettel, who started the race from the pit lane after pre-race fuel temperature issues for both Aston Martins. “Obviously a shame that we made contact and both of us out of the race, out of the points. That’s a shame.
“I’m disappointed for Mick and myself obviously that the two of us lost a good opportunity to score points today,” added Vettel. “I don’t know, I did not expect him, I need to have a look again. When I saw him, it was obviously too late, so we made contact.”
For his part, Schumacher said he was looking forward to speaking with his mentor about the incident.
“Obviously, it’s hard to say and hard to judge from inside the car,” said Schumacher. “So, I have to wait and see how it looks from the outside. But I’m sure it will also be good for me to see what Seb thinks about it. We’ll just have to move on from here.”
Told in his media pen interview that Vettel had shown no anger towards him for the move, meanwhile, Schumacher responded: “No, the same from my side. It’s nice that I can learn from him, he’s so valuable to me as a friend, so yeah, we’ll see. Obviously we’re all racers.”
Schumacher had been performing well throughout the race – and although the German leaves Miami without his first F1 points, he believes that Haas can take a lot of positives from the Grand Prix.
“I think that the pace was there,” said Schumacher. “Even keeping Esteban [Ocon] in the Alpine behind on C4s definitely showed that we had great pace and also on that C2 we were able to stay with the guys ahead, and especially with Fernando [Alonso]. It all was looking good but unfortunately the last few laps where a bit chaotic.”