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Vettel moves to defuse Kvyat row

17 Apr 2016

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has drawn a line under his argument with Daniil Kvyat about what he perceived the latter's aggressive move on the opening lap in Shanghai, saying he now considers it a racing incident.

Vettel complained about Kvyat's opportunistic lunge at Turn 2 several times during the race - saying the Russian had come in ‘like a torpedo’ and labelling it a ‘suicide move' - and then confronted the Red Bull driver as the pair waited to head out onto the podium.

Upon reflection, however, the Ferrari driver indicated his stance had softened, saying he could appreciate better the chain of events that led to him swiping into the side of team mate Kimi Raikkonen as the duo rounded the right hander, causing both men damage.

"What happened on the first lap, in the end, is a racing incident," Vettel said.

"Kimi locked up in Turn 1. I tried to go inside to pass him. Daniil was behind me. He had a better start and was lining up for the same move initially. I was determined to overtake Kimi. Daniil was determined to overtake me.

"Kimi came back from the left, Kvyat came from the back right and I was reacting to him. From my side I didn't really know where to go, I was sandwiched between Kimi and Daniil.

"I tried to back out of it, going off throttle and hitting the brakes, but there was no way, so I had contact with Kimi.

"Obviously I am terribly sorry for what has happened. Touching the car with the same colours is not right."

Kvyat meanwhile said his dive down the inside was well-reasoned, and vowed to not hold back from similar moves in the future.

"It was a logical move: you see the gap and you go for it," he said. "If he [Vettel] didn't have a car on the outside it would have been okay: I only have two eyes so I couldn't see Kimi, and it's his [Vettel's] business to deal with that.

"When the emotions are hot, you talk about it - but in our case to get on the podium you have to take risks. It was an essential move for me and it paid off.

"We can talk for hours about it but I am on the podium; if I didn't go for it who knows where I would be. I will keep on risking like this and everyone should expect that!"

WATCH: 'Torpedo' or terrific? Onboard with Kvyat and Vettel at Turn 1