Vettel: I left Alonso enough room
10 September 2012 – Sebastian Vettel has repeated that he did not deliberately try to edge Fernando Alonso off the race track in Italy. In what was almost a carbon copy of an incident between the pair last year, it was this time the Ferrari which bounced down the grass verge.
When asked if his subsequent drive-through penalty was fair, Vettel replied:
“From my point of view, it’s not, because I think I left enough room. It is extremely difficult and I don’t really know what happened to Fernando. All I saw was that, when I checked the mirror, he was in the dirt. He eventually passed me because he had more speed.”
“For sure,” Vettel continues. “I don’t think anything has changed. Obviously, this isn’t a very good result for us because we didn’t finish and others did. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go, but we do need to improve the car; we could have finished fourth or fifth, something like that, but overall the pace wasn’t there.”
After Nico Rosberg squeezed both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton off the race track in Bahrain, the FIA's Charlie Whiting released this statement at Silverstone:
'Any driver defending his position on a straight and before any braking area may use the full width of the track during his first move provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his. Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason.
For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a 'significant portion.'
Next weekend sees F1 head to Singapore, where Vettel won for Red Bull in 2011.
A side-by-side view of the 2011 and 2012 incidents can be viewed at: