Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari accused of 'own goal' at Italian GP

Hamilton calls Vettel-collision massive turning point

Hamilton calls Vettel-collision massive turning point

Vettel then tangled with world champion and eventual race victor Lewis Hamilton, spinning back to 18th and having to fight through to a damage-limiting fourth - 30 points adrift of the British Mercedes driver with seven races left.

Mercedes crucially left Hamilton's sole stop eight laps later than Ferrari and Raikkonen, and then kept Valtteri Bottas out longer to impede the race leader and allow Hamilton to close in. With a huge smile, he claimed what had seemed an unlikely victory after a first-lap collision with Sebastian Vettel, his championship rival, in what was a thrilling Italian Grand Prix. "Then I was the one who spun around, which was ironic".

"Getting past Sebastian at the beginning was clearly a massive turning point".

Raikkonen is Vettel's rear-gunner at Ferrari, 85 points behind Hamilton, and out of the title race. "I left him space". I could just focus on Kimi for the whole race.

"Definitely not the result we were looking for to give to our fans, who supported us in fine style all weekend, for which I thank them on behalf of the entire team". "I think we all got off to similar starts and then I got a bit of wheelspin, and then went into Turn 1".

He insisted his conviction that Ferrari was now faster than Mercedes meant the fact his championship deficit to Hamilton was the biggest it had been all year was nothing to be concerned about. It's easy to say what we should have done in an ideal world, but we did what we thought was right and I think there was nothing wrong. Unfortunately, we didn't deliver.

In more orchestrated circumstances, Ferrari would have done everything to ensure Vettel started on pole with Raikkonen riding shotgun behind.

"I think it was 100% Sebastian's fault".

Verstappen was furious when he was told he had been given a five-second penalty for his role in the incident on team radio, swearing and adding: "They're doing a great job of killing racing, honestly".

"I'm really really proud of them, because obviously when you're in a big sea of red and there's the booing and. you notice there's one guy standing there with a flag or there's a kid waving it and you can imagine being surrounded by that, feeling the heat on him", he said.

According to Vettel's version of events, Hamilton did not leave him enough room to avoid a collision.

"I'm not too anxious [about the points difference]. Then I got used to it and drove around it but when I got out of the auto I was surprised myself". "If you've seen 'Top Gun, ' you know what wingman actually means: we're both each other's wingman so that's all good".

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