Sebastian Vettel says his clash with Aston Martin Formula 1 teammate Lance Stroll in the Russian Grand Prix was down to a “misunderstanding”.
The Aston Martin pair made contact in the latter stages of Sunday’s race at the Sochi Autodrom.
With Stroll struggling for pace as the rain started to fall, Vettel closed in on his teammate.
On the approach to Turn 10, a gap opened to the left of Stroll, allowing Vettel to make a move, but as he did, the Canadian closed the door and the pair collided.
Remarkably, there was no significant damage to either car as Vettel go through unscathed.
Reflecting on the incident, Vettel said: “I guess it was a misunderstanding, maybe he didn’t see me or expect me, fortunately nothing happened, but unfortunately we are both out of the points.”
Giving his side of the story, Stroll explained: “It became very slippery out there and I did not see Sebastian alongside me. We will learn from today and move on to Turkey in a few weeks’ time.”
After running most of the race outside of the top 10, Vettel moved into the points just before the rain arrived on Lap 48.
The four-time champion was one of the few drivers to stop later for intermediates in a bid that the rain would clear.
“In the end gambling on the wrong option to stay out with the dries, not the only one, but it hurts us in the end,” Vettel added. “Initially the rain was coming but it wasn’t coming a lot, it looked like we were doing the right thing but then it became more intense with rain, standing water, no chance to stay with the slicks.
“Very slippery, you lose tyre temperature and have no profile to get rid of the water, was very very slow, we had a very slow lap the whole lap, which was very costly.”