Vettel apologises for Button crash

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel apologised for taking Jenson Button out of the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver lost control of his car while trying to pass the McLaren and crashed into Button’s sidepod. Button had to retire immediately afterwards.

Vettel said he didn’t mean to hit Button:

I’m sorry, obviously it was not my intention to destroy his race or mine.

I was close – I was faster than him and I knew it would be close with Robert behind us.

I tried to outbrake him on the outside. When I changed from the inside to the outside I lost it under braking over the bump and crashed into him.

That meant the end of my race and also the end of his race.
Sebastien Vettel

Vettel was handed a drive-through penalty for causing an avoidable accident. Afterwards he had another collision with Vitantonio Liuzzi. He said:

The car wasn’t perfect after the incident with Jenson. Then we went out again, I had the penalty, and looking back, with the rain, in the end we could have got decent points.

Unfortunately with Vitantonio, I was already passed him and he destroyed my left rear tyre. I had a puncture and had to drive all the way to come back into the pits.
Sebastien Vettel

Vettel eventually finished 15th, out of the points.

2010 Belgian Grand Prix

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99 comments on “Vettel apologises for Button crash”

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  1. Another hot-headed move by Vettel, he needs to calm down.

    Liuzzi should have given up the place earlier and he’d have still got points. That was Liuzzi’s fault.

    But Vettel didn’t deserve any points today.

    1. Not sure Liuzzi was really to blame for that. Vettel just closed the door too fast.

    2. I disagree… I think this is not about calm down. He just needs to THINK. I consider him just a little stupid or less inteligent, don’t know how to call it, don’t know his IQ but it seems to be low.

      He does lots of stupid things like racing FI just before going for drive-through penalty.
      What for? Risking and destroying tyres?

      1. Errr, he made a driving error…

        Most drivers don’t have the intellectual capacity to think “hmmm, if i try to move to the left, I may hit a bump, and due to the wet track be unable to slow the car down.” before they actually have to make the decision…

        It was a stupid mistake… But it’s not because he didn’t think. Clam down is more appropriate. Don’t forget, Button won’t make it easy to pass, so Vettel at some point or another was going to have to indulge in a little risk. He just isn’t good at picking his moments yet.

    3. I dont think its that Vettel cannot overtake full stop, its that he assumes that he has taken the place when he actually hasnt, therefore assuming the racing line and cutting the car up/crashing.

      The incident with Button was a pure and simple freak, it was an aviodable accident and therefore needed a penalty, but I dont think he was trying to overtake Button by that point

  2. It was a racing incident nothing more nothing less, vettel was clearly being held up by button and that was really the only place where he could attempt a pass, he couldn’t get close after au rouge down the straight. I feel pretty sorry for vettel, what do people want? Racing or single file action?

    1. Racing, instead of silly moving around, actually. Just going for it to crash isn’t it.

    2. I’d say that his attempt was a tad overoptimistic… Yes, it wasn’t entirely his fault, he lost the rear, but if I were him, I’d remember Turkey. It seems he didn’t.

    3. How can you feel sorry for Vettel?
      That was his mistake , alright? What did Button do wrong? He tried to cope with a damaged front wing, managed to grab 3 places up the grid and was harpooned by Mr “I need to learn how to overtake” Vettel…

      1. One second we are all moaning because of the lack of overtaking, and then the second some one actually tries to overtake, we throw stones at them.

        In every overtaking manoeuvre there is a risk that you will crash out. Add rain (he didn’t even know it was there until he crashed) to the mix and the risk multiplies. He couldn’t pass on the straight, so he HAD to pass at that corner. He also could not simply sit behind button the entire race, because then you guys would be blaming him never taking risks.

        Sure if there as no rain and he randomly crashed into the back of button, I too would be bashing at him, but this is just one of those times where if I looked at it, and ask myself what I would have done in that situation, I too would go to the left, which would have had the same (crashing) result due to the loss of rear traction.

        1. You would’ve gone to the left far FAR earlier, though. Vettel even moved to the right just before the braking zone.

          The key thing for me is that he hit him in the braking zone. Button did nothing, he didn’t move, he just held his line and Vettel ran into him before the corner. That shouldn’t happen in Formula 1.

          1. Yeah, Because drivers should know better than that. But he made a mistake, clearly it was a mistake. So why punish him for an error?

            Think back to qually when Petrov got it wrong, theoretically, if Webber was next to him at the time, and got hit by the out of control Petrov.

            Do you think Petrov should have been penalised?

        2. It looked like a crash you’d have in a video game at first, but if you watch the onboard from Vettel’s car you’ll see he didn’t actually swerve all that abruptly when he lost control. Watch his hand movements carefully and observe that at the point at which the car snapped into a wild slide, he didn’t actually move the steering wheel quickly or sharply at all.

          I am beginning to think he locked the rears or lost control simply due to the bump in the racetrack. Of course, it was compounded by the damp patch on the track that caught the entire field out on lap one.

          1. “Of course, it was compounded by the damp patch on the track that caught the entire field out on lap one”

            Button said that part of the track was bone dry when Vet crashed into him.

    4. DAMON, could you please change your nickname?
      I am the Damon of this site. I’ve been using this nickname here since february of 2008.

      1. I suppose you beat me but my name is Damon Smedley and I have used “damonsmedley” (which is simply my name) for as long as I can remember on all websites of which I am a member. Surely people wouldn’t confuse those two nicknames?

        1. Ian@Finchale
          30th August 2010, 4:12

          Stand your ground man.

  3. And people complain about Schumacher…

    1. EXACTLY !!!!Michael gets the full 10 Grid demotion.

    2. exactly lol Schumacher get’s a 10 place grid penalty for not causing an accident. Vettel gets only a drive thru. But maybe stewards will give him an extra later today…

      1. Vettel’s crash put Button out of the race.

        If Barrichello had hit that wall, we could’ve had people in hospital.

        1. Or in the morgue…

          1. Yeah but RedGreen, if we went into detail about the amount of times people have almost died… well.. I don’t think that’s a fair argument.

      2. Schumacher got the penalty for intentionally squeezing Rubens into the wall. Vettel just lost control due to his inabilities as a racing driver. There is a difference.

        1. I agree, I think people often miss that intent is half the crime…

  4. He really can’t overtake can he! How many times has Vettel crashed at overtaking…

  5. I think we now can hand Vettle this title: The Most Dangerous Driver of The Year

    WDC? Don’t even think about it – does it ring a bell to you boy?

  6. Well guys what do you want him to do? He might not have had the chance to pass again. Jenson was being super defensive and it was virtually impossible to overtake anywhere else on the circuit. It was a racing incident, pity for jenson but that’s life!

    1. How about – back off when he saw that the inside was covered, instead of swerving hard to the other side on a slippery track?

      The move was never going to come off, even if he hadn’t lost control; as a top class racing driver, that’s what he should have known.

      I’m sure he’ll learn from the mistake though. It’s not like he’s the only driver to ever make mistakes over-taking.

      1. Wrong. The outside line soon becomes the inside line when you turn left onto the straight. We saw Alonso completing similar moves there throughout the race.

        You cant blame Vettel for the effect the (unforeseen) rain had on his rear tires. I’m not sure if you have driven around that track, but that corner is extremely bumpy. As you practice you learn where the bumps are and how to negotiate between them. Luckily I’ve never had to race there during the wet, because bumps (which create lakes) mixed with rain, in a very tricky braking zone will always equal in disaster if you are not taking your perfect line.

        1. Yes you can blame him. He knew it had started to rain and he still steamed in. So yes, he can and should be blamed.

          1. The guy in front didn’t exactly cruise in…
            I could be wrong, but he isn’t the only one who gets as close as possible when he’s trying to pass.

    2. Start THINKING! :) just start thinking and will be ok :)

      1. i meant i want vettel to start thinking :)

  7. He really cannot overtake can he? Does anyone know how many clean overtakes he’s had vs. how many times he bangs into someone?
    He’s probably done Lewis a favour as think McLaren might favour Hamilton from now on if Button doesn’t score big at Monza.

  8. Charles Carroll
    29th August 2010, 15:29

    Meh, it was slick and he made a gutsy move. In the end, the gamble didn’t pay off.

    Please do not act as if Lewis, Jensen, Mark, Alonso, or anyone else would not have tried the same and failed 9 times out of 10, just like Vettel. This is racing. Try not to over-analyze.

    1. Alonso has certainly failed many times this season, taking wings and receiving punctures. On the other hand, the other drivers have been pretty good with their overtaking this year.

  9. If he can’t overtake cleanly, then he shouldn’t overtake. He fired up his car too close to the car in front and too close to the bend. He should have pulled out early and left time to make the bend. Like he said, he was faster. Then it shouldn’t be a problem overtaking.

    1. “Then it shouldn’t be a problem overtaking.”

      You are watching the same aerodynamically handicapped F1 I am right?

  10. Back off? That’s ok for someone who watches the race sat on the couch. Vettell is a RACING DRIVER he is on the limit and he knew it was a great opportunity to make a pass, unfortunatly it went wrong but that’s racing. Would senna or schumacer have backed off when they were young and hungry? I doubt it very much

    1. Being a racing driver doesn’t mean you keep going at full pelt no matter what. It is surely just as important to know when to go for it and when to bide your time.

      Vettel got it wrong on this occasion; being a “young driver” doesn’t change that fact. What other young drivers would have done is also beside the point; it’s an avoidable mistake, whoever made it.

      Given the tricky conditions, I think a drive-through was a fair enough punishment.

    2. Guilherme Teixeira
      29th August 2010, 15:57

      I agree fully with you.

      I really hate acusing people of bias, but when Hamilton crashed all by himself at Monza last year he was “the hero who was pushing until the end”. For me it was just as silly as Vettel’s crash (and to some extent even more silly, because it was dry at Monza).

      His only chance of overtaking would be at Bus Stop and he took the risk. Every driver must take the risk. If he didn’t, people would complain that he can’t overtake. Now he tried to pull a ballsy move on the outside and unfortunately crashed and took Button out, but that’s the way racing is. At the very same track last year there were 4 drivers out of the race at Les Combes because of someone who triggered an “avoidable collision”, yet I don’t see anyone complaing how stupid that was – hell, there wasn’t even a punishment for any of them!

      Please, I’m not here to justify him or ease him for his mistake, but please people, you want to see racing, overtakings and action or a single file of cars following each other for 306 kilometres?

      1. Lewis didn’t take anyone out but himself. There’s a way to overtake. It’s not about him trying because that is commendable, we want people to try but they have to try but also smart. Vettel was not smart.

      2. Guilherme, well, as a big fan of overtaking myself, I’d therefire rather see Button left in the race, since he’s proven he *can* overtake, unlike Vettel.

        I’ve been watching the replay and inboards of Vettel losing it, and nothing has removed my initial suspicion that the way he ploughed into Button was ‘strange’ indeed, as Button said. These events are obviously micro decisions made in micro seconds, but Vettel this season has consistently shown a tendency to (try to) drive his rivals off the track in fairly wild fashion.

        1. “If he didn’t, people would complain that he can’t overtake.”

          And how’s that different from what they say about him now?

    3. Calling Vettel, a racing driver is a little thin……Try wrecking derby driver..yeah, that’s it!
      He will kill someone one of these days!

  11. ……”Vettel crahes his opponents car while overtaking”…… Sounds kinda familiar……

    The only difference here was the fact that he took Buttons chance of earning some really important points ( or even a win) while he still could have made some points afterwards(the fact that he didnt was alone his fault!)
    And now both Jensen and him are out of the race for the championship( i know there are still races but come on…lets be realistic here…Ham and Webb are both superb drivers and the likelyhood of them not scoring in the upcomming races is rather small…well in case they dont happen to be stranded in front of Sebestian Vettel.. The only advice we can give them then is to look out for their lives…

    ..looking forward what Helmut Marko has to say about his “Wunderkind” now that Webber is 28 points ahead of Vettel…

    He is talented, i give him that but does talent alone make him a driver worth the championship?…No!…

    1. “……”Vettel crahes his opponents car while overtaking”…… Sounds kinda familiar……”

      No it doesn’t. The driver you’re thinking of occasionally crashes into Williams cars while DEFENDING. Spot the difference?

  12. Look at what Button said on the red button. It was “bone dry” there, he just must have thought i would suddenly move to the right and he would get past.

    That’s it for Vettel having trouble in the wet. A kid losing his temper.

    1. If Button’s right and it was actually dry then Vettel has no excuses. Every driver makes mistakes but Vettels happen too often, are careless and share similarities so you’d think he’d learn. He just made a stupid mistake today and seemed to try and correct it in the worst way. He didn’t have to turn into Button and he didn’t have to do the same in Turkey which leads me to believe what Jenson says in that he just expects the other driver to move. If he stops the mistakes and just thinks before he does things, he’ll be fine since he’s a promising driver. I’m pleased he had the courtesy to apologise though!

    2. Tell De le Rosa it was bone dry…

  13. Button about the Red Bull: “Horner says, their car isn’t any different, but … . It sure looks different in footage, maybe the grass is longer here, not sure?” Or something alike.

    I also think they did change something.

  14. I thought Vet was unlucky with Liu but in the wrong with Jense.

    Jense said it was bone dry so I absolutely cannot understand people comparing it to Rubens and Alo. Everyone went off with Rubens did and the conditions were tricky. Jense showed him what side to go, Seb moved the wrong side then stuffed up his braking. To be honest though, I did think this was actually less serious when he drove into Web (Turkey) and Lewis (Turkey and China).

  15. Come to think of it, maybe red bull racing are demonstrating the strength of their flexible wing. , where, it’s SO flexible till it can lift a car Off it’s path and into others people wing, wheels and radiators.

    Red bull , does give vettel wings to fly isn’t it.

  16. Karma is a wonderful thing – Liuzzi/Vettel makes up for Vettel/Button

    1. Well t drive through was supposed to make up for it :P

      1. … That’s a joke, Button got a raw deal, but that doesn’t justify a penalty.

    2. I loved the karma as well :)

  17. Another immature impetulent move by Vettel….first Webber in Button..who’s next? Mansell was a gr8 driver but a poor steward, the penalty should have been far more severe for Vettel..where’s the consistency? As for the move on Liuzzi, I felt he just shut the door far too early, so he got what he deserved…a puncture!

  18. Unfortunately Vettel’s learning curve is turning into a circle. If he does’nt settle down a bit and think first his overly need to pass at all costs attitude could end a very promising career.

  19. Vettel was pathetic today. That may seem harsh, but he seriously needs to stop getting into trouble.

    As for the incident with Button, I would have black flagged him.

  20. It was a race-incident, and no-one should have gotten a drivethrough penalty.

    The stewards should not do ANYTHING anymore without a complaint of a team.
    So, if something like this happens, just wait for McLaren to file a complaint.
    Just apply this to all ‘events’ on track and we’ll have more racing and interference.

    1. What Vettel did was unintensional, but he still caused an avoidable accident. That’s why he got the penalty.

      And if the rules were changed so you had to complain before race control did anything, then of course Button and other angry Mclaren employees would have filed the complaint and the same penalty would have been applied to Vettel.

      1. … Aren’t all crashes avoidable?

        I can understand a penalty if it was bad sportsmanship, like crashing into Button on purpose, but obviously it wasn’t on purpose.

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