Vettel apologises for Button crash

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.

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99 comments on Vettel apologises for Button crash

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

  2. Marcello said on 29th August 2010, 16:49

    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!

  3. Mike C said on 29th August 2010, 17:27

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. P5ycH0 said on 29th August 2010, 18:37

    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.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 29th August 2010, 19:38

      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.

      • … 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.

  6. It was a racing incident. i had great respect for martin witmarsh. His comments today did not warrant that. and the stewards….penalize anyone who tries to overtake and make a mistake. already the races are procession.they are just helping to make sure it stays that way. i pity those stewards who can’t differentiate between intentional stuff and racing mistake. For god’s sake it is not a presidential cavalary.

    After 21 years of watching f1 races, i feel for the first time F1 is just loosing it. last week in Nascar in bristol montoya drove very similarly into Jimmie johnson. people just moved on. people or media did’nt talk much. that is the maturity of the stewards. it was a racing incident nothing more nothing less.

    It is not vettel who is immature, rather it is the FIA and stewards who needs maturity. For god sake this is not driving school or driver license test to penalize the drivers for mistake. I would’nt be surprised if tomorrow these guys penalize someone for going too fast on the main straight. with the comment “they have to be mature you know can’t make mistakes. This is F1 and it is not a sport”

    if F1 needs more fan following around the world. this defenitely does not help.

    “I surely miss Formula 1 of late 80s and 90s”

    Keith honestly don’t You ?

    • I’m pretty sure the stewards know what Vettel did was unintentional. Vettel was penalised for causing an aviodable collision. If Vettel intended to hit Button, he would have recieved a much bigger penalty.

      • SLR with due respect, Thankfully the dumb stewards knew atleast that it was not intentional, that is great progress from their side. Lets keep penalizing anyone for making mistakes….and F1 becomes a military driving school. You see every accident in F1 is avoidable if drivers decide not to race and get aggressive. And then maybe a new rule that there should not be any overtaking in F1 would eliminate completely all avoidable collisions.

        We all watch F1 because it is a thrilling sport, it pumps adrenaline, it is unpredictable and it reveals some risky unbelievable manouvers . if these manuvers are successful they are called a great passes and if it is not then don’t call it stupid and penalize. The whole point is not about vettel but about any driver and racing.

        • Simon said on 30th August 2010, 0:52

          All F1 fans, and I dare say the stewards too, want to see great over-taking. But everyone has a point at which they say “that move was too risky / reckless, it deserves a penalty”.

          At the end of the day, it just depends on where you draw that line. I don’t think penalising this incident will have an affect on drivers trying to pass each other in general – it was the manner in which it happened (darting one way, then the other in the braking zone, losing control as a result) that brought about a penalty, rather than the fact it was an attempted over-take.

          Having a different threshold to something like Nascar doesn’t make F1 any less of a sport either; there’s just a slightly different emphasis.

  7. Yeah Vettle made a mistake, so what? That’s race people. I don’t remember anyone complaining when Button took out Alonso at the first corner at the Australian GP.

    • John H said on 29th August 2010, 19:29

      Because he is making a habit of it. That’s why people are talking.

      • Vettle may be a spoiled brat, but penalising drivers who try to overtake will not do the sport any good.

        When he made his move he was very close to Button and the bus-stop chicane is a well-know overtaking point. It is true that he screwed up, and that’s sad for Button, ’cause he had a great start, but at least you have to give the guy credit for trying to overtake and not staying behind Button the whole race.

        The intention was good, but the execution was really poor indeed.

        • John H said on 29th August 2010, 22:37

          I agree in part. But ask yourself this: was Kova’s penalty at Spa last year (or was it 2008..) justified when he drove into the side of Webber trying to overtake?

          I’m all for overtaking, but not reckless driving/weaving in the braking zones which is what I saw today.

    • Electrolite said on 30th August 2010, 9:23

      That was the first lap of the race – I think people expect incidents like that to happen.

  8. John H said on 29th August 2010, 19:29

    Vettel is clearly reckless. Note his swerve onto the grass when Kubica left him ample room. Straight after, the wunderkid gesticulates to Kubica in typical brat-like fashion.

    I used to like Vettel, but all these immature gestures (pit lane, Turkey, etc) have made me realise he is just a spoilt quick who is very quick, but cannot race.

  9. Faraz said on 29th August 2010, 19:36

    It seems like Vettel can’t overtake anything unless he crashes into someone

  10. Could easily have been another flying Red Bull a la Webber at Valencia

    • Forr3st said on 30th August 2010, 10:49

      Yeah but at least Webber fessed up and admitted he overestimated the braking ability of the Lotus.

  11. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 29th August 2010, 20:00

    I think there’s a good justification for Vettel’s punishment: who it was he crashed into.

    As much as he put himself into the situation, the way he lost it meant Vettel deserved the benefit of a doubt over being penalised, because it might have been a freak incident (though from what Button said afterwards, it would be hard to blame it on the conditions; incidentally, this happened only a few races after Webber crashed into Kovalainen by weaving behind him, so there are grounds to call it dangerous driving). Plus, he wrecked his own race, which would normally be punishment enough.

    The problem is that he wrecked the race of a fellow championship rival. Vettel could easily have gone on to score points without the drive-through, and how would that have been fair on Button, who was entirely without fault?

    I don’t think that’s why the stewards gave him a penalty, but it’s why I would have.

  12. I think the penalty was too harsh, it was a racing incident, he misjudged the conditions.

  13. Plenty rookies there today in difficult conditions and in previous races haven’t made anything like as stupid a move as that.
    That made me literally gasp out loud and I’ve been watching F1 for 4 decades and watched some hairy maneuvers

  14. Electrolite said on 30th August 2010, 0:10

    Truly and utterly useless.

  15. drezone said on 30th August 2010, 0:47

    I’ll say it again for those that didn’t hear it the first time. Championship is between Webber & Hamilton and the sooner Vettel & Red Bull realise it the sooner Webber has a better chance at beating Hanilton to the flag. Vettel can’t be champion this year with all the impatient, agressive spoilt brat tactics he employs. Nobody wins championships with DNF’s & drive through penalties on a regular basis through the season.

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