Max Verstappen believes Sebastian Vettel could have been “a bit more careful” after the two were embroiled in a controversial collision at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Vettel had started five places behind Verstappen on the grid following a disastrous qualifying but scythed his way through the pack during the first stages of the race, as he closed on the Dutchman’s third position following an early safety car.
In the slipstream of the Red Bull, Vettel’s closing speed caused him to attempt a lunge into Spoon Curve on the inside that ended with him clipping Verstappen’s left-rear tyre and spinning onto the run off area losing several positions.
“In that corner you cannot overtake,” Verstappen said after the race. “I even gave him space. But he understeered into my car.”
Verstappen compared the clash to his incident with Vettel back in China, likening the German’s manoeuvre to his late divebomb during the closing laps that resulted in contact and earned him a 10-second penalty.
“I’m not the one who makes the rules otherwise a lot of penalties would have been avoided in F1, but I think it is a similar scenario to what I had in China with him,” he said.
“Of course we didn’t spin off the track [like in China], but he drove into the side of my car.
“He could have been a bit more careful.”
The 21-year-old also found himself at the hands of the race stewards with the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen after being handed a five-second time penalty for forcing him off track at the exit of the final chicane.
Verstappen had locked up and cut the chicane, re-joining and blocking Raikkonen’s attempt to pass on the outside, which was justified as an avoidable action but one he didn’t agree with.
“The first one I totally don’t agree with,” Verstappen added.
“I locked up and I could easily have cut the track, I made my best effort to get back on track.
“And he chose to go around the outside, he could have waited for me to understeer wide.
“So I don’t know why I got a penalty. It is a bit stupid.”