By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Immediately following the Chinese Grand Prix, a clearly upset Sebastian Vettel accused Daniil Kvyat of racing “like a crazy” while waiting for the podium celebration.
Everything stemmed from the opening lap heading into Turn 1 when an overly optimistic Kvyat charged to the inside of the right-hand corner while Vettel ended up between Kvyat and Scuderia Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, whom he made contact with.
The contact compromised Raikkonen’s race and damaged what were high expectations heading into Sunday’s race, with both Ferrari drivers sharing the second row. Vettel immediately apologized for the incident and called the Red Bull Racing driver a “madman”.
The stewards clearly did not have an issue with Kvyat’s move, never putting the Russian under investigation for the Turn 1 incident.
Vettel managed to finish second, while Kvyat just behind the German in third and enjoyed his second career podium.
Raikkonen remarkably rebounded to finish fifth after being forced to pit to replace to nose of his SF16-T, then drive through the field from as low as 21st.
Meanwhile, it was in the waiting room prior to the podium celebration that the four-time F1 champion confronted Kvyat.
Kvyat: “What happened at the start?”
Vettel: [shouting]”You, asking what happened at the start!? If I don’t go to the left you crash into us and we all three go into us.”
Vettel: “No well, you came like a torpedo.”
Kvyat: [Laughing] “I was racing.”
Vettel: “Yeah racing, but if I keep going the same line, we crash.”
Kvyat: “Well keep going…”
Vettel: “Well there was a car on the left also, that’s why…”
Kvyat: “Oh yeah I can see all the three cars, man, come on! I have only two eyes, two cars.”
Vettel: “We crash if you do that.”
Kvyat: “Well we didn’t.”
Vettel: “No, you didn’t! I know it’s racing but if you attack like a crazy you can damage the car … You were lucky this time. There was damage to Kimi.”
Kvyat: “I am on the podium, so it’s Ok, you are on the podium.”
Moments later during the podium interviews Vettel further discussed the incident.
“Obviously it is difficult to judge how it looked from his point of view, my start not so great and Kimi locked up and went wide, I went on inside,” said Vettel.
“Daniil was trying to do same thing with me. He was coming with a lot of speed into the gap.
“I was surprised and I had to steer to left and Kimi came across and we made contact. It is a shame, as you don’t want same cars touching ever – luckily we could continue.
Kvyat followed up with an unwavering response.
“I had a really good start and, you see a gap and you go on the inside, in the end you see only one car,” said Kvyat.
“It was a risky move, I agree with Seb, but these kinds of moves can give you the podium. He is on podium, so it is fine.
“I will keep risking like that, people can expect that.”