Vettel Exits Early After Opening Lap Crash in Malaysian GP

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

Sebastian Vettel’s day came to an early end at the first corner of the Malaysian Grand Prix after hitting and sending Formula 1 championship leader Nico Rosberg into a spin, destroying his own car in the process.

The 29-year-old German had a blistering start from row three and climbed to the inside of Turn 1 with Max Verstappen on his right. The aggressive move was labeled “crazy” from the Red Bull Racing driver in a near repeat in reverse roles of the Belgian Grand Prix.

“I was going side by side, he (Verstappen) was squeezing me down the inside, he’s racing and both of us would have made the corner, no problem,” Vettel said.

“Obviously Nico (Rosberg) decided to do a different line, but he’s ahead, and doesn’t have to bother with what people are doing behind. There are two things that are wrong, Nico without any blame gets turned around, and I’m standing here and the race is still going on.”

In what could be seen as a simple racing incident, Vettel still acknowledged the difficulty in passing Verstappen.

“Racing him, he is always moving around, so everybody knows that by now,” Vettel continued. “When you’re squeezed to the inside, your angle doesn’t get any better for Turn 1.

“I was trying to do everything I could to get the corner, which I did, without braking massively too late. But Nico tried to cut back, I guess to fight Lewis, but at that point we made contact.”

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Joey Barnes is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, IndyCar.com and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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