Vettel says Mercedes' Bottas blocked him from victory

Solenn Plantier
Mai 19, 2017

"What can I say?" I was just guessing on the braking but there was no room for him. "He was all over the place with the tyres so they used him to block me".

Hamilton started on pole ahead of Vettel but it was the German who got the better start to lead into Turn One.

"It was really close!". I faked on the inside, went back on the outside and then on the inside to surprise him, which worked - but I almost lost the auto doing that because I had the DRS open and it was a quite aggressive move on the steering wheel. But then I had no tow from any auto in front and he sailed past.

Although a five-second time penalty for failing to stay to the correct side of the pit entry bollard meant he lost that position to Carlos Sainz Jr, Wehrlein's late burst of pace meant he still secured eighth rather than falling right out of the points as initially seemed likely.

Hamilton's out-of-breath radio communication during his Spanish GP battle with Sebastian Vettel prompted questions about how physically demanding he had found the race, to which Hamilton revealed his deliberate lack of a drinks bottle. He managed a really good exit, he was very quick in the last sector and went on to win the race.

"Well done to him". He was so fast out in front and it was such a push to keep in touch with him and not let him pull away. He was tough and hard just to the edge and no more. I just said: "'Be careful, that was very, very close.' But I enjoyed it".

We had one more incident during the opening lap of the race, in which two veterans of this sport participated. To have a close battle like that with a four-time champion is awesome.

During a post-race news conference, the pair disagreed with a smile on interpretations of their clash.

Hamilton surged past the German around the outside of turn one, to which Vettel replied: "No chance, no chance".

Hamilton said: "I gave you space, otherwise we would have touched..." "It was close. It was cool".

Mercedes waited until lap 36, calling Hamilton to the pitlane as the "VSC ending" message appeared on the screens - and as the green flags were waved, he was already approaching his pit box.

In his podium interview, he said: "The team did an incredible job". "And I feel for Valtteri".

"At least, as a team, we managed to increase the points' difference for Ferrari by a small margin, which is good, but we could have gain a lot more today with both of us finishing strong".

"After the contact I really struggled, initially, in the first stint and we're still looking into that, if everything was OK or not with the auto but I suspect not, because the gap in the pace for the guys in front was way too big for what it should be".

Starting from fourth and fifth, Raikkonen and Verstappen came together when trying to squeeze around the first turn with Bottas alongside them.

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