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Furious Vettel claimed ‘they’re stealing the race from us’

Mat Coch

Monday 10th June, 2019 - 6:37am

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Sebastian Vettel rejoins in front of Lewis Hamilton pic: Fox Sports

Sebastian Vettel was left steaming after officials ‘stole’ victory from him in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Battling with Lewis Hamilton in the second half of the race, Vettel slid off the road at Turn 3, bouncing over the grass before rejoining the circuit in front of the Mercedes.

It saw Hamilton squeezed up to the exit wall and forced him to back out of the pass, allowing Vettel to maintain his position.

Officials reviewed the incident before handing down a five second time penalty for Vettel with 12 laps remaining, which would ultimately see him demoted to second at the flag.

A furious Vettel took the news badly when informed by the team over the radio.

“I had nowhere to go,” he argued.

“Seriously, had nowhere to go. I didn’t see him.

“You know if you go to the grass and come back you have amazing grip. Where the hell was I supposed to go? I had grass on my wheels.

“It’s his fault if he has to go that way. If he goes to the inside he goes past me.”

When told to focus on the job at hand, which at that point was trying to open a five second advantage to Hamilton, he was equally impetuous.

“I am focused, but they are stealing the race from us.”

Following the race Vettel did not drive his car to the usual Top 3 parc ferme, instead stopping at the entry to the pit lane before pushing his car back to where parc ferme is conducted for the bulk of the field.

He then stormed back to the Ferrari hospitality suite, and was only dragged out by his manager for the podium.

Even then he first headed to Lewis Hamilton’s car, where he replaced the sign proclaiming him first with the second place placard.

In the anteroom before stepping onto the podium Vettel made it clear he did not blame his rival for the decision.

During the podium ceremony Hamilton dragged Vettel onto the top step with him.

“I think Lewis was a bit quicker throughout the race but we were able to stay ahead,” he finally said when interviewed on the podium.

“For the rest, I think I’ve said enough. You should ask the people what they think.

“I think we had a great show, Lewis showed some good respect, so ask the people.”

Speaking to television crews after the podium he was still downbeat, and critical of the decision.

“It’s not about the title now,” he said.

“I think we really deserved to win today, that’s our opinion and I think the people’s opinion out there as well.

“It was a great race, they really cheered me on every single lap. In Turn 2 I don’t have that much time to look but in Turn 10 I always had a look in the grandstand and they were on fire, so I really enjoyed that.

“That’s why it’s a bit weird now to be honest, I don’t know really what else to say.

“It’s not making our sport popular, is it? I mean, with these kinds of decisions, people want to see us race and that was, I think, racing.”

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