Sebastian Vettel calls the incident with Lance Stroll at the Russian Grand Prix a ‘misunderstanding’. The German thinks Stroll didn’t see him in the rain, something the Canadian himself confirmed: “I couldn’t see he was sitting next to me.”
Approaching turn ten, Vettel spotted a hole to Stroll’s left and dived into that hole too, but the Canadian seemed unaware that his team-mate was sitting next to him and steered to the left. It didn’t come to a crash, but the two did hit each other and were close to both falling off. Vettel still overtook him from the outside, although he hit Stroll’s front wing with his right rear tire at the exit.
“I think it was a misunderstanding,” said Vettel. “Maybe he didn’t see me or wasn’t expecting me. Fortunately nothing happened, but unfortunately we both finished outside the points.” What Vettel suspected was confirmed by Stroll himself: “It got very slippery and I couldn’t see Sebastian sitting next to me. We will learn from it and now focus on the race in Turkey.”
Vettel drove outside the points for a long time, but in the final phase still had a view of some points. The rain turned out badly for the four-time world champion. “We made a wrong guess and continued on the slicks,” Vettel recalls the race. “We weren’t the only ones, but it hurt us in the end. The rain came, but not much. It looked like we made the right choice, but then the intensity picked up and we didn’t stand a chance of staying on the slicks. It was very slippery, we lost tire temperature and we had no tread to get rid of that water. So we went very slowly and that cost us dearly,” he concludes.