Daniil Kvyat reckons he would repeat his Turn 1 move from the Chinese Grand Prix as he heads to his home race in Russia and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Maurizio Arrivabene decided to ‘move on’ from the first corner crash.
The incident between the pair was one of the main talking points arising from an action packed race in Shanghai.
Kvyat attacked Vettel as they raced through the long double right-hander that forms Turns 1 and 2 at the Chinese circuit and as the German driver then jinked away from the Red Bull he collided with his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
Both Ferrari drivers sustained front wing damage as a result of the crash and Raikkonen was forced to pit for repairs at the end of lap one.
The intervention of the safety car on lap four, a deployment that was necessary to allow the marshals to clear away debris from the Turn 1 incidents that littered the track, allowed Ferrari to replace Vettel’s front wing and gave Raikkonen the chance to catch the pack.
After eventually finishing second, which came after he caught and passed Kvyat on track later in the Grand Prix, Vettel confronted the Russian driver just before they went onto the podium with race winner Nico Rosberg.
But speaking after the race, Kvyat insisted the move was on and described how he will aim to repeat the race result at his home Grand Prix in Russia next time out.
He said: “I think it was a fair move on Vettel. I saw the gap and I went for it. We didn’t touch, unfortunately for him, Kimi was on his other side. For me it was a logical move and it paid off with a podium.
“It’s a nice boost for our side of the garage after a couple of tricky races. It’s also good for the team to be consistently fighting for podiums this year. It’s very encouraging for the season.
“I’m a very happy man and it’s nice to carry this feeling heading into my home Grand Prix in Russia.”
Aggressive move made podium possible
Kvyat explained how he felt he had to make the move to get a chance to fight for a podium finish. Before last weekend’s race his only F1 podium had come when he finished second at the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix.
He said: “It was a logical move: you see the gap and you go for it. If [Vettel] didn’t have a car on the outside it would have been okay: I only have two eyes so I couldn’t see Kimi, and it’s [Vettel’s] business to deal with that.
“When the emotions are hot, you talk about it – but in our case to get on the podium you have to take risks. It was an essential move for me and it paid off.
“We can talk for hours about it but I am on the podium; if I didn’t go for it who knows where I would be. I will keep on risking like this and everyone should expect that.”
Vettel: “In the end, it is a racing incident”
Vettel described Kvyat’s driving as “suicidal” and that of a “madman” over his team radio during the Shanghai race, but after the event, and his pre-podium outburst, the four-times world champion concluded that it had just been an unfortunate racing incident.
He said: “What happened on the first lap, in the end, is a racing incident.
“Kimi locked up in Turn 1. I tried to go inside to pass him. Daniil was behind me. He had a better start and was lining up for the same move initially. I was determined to overtake Kimi. Daniil was determined to overtake me.
“Kimi came back from the left, Kvyat came from the back right and I was reacting to him. From my side I didn’t really know where to go, I was sandwiched between Kimi and Daniil.
“I tried to back out of it, going off throttle and hitting the brakes, but there was no way, so I had contact with Kimi.”
Vettel apologised for colliding with Raikkonen during the race itself, a move he repeated once he had climbed out of the cockpit.
He said: “Obviously I am terribly sorry for what has happened. Touching the car with the same colours is not right.”
Arrivabene: “this is racing”
Arrivabene, Ferrari’s team principal, would not be drawn on apportioning any blame over the Turn 1 crash and he also reckoned it was a simply one of the risks of racing.
He said: “I think pointing the finger at somebody isn’t correct. Kvyat was doing his race coming into the curve at high speed but Seb and Kimi were doing the same thing in Kvyat’s position.
“Of course if you want to defend your position you move away but unfortunately Kimi was there. But this is racing, it’s not monopoly.
“It was an accident. I think they are part of the race but of course when you have your two drivers in a collision with each other it’s not good. What can I say more than that?”
The result of the Chinese Grand Prix leaves Ferrari 53 points adrift of Mercedes in the constructors’ championship and without a race win in 2016 when the Italian team had a genuine chance to fight the German manufacturer for the victory in China.
Vettel and Raikkonen are also down to fourth and fifth behind Daniel Ricciardo in the drivers’ standings after the Red Bull driver recovered from a puncture to score points in Shanghai and secured his third consecutive fourth place finish of the season.
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