The German trails Hamilton by 30 points in the championship race
Sebastian Vettel has accused Lewis Hamilton of being at fault for their collision in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.
Vettel is now a distant 30 points behind in the championship race after he finished only fourth and Hamilton claimed a brilliant win in Monza.
The flashpoint arrived after only four corners when Hamilton and Vettel tangled at the second chicane.
Hamilton took advantage of a slipstream off the back of Vettel’s Ferrari to line up a move on his rival.
Vettel covered the inside, but Hamilton moved to his right to take the racing line, and he was ahead of the Ferrari car as they took the corner side-by-side.
Vettel appeared reluctant to give up the place, and the right-hand side of his Ferrari made contact with Hamilton’s Mercedes. Vettel spun, dropped to last, and had to pit for a new front wing.
“That was silly,” Vettel said over the radio. “Where did he [Hamilton] want to go?”
The stewards reviewed the incident, but took no action.
“I didn’t want to try something silly so I left a gap, and Lewis saw a little space around the outside of me,” Vettel said.
“But then he didn’t leave any room. I had no other chance than to run into him and make contact.
“Unfortunately, I was the one that spun around, which was a bit ironic.”
Hamilton’s long-time rival Nico Rosberg, however, claimed on Sky Sports commentary that Vettel was “100 per cent at fault”.
Later, Hamilton was asked for his response to Vettel’s claim that the first-lap move was “silly”.
“It worked,” he replied. “It was a racing move and that is what we are supposed to do out there. We are supposed to be racing.
“I left him space and I was still on the track.
“When we went into turn four, I was a bit surprised that he chose the inside line and did not go for the outside.
“That was my opportunity and I had to make sure that I was far enough alongside him. We touched for a brief moment and my car was slightly damaged afterwards, but fortunately I was able to continue.”