Home hero Daniil Kvyat has apologised for hitting Sebastian Vettel’s car twice and causing the first lap carnage that knocked the four-time champion out of Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix.
The young Russian said he had not felt his brakes and then could not see what was happening ahead of him in the incident that left Vettel fuming with anger at his actions for the second successive race.
“There was a bit going on,” said the Russian, whose impetuous aggression left Vettel ranting on the Ferrari team radio in a stream of profanities.
“I started to press the brake, but there was not much in it and the first contact came from that.
“The second touch -- I couldn’t see what was going on ahead of me and I couldn’t react.
“All the mess came from me. It doesn’t feel great, but sometimes this happens in F1. Usually I learn from it.
“I apologise to everyone who was involved. I think we all need to talk. It’s easy to attack me and I guess everyone will and I’m OK with that....”
Kvyat’s misjudgements also wrecked his Red Bull team’s hopes in an incident-filled race won comfortably by championship leading Nico Rosberg, ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Red Bull team chief Christian Horner also acknowledged the mistakes made by Kvyat.
“Our race was totally screwed at the first corner,” he said.
“Daniil misjudged his braking and he hit the rear of Seb, who in turn hit Daniel (Ricciardo) as well.
“It was obviously a mistake from Daniil Kvyat and I think he knows what happened. We could have scored some sound points today.”
Vettel was so angry that his broadcast comments, via Ferrari team radio, were punctuated by a succession of ‘bleeps’ as he swore about the incident.
The clash came just two weeks after Vettel had accused Kvyat of diving “like a torpedo” into his car at the Chinese Grand Prix.
Kvyat ran in to the back of him at Turn Two and then as the pair recovered they clashed again at Turn Three, the violence of the crash sending Vettel into a spin into the barriers and out of the race.
On team radio, Vettel said: “I’m out. Crash. Somebody hit me in the fucking rear in Turn Two, then someone hit me in the fucking rear again in Turn Two.... Honestly. What the fuck are we doing here?”
He later added: “In the end these things happen, but it is harsh. In the end the race is long.
“You can make progress in the first lap, but you can also end your race, which for me was the case there.
“It wasn’t my fault and there was nothing I could do different. I don’t dislike him (Kvyat), I think he made a mistake two weeks ago and he did a mistake today.
“It is fairly obvious, but it doesn’t help me out because I am not in the race.”
Kvyat was given a 10-seconds stop-go penalty on his way to finishing 15th in a race watched by a stony-faced Russian president Vladimir Putin.