Vettel 'enjoyed' Schumi tussle
German says Schumacher didn't do anything wrong in Bus Stop duel
Last Updated: September 3, 2012 9:21am
Sebastian Vettel says he didn't have a problem with compatriot Michael Schumacher's driving in their battle in the Belgian GP and has put his fellow German's sudden dart into the pit lane simply down to "a bit of confusion".
The multiple World Champions engaged in a brief duel for position for what was then second position on lap 19 at Spa as Vettel continued what was proving a strong recovery drive from 10th on the grid.
Approaching the Bus Stop chicane at the end of the lap, Vettel took the inside line for the right-left turn but Schumacher came back round in front of him as the corner went to the right and then ducked back into the pit-lane entry road, cutting across the Red Bull's bows.
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Schumacher was put under investigation for the apparent sudden change of direction and although the stewards looked into the incident after the race they ruled that no further action should be taken owing to the fact that "Red Bull Racing admitted to the Stewards that their instruction to the driver of car 1 was to "do the opposite of car 7". Therefore when car 7 headed for the pit entry car 1 aborted its entry to the Pits."
Vettel, who is close friends with Schumacher, put the incident down to a misunderstanding - although admits they did come very close to making contact.
"With Michael there was a bit of confusion, I think," the German said in the post-race press conference after finishing second.
"He probably wasn't that keen to defend his position because he was going into the pits anyway. I thought he would block the inside and then he came on the outside, it was very very close under braking. I nearly ran into the back of his car, and then I tried to get into a better position for the start/finish straight but he kept turning right and went into the pits.
"I think I was, within three seconds, twice very lucky not to lose my front wing. I think there was a bit of confusion."
Vettel added that Schumacher's defence of position showed the 43-year-old hadn't lost any of his old racing nous and that in any case he himself enjoyed going up against the seven-times Champion.
"It doesn't matter where you get Michael on the circuit, whether you're fighting for P1 or P15, he will fight like hell which is great to see - he hasn't lost it," Vettel acknowledged.
"It obviously makes it hard for you, but it's always a great challenge. It's very, very close with him but always fair. I enjoyed that, but as I said, there was probably a bit of confusion."