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Sebastian Vettel: Stroll Malaysian GP F1 clash was 'unnecessary'

Sebastian Vettel Pascal Werhlein Malaysia F1 2017

Sebastian Vettel said his clash with Lance Stroll after the finish of Formula 1's Malaysian Grand Prix was "completely unnecessary".

The Ferrari driver had to get a lift back to the pits from the Sauber of Pascal Wehrlein after his left-rear corner suffered severe damage when he tried to go around the outside of Stroll's Williams at Turn 5, as the rookie moved off the racing line to pick up rubber on his tyres during the slow-down lap.

The stewards decided to take no further action on the coming together, saying that neither driver was at fault.

"I went on the outside to pick up a bit of rubber - I think Lance wasn't looking and wanted to do the same, but that was too late, I was there already and we had contact," Vettel told TV crews straight after the race, where he finished fourth having started at the back of the grid.

"That's completely unnecessary. I think he just didn't look and then decided to pick up some rubber.

"It's not my fault if somebody decides to pick up rubber and hit my car."

Stroll, who finished eighth for Williams, believed that it was unintentional from both drivers.

"It was the in-lap, I was just driving very slowly back into the pitlane," he said.

"Just a very strange incident. The race wasn't going on so it wasn't intentional from either of us."

Discuss the incident on the Autosport Forum

Vettel said he enjoyed coming through the field in the opening laps, and he believes his pace proved that he could have beaten Max Verstappen to victory if his weekend had not been disrupted by the engine problems that prevented him from setting a time in qualifying.

"We have a very quick car, and if we start ahead, we win the race," he added.

"That didn't happen today - we were the quickest car for the majority of the race, but we had to start last.

"It was more entertaining, the first couple of laps in particular."

Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen didn't even start the race, being forced to give up his front-row starting spot on the dummy grid.

His car was pushed to the garage with an apparent turbo problem, and it couldn't be repaired in time.

"Obviously we had some issue, I don't what it is exactly, I don't think any of us know right now," said Raikkonen.

"It's far from perfect, but it's one of those things that happens sometimes.

"Impossible to say but I'm pretty certain I would have had a very good car today, but we didn't go far enough - where we would end up we'll never know."

Sebastian Vettel Ferrari F1 2017

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