Tearful Vettel takes blame for Webber smash

Sun, 30 September 2007, 01:30

Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel on Sunday apologised to Red Bull stablemate Mark Webber after pitching the Australian out of a possible win in the Japanese grand prix.

An irate Webber, 31, swore live on British television after the incident, but rookie Vettel – later caught on camera crying in the pits – took the blame for “ruining” his race while circulating behind the safety car.

20-year-old Vettel, branded a “kid” by Webber despite qualifying and racing competitively at Fuji Speedway until the crash, said he took his eyes off the action when he noticed Lewis Hamilton heating his brakes.

“By the time I looked forward again, I was already in the back of Mark’s car and I think he had also reacted to Lewis,” the German said.

“I apologise now to Mark because I ruined both our races.”

Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost famously lost his temper with the now sacked Scott Speed following a similar wet-race accident earlier this year, but he excused Vettel on Sunday.

“The mistake is one that can also happen with more experienced drivers,” he said.

“I continue to look forward to working with him in the future.

“Of course, we are unhappy about the incident, especially as it happened under the safety car and especially as it happened with a Red Bull car. But that’s part of the game, that’s racing,” Tost added.

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