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Vettel says he ‘messed up’, damaged Hamilton relationship

Ferrari’s German driver Sebastian Vettel prepares for the third practice session of the Formula One Austria Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, on July 8, 2017 © AFP / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

SPIELBERG, Austria, Jul 8Sebastian Vettel has conceded that he ‘messed up’ at last month’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, damaging his relationship with Lewis Hamilton in the process.

The championship leading four-time world champion German, whose fit of ‘road rage’ saw him drive his Ferrari into the Briton’s Mercedes, said he hoped that time would repair the damage to what was previously a cordial and respectful rivalry.

“Actually, it’s not the same, because I messed up,” Vettel said. “So, I told him that I understand if he’s not happy and not cool about it, but I hope time will fix things.”

In an interview with The Times, he added: “We have our own lives, we’re grown up, we’re very different. His way, what he thinks are cool and what he prioritises in his life are very different to what I prioritise in my life.

“But that’s fine. We get along. We got along and I hope we still do.”

Vettel collided twice with the three-time champion while they were lapping behind a safety car in Baku, and was penalised with a 10-second stop-go penalty during the race. He escaped further punishment following an investigation.

Hamilton had described Vettel’s actions as ‘disgraceful’, but accepted his apology, though he made clear that he felt the International Motoring Federation (FIA) had sent out the wrong message following their investigation.

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