Vettel admits he played foul
31 Oct 2016 - 3:12
Mexico City: Sebastian Vettel admitted he accidentally blocked Lewis Hamilton during Saturday's qualifying session for the Mexican Grand Prix and said he would accept a stewards' penalty.
But despite it being an obvious incident, and Hamilton's complaints about it on team radio, the stewards did nothing to investigate.
"I did it, but I had no idea that he was coming," Vettel explained. "I was told too late. Yes, it's my mistake so if they give me a penalty then go ahead. Nothing I can do now."
Vettel was on a warm-up lap and weaving over the circuit in the stadium section of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez when Hamilton caught him and was forced to pass him on the way into the Peraltada corner.
Hamilton still recorded the fastest lap of the session.
After their encouraging form on Friday, both Ferrari drivers slipped back on Saturday and Vettel qualified seventh behind his team-mate Finn Kimi Raikkonen who blamed an engine problem for his inability to improve.
"I felt it a bit in my first try in the last part and I really don't know what happened," said Raikkonen.
"We will have to see what we can do. Obviously, it was not ideal and we could not use the second set of super-soft tyres."
"My first qualification was good -- better than all the rest of the weekend, but the second was a bit of a struggle. I think it was possible to gain a few places, we had a lot of speed, but we just couldn't use it in Q3."
Meanwhile, Hamilton said his best lap came during his worst session of the weekend.
"On long runs we were really strong and practice was really good," said the three-time champion who is 26 points adrift of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg with three races remaining.
"So strangely Q3 was actually my worst session of the whole weekend so far."
Rosberg, who had struggled to be within half a second of Hamilton for most sessions, managed to close to two-tenths on his final run to take second place on the grid.
Hamilton added that he was not worried that rivals Red Bull were third and fourth on the grid and set to start the race on the super-soft tyres.
"It is always a tough battle to pull out perfect laps when it counts, especially on these tyres, but going into this race we have the right strategy and the car is in a good place for the long runs."