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Mexico GP: Vettel admits to blocking Hamilton during qualifying

2016-10-30 10:42

ACCIDENTAL: Sebastian Vettel said he would accept a grid penalty for accidentally blocking Lewis Hamilton during the Mexico Grand Prix qualifying session. Image: AP / Wong Maye-E

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.

Vettel said: "I did it, but I had no idea that he was coming, 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."

Hamilton secured pole position

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 thefastest 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.

More: Mexico GP Qualifying: As it happened

Raikkonen said: "I felt it a bit in my first try in the last part and I really don't know what happened.

"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."

Starting grid for Sunday's Mexican GP:

1st row

Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)
Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes)

2nd row

Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull-TAG Heuer)
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Red Bull-TAG Heuer)

3rd row

Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Force India-Mercedes)
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Ferrari)

4th row

Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari)
Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Williams-Mercedes)

5th row

Felipe Massa (BRA/Williams-Mercedes)
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Toro Rosso-Ferrari)

6th row

Fernando Alonso (ESP/McLaren-Honda)
Sergio Perez (MEX/Force India-Mercedes)

7th row

Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren-Honda)
Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Renault)

8th row

Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Sauber-Ferrari)
Pascal Wehrlein (GER/Manor-Mercedes)

9th row

Esteban Gutierrez (MEX/Haas-Ferrari)
Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Toro Rosso-Ferrari)

10th row

Felipe Nasr (BRA/Sauber-Ferrari)
Estban Ocon (FRA/Manor-Mercedes)

11th row

Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas-Ferrari)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR/Renault)

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