• Malaysian Grand Prix

Vettel blames 'cucumber' Karthikeyan for puncture

ESPNF1 Staff
March 25, 2012 « Raikkonen takes it easy on wets | Spin decides Schumacher's afternoon »
Sebastian Vettel had to make an extra pit stop after the collision © Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel believes Narain Karthikeyan was responsible for the collision that brought an end to his chances of scoring points at the Malaysian Grand Prix and has called him a "cucumber".

Vettel was running fourth when he came to lap the HRT but tagged Karthikeyan as he passed, causing a left-rear puncture. By the time he recovered to the pits and replaced the shredded tyre he was 12th and out of contention for points. He said his puncture combined with a loss of radio communication ruined his chances of a decent finish.

"Most crucially we lost radio communication and that makes it very difficult in these conditions to know what's going on. Nonetheless, we did our maximum today and got up to fourth. To then lose the race how I did is very frustrating. Some people need to look more where they are going.

Talking to German television, he added: "As in real life, there are a few cucumbers on the road."

He said his pit-to-car radio was dead by the end of the race, meaning he did not hear the mixed messages in the final laps telling him to park the car and then to stay out.

"Today it was crucial to come in at the right time and having no radio meant we were delayed getting the messages and I didn't hear anything from the team at the end," he said. "There were problems with the car after the incident, but I wanted to see the chequered flag. There were no points for me today. Before the incident with HRT the way the race had unfolded was good for us I think, so it's frustrating to lose the race like that."

Team principal Christian Horner explained that a brake problem meant Red Bull wanted to stop the car but said the pit wall could not get the message across.

"We had lost all radio contact with Sebastian, which meant we could only speak with him via the pit board," Horner said. "After his stop he came up to the HRT who hit him and caused a puncture. The incident caused damage to the rear brake duct, which went into thermal runaway, so we wanted to stop the car before the end from a safety point of view. Seb didn't hear us on the radio and continued. Thankfully his car got to the end without failing, but the incident cost Sebastian at least a fourth place finish today."