• United States Grand Prix

Red Bull anger aimed at Karthikeyan

ESPN Staff
November 18, 2012 « Hamilton delighted to beat Vettel | 'I did the right thing for the team' - Massa »
Sebastian Vettel led from pole position but lost out to Lewis Hamilton with 14 laps to go © Press Association

Sebastian Vettel said he was "unhappy" to get held up by a backmarker - something which he believed cost him victory in the United States Grand Prix - but the Red Bull technical boss Adrian Newey gave a blunter assessment.

Lewis Hamilton pressurised Vettel for nearly the whole race, and on lap 42 he took the lead using DRS after Vettel was caught behind the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan in the opening sector. Vettel said that there was no real way for Hamilton to pass without that incident as both cars were equally matched, and that he then could not find a way of regaining the position.

"I wasn't too happy to send a nice big invitation to Lewis when I obviously had to go through Karthikeyan and he was basically right behind at the DRS zone," Vettel said. "I tried to defend, I moved to the inside but I knew that he would have so much more speed that he can pick either side, so it didn't really matter what I was doing and after that, I was obviously not too happy, because on all the laps before I tried to manage the gap to him, tried to manage the tyres until the end of the race, to be able to attack towards the last couple of laps."

Vettel could be heard on the radio shouting his frustration. "[The message] was not targeted at Lewis, it was more targeted at the backmarker which, as I said, gave a nice big envelope with an invitation to Lewis."

Newey did not mince his words. "Karthikeyan has been the bane of our lives this year," he said. "He cost Sebastian points in Malaysia and he did so again here."

Karthikeyan said such criticisms were unfair: "It's impossible to get out of the way in that part of the track unless we drive off the circuit. Once I was through there, I let him past and he overtook me at the exit of Turn 7 into 8. You cannot go anywhere else and it's impossible to get out of the way before.

"You tell me where we can drive off the track? If he complains, it's too bad."

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