Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel defends Ferrari after Belgium drama

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Sebastian Vettel insists his Ferrari team should not be held accountable for the devastating puncture he suffered in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

Vettel was incandescent after the race following a penultimate lap tyre blow-out on the Kemmel Straight.

In an expletive rant to the BBC, Vettel claimed he could have been killed had the tyre failure occurred moments earlier through Eau Rouge.


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Vettel cancelled his print media commitments after the race, but, in a statement released via his website on Tuesday evening, the four-time world champion backed his team and pinned the blame firmly on Pirelli.

"Just to make things clear the team and I decided our strategy for the race together," said Vettel, who was the only driver to attempt a one-stop strategy in Sunday's race at Spa-Francorchamps.

"I support the team and the team supports me and this is what makes us a team. Our strategy was never risky, at any point. The team is not to blame."

Vettel started only ninth but he was running in third with less than two laps remaining when his right-rear tyre exploded in dramatic circumstances.

Pirelli, Formula One's sole tyre supplier, was forced to defend its product for the second time in three days following Nico Rosberg's harrowing 200mph blow-out in practice on Friday.

The Italian tyre manufacturer released a statement hours after the race claiming that its proposal to limit the number of laps completed on one set of tyres was dismissed by the teams two years ago.

It claims that had that suggestion been observed, a driver would have been restricted to just 22 laps on the medium compound tyre in Sunday's race. Vettel had started the 28th lap of his aggressive stint when the failure took place.

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene, however, maintained his team were right to stop Vettel only once.

"It was our Plan A strategy, " he said. "Normally, when you do the strategy at that time during the strategy meeting it is based on data that you have in your hands.

"The strategy was absolutely right - the one stop. I want to clear up immediately that when we do the strategy we have the data and the data is based on the strategy. Don't worry - our job was right."

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