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Aston Martin

How Vettel was 'caught by surprise' in final-lap battle with Stroll

Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll scrapped for the final point in the closing stages of the French Grand Prix, with the latter coming out on top.

Vettel France
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Aston Martin teammates Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll have shared their thoughts after going head-to-head on the final lap of the French Grand Prix.

Vettel and Stroll were seen pushing each other to the chequered flag at Paul Ricard as they fought over 10th position and the last point on offer.

Onboard camera footage from Vettel's car revealed apparent light contact between the pair as they negotiated the final turn, with Stroll keeping his car ahead.

Vettel has since explained that he was "caught by surprise" at Stroll's approach to the corner and what seemed to be a delay in accelerating.

Vettel "lost the momentum" with Stroll's defence

Vettel raised left hand in the air after the close call, but offered a philosophical outlook when speaking to the press.

"I closed the gap the lap before and I think I was faster, but it doesn't matter – it's the same point for the team," Vettel told media, including RacingNews365.com.

Pushed on Stroll's driving through the final corner, Vettel said: "He was obviously hitting the brakes again, before accelerating, so it caught me by surprise and I lost the momentum.

"But in the end, like I said, it's the same point for the team, so it's not making a difference."

Stroll insists he "didn't do anything reckless"

As for Stroll's take on the situation, the Canadian felt it was a straightforward battle.

"I was struggling for tyres and doing everything I had to do to keep the point at the end; I think it was all under control and fine," he said.

"The last couple laps after the Virtual Safety Car, I felt like I had the momentum on [Daniel] Ricciardo before that to maybe get P9, but then I lost it and got pressured from Seb.

"It was a good battle, but in the end I'm happy to pick up a point."

Asked how he treated going up against his teammate, Stroll added: "Everyone is racing out there and he wants to score the point the same way I do every weekend.

"I didn't do anything reckless, I just defended as if anyone was behind me."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Does Leclerc make too many mistakes to become F1 champion?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key topics from the French Grand Prix, including Charles Leclerc dramatically spinning out of the lead.

F1 2022 French Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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