Date: 28th March 2012 at 1:59pm
Written by:

A war of words has erupted, transcending both ends of the Formula One paddock.

Double World Champion Sebastian Vettel ended a frustrating weekend bemoaning HRT driver Narain Karthikeyan.

The German driver clipped his back wheel on the HRT of Karthikeyan when Vettel was lapping the Indian driver, the slight clip caused a puncture ending Vettel’s chase for third and prevented him from even claiming any points.

It wasn’t the only incident that Karthikeyan was involved in, with McLaren’s Jenson Button also having a collision under the slippery conditions earlier in the race, ending the Brits hopes of points in Malaysia.

But while Vettel joked that ‘Like on normal roads, you have some idiots driving around. It seems there is also one driving here,’ during his BBC interview after the race, neither incident actually looked like Karthikeyan was 100% to blame, although the race stewards did side with Vettel, giving Karthikeyan a 20-second penalty for causing an avoidable collision.

Button came from behind and tapped the left rear wheel of the HRT, damaging his front wing, while Vettel cut across the front of Karthikeyan before he was completely passed. Both appeared to be just racing incidents, but if someone told me I had to point a finger, I could easily have argued that the HRT driver was the innocent party in both incidents.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner obviously wouldn’t be one of those people to agree, with the Red Bull boss telling the BBC that it was the HRT drivers ‘responsibility to get out of the way of the leaders as he is a lapped car’. So it might be, but if Vettel had just given him a few more inches room, there wouldn’t have been an incident to discuss, which surely makes Vettel at fault for causing a collision which was totally unavoidable?

Karthikeyan however was more disappointed with Vettel’s post-race comments telling the Hindustan Times as quoted by Sky Sports: ‘For a World Champion to say things like that is really shameful, It is really unprofessional. For a driver who has achieved so much to take out his frustrations on me just because he is having a difficult year is really sad. One does not expect a professional sportsman to be such a cry baby.’