Sebastian Vettel has come under fire from McLaren’s Jenson Button and Martin Whitmarsh after the accident he caused with Button during Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Button believes Vettel may have knocked himself out of contention for the F1 title, while Whitmarsh labelled the 23-year-old Red Bull driver a “crash kid”.
“He’s made too many mistakes to fight for the world championship but he is extremely quick, we can’t take that away from him,” Button said.
Vettel crashed into Button while trying to overtake the British driver at the Bus Stop chicane in difficult conditions.
The incident eliminated Button from the race and earned Vettel a drive through penalty for “causing an avoidable incident”.
Vettel apologised for the incident after the race, saying he had been caught out by Button braking earlier than he had expected because of damp conditions on the track.
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh blasted Vettel for the crash – suggesting that such driving was not up to the standards expected in Formula 1.
“It was not what you expect to see in F1 – more reminiscent of junior formulae. A drive-through seemed a pretty light punishment to me,” Whitmarsh said after the race.
The German driver eventually finished in 15th place after another incident with Vitantonio Liuzzi later on in the race.
Button saw his championship chances hit by the incident – he is now 35 points behind teammate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton with just six races left in the season.
However, the Somerset-born ace is hopeful about his chances at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza on 12 September.
“I’m in a position now where I’ve just got to go there and hope for a race victory and work towards it,” he said. See all the F1 latest reviews, news and video