Sebastian Vettel has denied ever suggesting the FIA deployed the safety car at Valencia as a deliberate ploy to spoil his race.
The reigning world champion, and Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko, were quoted after the recent European grand prix as implying that Charlie Whiting only neutralised the race to deliberately curb Vettel’s runaway race lead. Shortly after the safety car period, ostensibly to clear crash debris from the track, the furious Vettel’s RB8 failed.
Asked about his reported conspiracy theory, the German said on Thursday: “What I said is that, in my opinion, there was no reason for the safety car to be on the track. Then I said that it ruined my race. I never said that it was (deployed) to ruin my race,” he is quoted by Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.
“That was written by those who have the habit of removing important parts (of quotes) to make it more sensational. I have reviewed the race and I still have the same opinion, but I do not dispute the decision of the officials. They always have more information than we do in order to make their decisions.
“Agree or not, I always respect them,” said Vettel.
Vettel’s apparent backtracking follows reports last week that the FIA was unamused by the reigning back-to-back title winner’s post-race comments.