The battle between Daniil Kvyat and Sebastian Vettel continued at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, but resulted in the Red Bull Racing man apologising for running the German out of the race on the opening lap.
The pair clashed on the podium at the Chinese Grand Prix two weeks ago when Ferrari driver Vettel accused Kvyat of dangerous driving into the first turn, forcing him to crash into team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
While Kvyat was cleared of any wrong-doing in Shanghai, he took full responsibility for the crash in Sochi, crashing into the Ferrari at Turn 2 and then Turn 3, spinning Vettel into the wall - ironically in front of the Kvyat fans’ grandstand - earning the Russian a 10-second stop-and-go penalty.
The initial contact created a domino effect and saw Vettel’s Ferrari bounce into Kvyat’s Red Bull Racing team mate Daniel Ricciardo, forcing both Tilbrook cars into the pits on the opening lap for new front wings.
The early stops, twinned with a lack of overall pace, meant neither car would finish in the points, with Kvyat finishing a disappointing 15th in his home race, while Ricciardo was 11th.
Afterwards, Kvyat apologised publicly for his actions on the first lap.
“There was a lot going on at the start and I didn’t expect to slow down as much,” he said. “I locked the rear wheels and the car was a bit out of control which caused the contact with Sebastian.
“On Turn 3, I couldn’t see what was happening ahead, Sebastian seemed to slow down and unfortunately I didn’t have time to react and this caused the second contact.
“I’m sorry for Sebastian and also to the team as we gave away a lot of points today from both my side and Daniel’s.
“It doesn’t feel great, this is probably the messiest first lap of my career.”
Ricciardo added: “It’s frustrating and a shame to be out of the race more or less from the first lap onwards but I think these things happen with racing. After the start I felt a big hit. I saw Seb come into me but it looked like he got hit as well. We had a lot of damage and had to pit.
“We thought we’d try the mediums but that wasn’t really working. Unfortunately the damage was so much that we didn’t really learn anything from today’s race and we don’t know what our pace was. Barcelona and Monaco should be better, so we have a few races to be excited about.”