Vettel claims his Turn 1 pass attempt helped Hamilton beat Bottas

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Sebastian Vettel claims it was his attempted move on Valtteri Bottas that likely won Lewis Hamilton the Spanish GP.

The three drivers approached Turn 1 side-by-side thanks to the long run from the start line, and it would be the Briton who emerged ahead having started second.

Vettel though believes his presence on the outside likely worried Bottas enough for Hamilton to slide through on the inside.

“I wanted to brake latest, which I think I did,” the Ferrari driver said to Autosport.

“Obviously Valtteri was also quite late and I could not really get in, and I couldn’t see him so I knew he was there.

“If I just turned in, which I think I could have managed, then he would have had nowhere to go and I would go the other way. It didn’t work.

“In the end, obviously I did Lewis a favour because I distracted Valtteri."

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Vettel also acknowledged that he had to be aggressive into Turn 1 because it was likely his best chance to disrupt the Mercedes.

“It was clear that I couldn’t win the race at the first corner but I saw there was something to try," he explained.

“I tried and it didn’t work, but I was hoping I could maybe mix things up a little bit for my sake and your sake!”

For his part, however, Hamilton believes the space that he was afforded by Bottas reflected their current partnership.

“It’s respectful and balanced, as we always are,” he said of that tussle. 

“The team has spoken a bit, Valtteri and I have spoken a bit that we have the best pairing any team has in terms of how respectful we are – a lot of drivers don’t have that respect.

“It was a great battle and a decisive moment.”