Sebastian Vettel impressed with Max Verstappen's swift apology after China clash

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Sebastian Vettel has praised Max Verstappen for immediately finding him after the Chinese Grand Prix to apologise for their collision in the closing stages of race.

Red Bull's car came alive in the second half of the race after the team pitted both cars for fresh tyres under a Safety Car period. Verstappen had dropped behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo but still appeared well placed for a podium finish as the pair cut through the field.

As Verstappen caught Vettel, who was struggling to match his times on older tyres, the Dutchman tried to pass on the inside of the penultimate corner but made contact, pitching both cars into a spin. Verstappen was slapped with a 10-second time penalty which eventually demoted him to fifth, while the incident saw Vettel drop to eighth by the chequered flag.

After the race F1's world feed showed Verstappen and Vettel talking about the incident, which the Dutchman took full responsibility for. Vettel, who appreciated the Dutchman settling the matter face-to-face, used the opportunity to give some advice to one of the grid's most exciting talents.

"He came up straight after," Vettel said. "He realised that he did a mistake. I said to him 'look, the races are long and you threw your podium away'. He was lucky to continue, I was lucky to continue, but it was not necessary.

"I think he got it. He was quite composed and realised that he messed up. People were asking if it was a question of age, but it's not. He's done so many races.

"We had a bit of tailwind the whole race and after 41 laps you know that it's tricky to stop the car there. But it happens. I appreciate the fact that he came to me straight away. I told him that was the way to solve it, face to face and not through the media or blowing something up."

Vettel said he was not planning to put up a fight with either Red Bull driver, given the sheer scale of their pace advantage on new tyres at the end.

"It was clear that the Red Bulls were faster. The way Daniel approached from behind there was no point to resist much and the same with Max.

"I think he had a bad exit onto the big straight, otherwise I was just ready to let him go. He wasn't there, so then you stay in front. I gave a bit of room just in case he had a tiny lock-up and then obviously he had a big lock-up... That's when we crashed."