Sebastian Vettel took full responsibility for his collision with Jenson Button in the Belgian Grand Prix, and apologized for taking the world champion out of the race.
Red Bull driver Vettel was trying to overtake Button into the final chicane on lap 16 at Spa when he lost control and slewed into the side of the McLaren. While Vettel was able to continue with a new front wing, Button's car suffered terminal damage and was out.
"First of all, I'm sorry," Vettel told television reporters. "Obviously it was not my intention to destroy his race or mine.
"I was close, I was faster than him. The moment Robert [Kubica] got close behind, I knew that he could pass us on the straight because we are not the fastest on the straight. I was very close a couple of times, unfortunately never really close enough.
"I tried to out-brake Jenson on the outside. When I changed from the inside to the outside, I lost the car under braking on the bump and then I then I couldn't really control it anymore and unfortunately crashed into him."
Vettel's race went from bad to worse as he received a drive-through penalty for the Button incident, sustained a puncture in a later brush with Tonio Liuzzi's Force India and chose the wrong tires in the final rain shower. Having made five pitstops in the end, he could only finish 15th.
"I think looking back with the rain at the end we could've still managed to get some decent points," Vettel said. "There were some easy points for us to pick up today - at least second or third. But now we have none for today. Let's see what we can do at the next race."
The German said the brush with Liuzzi had been particularly costly, as he had to complete nearly a full lap at reduced speed with a puncture.
"I was already past him and then he destroyed my left rear tire," Vettel said. "I had all the way to come back - it was probably the worst spot for it to happen, and that was it."