No further action will be taken after Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen came together at turn one of the Singapore Grand Prix Sunday.While television pundits, journalists and fans were none too slow in pointing the blame squarely at Vettel, the race stewards declared that the melee was simply a racing incident and an unfortunate product of grid starts.
“The Stewards examined video evidence and heard from Sebastian Vettel, the driver of Car 5, Kimi Raikkonen, the driver of Car 7, Max Verstappen, the driver of Car 33 and team representatives,” read the official FIA notes from the stewards meeting.
“Driver of Car 7 had a very good start and was able to attempt overtaking of Car 33 on the left-hand side. At the same time, Car 5 which had a slower start, moved to the left-hand side of the track Car 33 and Car 7 then collided resulting in a chain collision with Car 5 and ultimately Car 14 Fernando Alonso at the next turn. Cars 7, 5 and 33 had to retire immediately as a result of the incident and Car 14 retired some laps thereafter.
“The Stewards consider that no driver was found to have been wholly or predominantly to blame for the incident and will therefore take no further action.”
The crash saw Ferrari lose both cars from a Grand Prix on lap one for the first time in their Formula 1 history – an astounding statistic when you consider that they have been a permanent fixture in the paddock from day one.
Initially only reacting to the crash via twitter – blaming Red Bull’s Verstappen in a tweet which was later backed up as “a factual description of events” – Ferrari released the following statement after receiving the stewards’ decision.
“The worst possible result, even harder to swallow because the fact that Sebastian Vettel took pole on Saturday with Kimi Raikkonen on the second row, clearly demonstrated Scuderia Ferrari’s potential on the tricky Marina Bay circuit.
“Sadly, it all came to an end on the run down to the first corner, when Seb, on the right-hand side of the track, was ahead of Max Verstappen, with Kimi coming alongside the Red Bull driver on his left. It led to a multiple collision that left all three of them on foot and out of the race.
“Later that evening, the Race Stewards ruled that no one driver was to blame and therefore no one was penalized. But it means that, for the first time this season, Scuderia Ferrari has left a race having failed to score any points. Now, the team needs to react, making the most of every opportunity presented in the remaining six rounds. That fight back will begin in Malaysia in a fortnight’s time.
Ferrari are now trailing Mercedes by 102 points in the constructor’s championship while Vettel is now 28 points behind race winner Lewis Hamilton with six rounds of the 2017 season remaining.
By Sam Hall
Formula 1, Racing
All information and images provided by http://autoweek.com/article/formula-one/f1-officials-declare-opening-lap-crash-singapore-racing-incident