Fan video shows Verstappen tangling with the Ferraris

2016 Belgian Grand Prix

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A video shot by a fan at the Belgian Grand Prix gives a new angle on the first-lap collision between Max Verstappen and the Ferrari drivers.

All three were delayed in the incident as Kimi Raikkonen was pinched between team mate Sebastian Vettel and Verstappen.

Vettel pinned the blame for the collision on Verstappen, while the Red Bull driver said his rival had left too little room on the inside of the corner.

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said the “probably had the pace for finishing the grand prix with both drivers on the podium” but “the accident at the first corner ruined our race”.

2016 Belgian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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62 comments on “Fan video shows Verstappen tangling with the Ferraris”

  1. Too narrow a gap for MV to stick his nose into. He panicked after losing position and wanted to make it up before turn one.

    1. Something you can’t see from this view but is clear from the regular head on TV camera angle is that after loosing positions to both Ferarris Max had to then cover his inside line from one of the Force Indias. He jinked left to look at the outside line then immediately covered the inside, seeing the FI bearing down.
      Fitting into that inside pocket left by Kimi would have instinctively felt like the right option in order to avoid losing more positions. In my opinion.

      1. Spencer Brandsen
        31st August 2016, 17:53

        Right.

      2. Then again…..he could have defended without sticking his car into a gap that was perilous…..another opinion.

    2. I don’t know, it seems like Hulkenberg and Ricciardo have almost the same line as Verstappen. Through this angle it does seem a bit less like “Vettel’s fault”, but I think Verstappen’s mistake was his horrible start, not the way he positioned himself for the turn. Had he had a better start, he’d have shared that turn with Rosberg instead of the Ferraris.

      1. It’s not anyone’s fault. This is a proper example of a race incident. Vettel does not know Verstappen is on that inside line, so he believes Kimi had space. Kimi can’t go left or right, so get’s hit by Vettel, who spins. Then Kimi bounces to the right and hits Verstappen.

        If Vettel took a wider line, all three would have been trough the first corner without an incident, but he didn’t. Technically, it’s Seb’s fault, but it isn’t. He only see’s Kimi in his mirrors, than the domino effect happened. Max saw a gap that was there, and is not an unusual line (as we see both Hulkenberg and Ricciardo take the same line. It’s logical he took the gap, as otherwise Hulkenberg would have gone there and take another position. It is however a risky move, as it is always when you take the inside line with a wall on your right.

        Both Bulls were slow of the line. Seems that someone did a bad job there, as both Max and Daniel had wheelspin right before the went to 2nd gear.

        1. But you’re implying that Vettel presumed – or rather guessed/hoped – that Kimi probably had space for Vettel to be able to turn in more and effectively push him right/into the corner more. Meanwhile Verstappen guessed/hoped the opposite. So basically Vettel and Verstappen both took a risk that backfired. MV I can understand, he’s still impetuous and was fired up by the crowd. I’m less clear why Vettel wasn’t more careful.

          1. I fault MV more. Vettel clearly expected Kimi to take the same line on the inside as ROS had done in front of him and have at least the inside wheels on the curb. There is no way any driver would have expected someone to stick their nose inside once Kimi was ahead and had the line going into the turn.

            Max got too aggressive and frankly foolish and spoiled the race for all three of them. You simply can’t panic on the first corner and he’s going to keep doing things like this until he gets a penalty like Grosjean got a few years ago.

            Of course, they love Max so much that they may let the rules “bend” to accommodate his style of driving the way they did for Schumacher in the early days….and hence why he became such a dirty driver. Max is headed down that path.

    3. Too narrow a gap to stick his nose in ?

      When Verstappen went aside of Raikkonen they were in the middle of the track.
      They were side by side for 2 full seconds before they arrived at the apex.

      Kimi proceeded to squeeze Max to the edge and over the kerb.
      In the vid you can see Kimi is actually touching the kerb too.
      When they touch Vettel is already spinning away after his impact with Kimi.

      If it was too narrow it was because Kimi made it too narrow.
      Max would have driven a wider line if he weren’t squeezed in.

      1. @Bart

        ‘they were side by side for 2 full seconds BEFORE they arrived at the apex’

        MV should know that the gap would close up as its a right turn. He was almost completely off track. That move will never fly unless he was marginally in front of KR.

        It’s only right for KR to squeeze him as he is on the racing line and for MV to back off. You have to realize that KR was aware that he was about to be squeezed by SV too. I see it as a racing incident that MV could have avoided all together.

        1. You should watch the incident from the camera view opposite to the start grid. Then you can see how the cars move before the corner.
          Vettel is on the left and Raikkonen is moving towards him when Verstappen crosses behind.
          Wen Max moves up aside Kimi notices and moves back in.
          Vettel stays out on the left, so the gap between him and Kimi builds.
          Kimi squeezes Max completely on the kerb.
          Vettel takes the wide line and aims for the apex…

          To repeat myself: Max was not off track by his own choice. Kimi forced him off.

          1. Exactly, KR fended him off as he should. It’s called defending. I don’t know why MV thought KR would leave the door open.

            MV defended the same why when he saw one of the FI charging on the inside. He swerved to the right to cover that gap and continued into oblivion. You don’t win races with mentality like that. Race smart and hard.

          2. Well like u guys want to defend Ves then go for it but how dare u point a finger on Kimi… Just look the video where was Ves going oh might be he returned to pitlane otherwise there wasn’t any room.. Ves was completely on off line Where then he still went.. This Kid is not even qualifiy for PlayStation irritating one like Maldonado

          3. @Bart, Kimi didn’t force anyone off, he had a better start then Max, was ahead of him into the braking zone of the first corner, but Max broke WAY too late to dive into a corner that was lost to him already.

      2. Yep, it was too narrow.

        Yep, kimi made it too narrow.

        BUT

        As we learned later in the race that’s how max prefers it to be.

    4. yes, Max got mad and wanted the place back at the first corner; poor decision on his part; worst judgment from Seb though; he had all that space but still turn in, especially since it was Kimi there; Max helped set the conditions but it was Seb that caused it.

      P.S. Big Seb fan here since the Malaysian 2013 GP.

      1. After reading a lot about it, and rewatching it today I competely agree with you. And I also like Seb, so… He should have been more careful since it was first corner, his teammate, an aggressive young gone behind probably just trying to make up for the bad start (ok maybe that last point is too much to think about while in the car.. ;)

        Whatever, in the end it was a racing incident. One of the things that happen in a first corner.

        1. *young gun*

          1. *entitlement*

      2. Vettel didn’t cause anything, he drove around the outside of a car leaving room… that is what normal race car drivers do. if there was an onboard from Vettel you would realise that, every other driver on the grid would have done the same. it was a racing incident, with Max more to blame as he was attacking at an acute angle for a sharp turn, a pass was never really on.

        1. I completely agree. It was a racing incident with Max more to blame trying to stick his nose in where the angles wouldn’t allow it.

    5. Verstappen is a hot headed little so and so and his move on Kimi down the straight was bang out of order! He also should not have been down the inside on the run to turn 1 – HOWEVER – I believe that the turn 1 incident was Vettel’s fault.

      He has a habit of turning into the apex of corners and cutting across other cars. Just look at Brazil 2012 where Senna was completely unfairly blamed for their collision, but it was Vettel’s fault entirely! He cut across the apex of the corner with zero regard for the car already there.

      The turn one incident at Spa was a mirror of this. Vettel’s fault – pretty plain and simple if you ask me.

    6. I don’t think you can make any reasonable judgement on a video after the the corner. The move could have been perfect and that angle still wouldn’t flatter it. I don’t think this adds anything to the existing footage.

    7. Seb tried to close the door to Max. Max just “saw” the opening. When Seb saw that Max was lunging into a lose-lose situation, he jerked out to his left and there was Kimi….
      That is what I saw. I think Max just had a banzai moment and Kimi closed the outisde on Seb. Seb was the “Ham” of the sandwich

    8. Seriously, how do people still keep saying this? Look at a replay of the start and notice that just about the whole field goes through that corner three abreast.

      The only difference is Vettel cutting off Raikkonen, while all the drivers behind them give each other proper space.

  2. I’m struggling with this one… let’s ignore what happened with Verstappen and Raikkonen earlier in the race, because clearly that’s a different debate!

    Here, Vettel very clearly makes contact with Raikkonen before Verstappen makes contact with Raikkonen. I agree that it was careless of Verstappen to position his car that tightly to the inside and the collision was inevitable, but Vettel seems to have escaped almost blameless when his actions ensured both Ferrari’s were compromised rather than only Raikkonen. Vettel cost Vettel a podium, not Verstappen.

    1. …first paragraph should read “between Verstappen and Raikkonen ‘later’ in the race”, not earlier!

    2. I believe the Vettel-Raikkonen clash was caused by Raikkonen unable to turn properly because there was a car on his inside that shouldn’t have been there. Raikkonen was inches to the white line, yet had a car on the inside. This meant he had to go wider than Vettel anticipated.

      I’d say the corner 1 incident is not something Verstappen should be penalised by, but the crash happened because of his dive. Had he not been there, but instead behind Kimi, then everyone would have made it through nicely. Lack of experienced caused his bad judgement. Nothing else. It can happen.

      Like you said, let’s ignore what happened with Verstappen and Raikkonen later because that is another debate =)

      1. I thought Vettel just turned in to Kimi, as Kimi was already alongside Seb.
        Agree that Vettel has got away blameless

      2. @chrischrill “I believe the Vettel-Raikkonen clash was caused by Raikkonen unable to turn properly because there was a car on his inside that shouldn’t have been there. Raikkonen was inches to the white line, yet had a car on the inside. This meant he had to go wider than Vettel anticipated.”

        exactly! the only reason max was in there as well was because of way too late breaking. It was a desperate dive after his messed up the start. He wasn’t even close to beside Kimi when braking should have started. Vettel didn’t see max because he expected he was far enough back that he wouldn’t make a desperate dive so late into the corner. We know what happened next

        1. Max didn’t dive and brake too late – his front wheels didn’t lock up, he was under full control and he didn’t hit RAI, it was RAI who was pushed into Max, so he had every right to be where he was. Kimi could’ve closed the door earlier, and he would have stayed behind – he didn’t so he had to give him space. Vettel thought he owned the right to cut in towards the apex, but as it is first corner, there is many cars, and they can’t back of. If Vettel had kept the same distance to the inside line through the corner none of them would have made contact and we would have had a fine battle at the front. But many drivers cut in way too much in the first corner, as if they only have one competitor, who must then back-off, but in turn one, lap one, that isn’t the case, never was.

          1. Max was last one in = no rights.

    3. The blame lies pretty evenly between Vettel and Verstappen imo. Vettel took a risk in squeezing Raikkonen, Verstappen took a risk squeezing down the inside of Raikkonen. Vettel doesn’t have X-Ray vision so he can’t have seen Verstappen coming out from behind Raikkonen. If one or the other had happened then they would have gotten away with it easily, so you can’t say one is more guilty than the other, or that they deserved a penalty.

      As for why Vettel was squeezing his teammate, I think he was just worried about how strong Kimi is at Spa, so he got his elbows out early.

    4. Indeed @ben-n, it’s quite possible that Vettel would have hit Kimi even if Verstappen would not have been on the inside of Kimi (even if we accept that he really did not see either of them?). I think Vettel just left too little room, when he knows from experience that it could well be too little here.

  3. aside from the crash, I have to say that the cars sound so much better live! and you can easily tell which car is going past just by listening to the sound, they vary more than is audible on tv. When vettel gets going at the end of the video, his pu is very distinct and you can hear some more deeper notes which you don’t get on tv. perhaps this is because the tv footage is usually overridden by commentary.

    the cars sound awesome nonetheless!

    1. Also because the microphones dynamic range is inadequate and the speakers for the TV often is lousy. The very deep tones from a race is felt through the body together with the pressure wave as the cars pass by, and this is also beyond the TV experience.

  4. ColdFly F1 (@)
    31st August 2016, 11:37

    Difficult to see from this angle – I’d still say ‘racing incident’.

  5. I can understand why Verstappen went for the gap, but it was always going to be a risky move. It’s the kind of move that maybe comes off 50% of the time but if it compromises or ends your race the other 50% then it’s usually not worth it. Those kind of decisions will improve with experience. I would put slightly more blame on Vettel because he could have taken a wider line, he just didn’t realise Verstappen was on the inside causing Kimi to take a wider line. With his experience I would have expected him to leave a bit of a margin there though. The one thing I’m sure is that I’m glad the stewards didn’t get involved because it was definitely a racing incident – no driver was intentionally reckless it was just a slight misreading of the situation on Vettel’s part imo.

    1. This is how I saw it with 3 cars involved, Vettel was not aware that Verstappen was tight to Raikonnen on the inside line. It looked like Vettel chopped in on Raikonnen to get the better exit from the corner expecting Kimi to jink right, unfortunately Kimi had nowhere to go. Verstappen (with more experience) should have seen this from the inside and backed out marginally to avoid the tangle.

      Verstappens late manoeuvres are a separate matter entirely and quite rightly earning the ire of the rest of the grid. I hope he continues to learn and develop as this will cause a serious crash from a collision into the rear of his car in the future.

  6. The only one blameless here is Raikkonen.

    1. Indeed even though he had a scrappy tangle with Grosjean later on!

  7. This.
    Kimi left enough room for Verstappen, they would have turned alongside each other without touch or with the slightest of touches. But Vettel just turned into Rai, and the contact pushed Kimi’s car into the Red Bulls path.

  8. I think this was clearly Vettel’s fault. But I recall Verstappen telling Buxton that he didn’t plan to pass Rosberg at La Source, but rather into Les Combs, so he could delight the greatest number of his fans. That was just the first item of big talk Verstappen could not back up this weekend.

  9. I think the first turn contact was just a racing incident. Let me explain.

    First of all when driving on a race track with more than one car near you you need to have spatial awareness and ability to predict where the other cars are and where are they going. This means that in some cases you don’t need to see a car to know he is there. In some other cases you saw a car going somewhere but you don’t know for sure. This is situations like non-drs passing attempts where the car behind you slipstreams and then goes for the inside or outside.

    This means you can only plan your own driving based on what your prediction was. Sometimes you may get more cars going into same space of road than you thought. This is the important bit why I think it is a racing incident.

    Let’s look at the T1 incident from the viewpoints of rai, vet and ver. First is verstappen. He gets a poor start and is overtaken by vettel. So verstappen is now following raikkonen. It looks like rosberg brakes a little bit early. Or it could be that rosberg brakes nomally but that still bunches up the cars behind him. Raikkonen leaves space to rosberg which makes him slow into turn 1. This also leaves space for verstappen.

    Verstappen goes into the corner and is able to get next to raikkonen and can hold his line without going wide. As verstappen arrives at the corner he goes deep into the apex but due to the high kerb his car bottoms out and it looks like understeer. It is just just his front tires losing ground contact for fraction of second. But even then he looks like he can make the corner.

    So what did verstappen saw? What would be his prediction? He can see all four cars ahead of him and has an idea what is going on behind him. Behind him he has a force india looking for overtaking using the inside line. Verstappen moves in to defend against this. So at this point his line into t1 is decided. There is no more time to change lines anymore. Next he sees a gap inside of raikkonen. What he also knows is that it will make it 3 cars wide going into turn 1. It is a risk but it’s been done many times. In such cases being on the inside is the safest bet. If you are on the outside or middle you need to brake into the corner without running wide. And hope that nobody doesn’t run wide and hit you. When you are on the inside you just need to make sure YOU don’t run wide. If the car in the middle comes down you hard you are more likely to survive it than him.

    From verstappen’s pov it was a good move. He defended against the force india despite his own poor start. He found a gap where he could brake later and go for overtake. Verstappen probably knew he did not have the power to challenger the ferraris on the next long straight. And against two ferraris it could be very difficult indeed.

    So what about raikkonen then? He is probably the most clear case out of the three. Gets a good start, brakes early and loses his clear 2nd position making it a 3 wide situation into turn 1. With rai in the middle. Rai can see verstappen well but vettel is in his blindspot. However he can predict that vettel is somewhere close to him to his left. If vettel is behind rai he could see vet in his mirrors. When turning into the corner rai see vettel. Rai has a good idea where all the cars are around him. Rai goes deep inside but leaves enough space for verstappen. I think good bit of driving here too. And just like verstappen he can see all the cars he is racing against.

    But vettel doesn’t see verstappen. When vettel turns into the corner he thinks it is rai on the inside and him on the outside. From this perspective vettel’s move is solid. He has more momentum than rai so he would win the acceleration contest out of t1. He would also have better line for the eau rouge. But what he doesn’t know that it is 3 wide instead of 2 wide. When he arrives into the corner he is ahead of rai and verstappen. Not much, just a half of car length. When you want to make such pass outside you want still go as deep into the corner as possible. This allows you to drive the corner in the fastest way. So he goes deep but he predicts the available space wrong.

    Had it been just rai there vettel would have been fine. Same with rai. By fine I mean no collision. Rai’s line would have compromised him for the next straight. But instead vettel goes too deep and has contact with rai. Rai then has contact with verstappen. Because vettel was so far ahead the collision to his rear tire spins him out. If vettel hadn’t been so much ahead and the collision was to his sidepod instead of rear tire the collision might have allowed vettel still to come on top of that situation.

    But the way I see it all three drivers did well using what information they had of the positions of the other cars. Individually none of them did anything wrong or dangerous. However all of them chose actions which this time lead to unavoidable incident which I think is nobody’s fault. Making it 3 wide into turn 1 is not the safest option but it is also not wrong. None of the drivers knowingly made it a 3 wide situation though. Rai thought it was just him and verstappen. Vers thought the same. Vettel thought it was him vs rai. Without spotters it is impossible for each of them to see the other cars because the cars were in each other’s blind spots.

    The situation might have been preventable. But in each driver’s case it would have meant they had to back away from a move that from their pov looks fine.

    1. Nice piece. And I totally agree. All of them made a move, that based on their own knowledge would have been plausible.

      Based on experience I think Vettel should have been wiser (why make a sharp turn to your own teammate – he had the momentum, and also with a line that would have beenlittle wider, he would still be the winner at Eau Rouge).

      And Max perhaps needs a little anger management. – based on his driving later on and his comments after the race (I don’t mean this negative. He is young, but if he learns to control this better, he would grow as a person and as a driver).

      Kimi doesn’t have much luck this season. He was many times on the wrong place, at the wrong moment…

    2. Watch the whole replay of the start.

      Hulkenberg follows right behind and he is also completely over the kerb. Behind him is Ricciardo on the inside of both Williams cars and then Sainz or Kvyat goes over the kerbs with Hamilton and Alonso alongside. All of them make it throuhg turn one without hitting each other because the driver on the outside leaves enough space.

      The only difference is Vettel squeezing Kimi which leads to the crash.

      Three cars going alongside into that corner is a perfectly normal phenomenon in that firs turn.

  10. It seems to me it was one of those things. Some other angles show clearly that Vettel had basically passed Kimi already and didn’t know his team mate needed more space to make the curve. When they touch, the German is already more than half a car’s length ahead, so even in the short space of time, it should have been Kimi’s job to avoid contact, which he couldn’t – and Seb didn’t know that. So Seb’s move did iniciate the crashing, but it only came to it because Verstappen was where he wasn’t supposed to be – a much too risky place to be at such a curve.
    So I would put the main blame on VES, then some on VET, and a little bit on RAI too for closing the door on VES.

  11. Vettel seemed to have spun out.

  12. I think that despite Raikkonen being blameless for the contacts he had more than his share by not covering the inside line. He is completely surprised by Verstappen on his right as he moved left and had he better positioned himself nothing of this would have happened.

    1. Yes, but if Max had had a good start he would have been in front of both Kimi and Vettel, so…
      We can analyse further and further back why it went wrong, but in the end Vettel rammed Kimi, assuming he would stay much closer to the apex…

  13. I’m a die hard Lewis fan, so this discussion does not involve ‘my hero’. But, in the interests of objectivity I think it is helpful to discount all this ageism stuff. Lewis was a ‘young gun’,huh? What about Schumacher, now there were some extremely questionable moves – even when he had been around many years. This was, as far as I can interpret with my old eyes (ageism again?) a racing incident. It happens.It’s F1. But to imply that any one of these guys is not qualified to be there seems, at a minimum, somewhat presumptuous. As for Kimi’s comment about causing an accident,that may certainly apply to the later incident but has more to do with F1 driver aggressiveness than age. In his last couple of seasons Schumacher did some pretty hairy stuff!

  14. I’m very surprised this is still being debated, it’s clearly a racing incident. As it usually is when three cars are in the same corner. The car in the middle never has anywhere to go. Of the two cars on the sides, well the furthest one back, might have a chance of seeing the third car, but usually not. So if you’re going to apply blame, it has to go to the furthest car back in my opinion, though in this case I would call it a racing incident.

  15. This may be the dumbest question ever to be asked on this site but has F1 ever used spotters as NASCAR does? I know the tracks are huge but with the monitors right in front of their faces have team officials ever tried? Just wondering.

    1. Something that just came to mind after my post, perhaps the cars are to fast and alot of overtakes are made at the last second.

  16. I’m slightly baffled that people don’t get that Max is your typical teenager. Petulant and self-absorbed, he’s always right. :) I think maybe we’re seeing the effects of him not going through the time-honored racing progression to F1. He seems to lack respect for those who’ve gone before him – not to mention those who are trying to get around him! LOL

    1. It is worth noting that the admirable qualities you mention are most certainly not exclusive to teens and can be, thankfully, found in so many in society.It is, after all, the ‘selfie’ age of humanity. As for typical, yeah, sure, I know hundreds of teens that drive in F1. duh! :-)

  17. Again, everyone leaving Vettel out. Verstappen and Vettel are equaly to blame for this. Vettel had an acre of room to play with as he was on the outside, i think he was naive in thinking he could have a nice easy line in to turn 1 at spa! never happens!

  18. He simply did a Kvyat… same thing happend before with Red Bull + two Ferraris.

    Slam dunk racing incident, but its a bad move since it lead to him without points.

  19. Seems to be a fair bit of reluctance to criticise Verstappen for what is fast-becoming a dangerous driving and defending style on the grid. Even the stewards will see no wrong – that kid is dangerous and needs reining in, otherwise he will create lots of literal grief one day.
    There are drivers on the grid who would be penalised for even attempting half of what MV gets away with.

  20. we need to go back to v8 or v10 engines man… these cars sound like crying… :(

  21. Fact remains that all of Rosberg, Räikkönen and Ericsson have done what Verstappen did – stick their nose in where it did not belong – and been penalised for causing an avoidable accident. Not so Verstappen.

  22. A bit offtopic, but what is it with al these umbrellas and parasols on the grandstand?? They block the view completely. It’s the start of the race, 1st corner, and the view is blocked.
    Insane…

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