The Singapore Grand Prix stewards have cleared Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen of blame for the first-lap collision which led to all three retiring.
The stewards reported they “examined video evidence and heard from Sebastian Vettel, the driver of car five, Kimi Raikkonen, the driver of car seven, Max Verstappen, the driver of car 33 and
the team representatives.”
“[The] driver of car seven had a very good start and was able to attempt overtaking of car 33 on the left-hand side,” noted the stewards.
“At the same time, car five which had a slower start, moved to the left hand side of the track; car 33 and car seven then collided resulting in a chain collision with car 5 and ultimately car 14 (Fernando Alonso) at the next turn. Cars seven, five 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.”
However Max Verstappen said he “doesn’t think it was a racing incident”.
“I think both of the Ferraris misjudged how much space they have to leave on the track,” Verstappen told the media after the race. “I couldn’t move because they started to squeeze me between their tyres so you cannot back out.”
“And then we had the crash. I understand that Kimi was going for a good start and he was going for the inside line. But he started to squeeze me to the right and Sebastian came quite aggressively to the left.”
“I don’t understand, when you’re fighting for the championship and then try to be that aggressive at the start when Lewis [Hamilton] is behind you, quite comfortably, it’s not I think the smartest move to do.”
“At the end of the day I’m happy that three of us retired and it’s not only me.”
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