Two Ferraris squeezing a Red Bull as the field roared off the start line at the Singapore Grand Prix was the defining moment of a race that promised so much but in the end – with the absence of Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel thanks to the incident – turned out to be a street procession.
No doubt the collision will be debated for a long time by fans and the media, but in the end after investigating the collision the FIA stewards on duty at the Marina Bay Circuit have deemed that no one is predominantly to blame:
Raikkonen, Vettel and Verstappen received a summons to the stewards’ offices, and shortly after their visit the officials released the following statement:
“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 the team representatives.”
“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.”
It was a DNF and early shower for all three drivers, but it was Vettel who was most impacted as his title rival Lewis Hamilton who claimed victory at a venue which should not have favoured the Mercedes team.
The Briton only managing to qualify fifth while Vettel started from pole. The German, who led the championship until Monza, is now 28 points adrift of top spot with six rounds remaining.