By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
An opening lap collision in the Singapore Grand Prix brought an unexpectedly early end to the Ferrari pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel started on pole on a wet grid as a consistent light rain came into play, and jumped slightly ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, who started alongside in second. However, while trying to set up his entry to Turn 1, his Ferrari teammate got a stellar launch from third and was challenging to two lead cars.
The lack of room brought a collision between the left front of Verstappen’s car to the right rear of Raikkonen, sending the two into the polesitter, with Fernando Alonso also ending up as part of the collision.
Three of the four drivers would retire on Lap 1 from the incident, with Alonso battling to Lap 8 until enduring another woeful DNF (did not finish).
For his part, Vettel still sits second in the championship, but now 28 points behind leader and race winner Lewis Hamilton.
“I had an average start and then I moved slightly to the left trying to defend my position from Max,” said Vettel,30.
“Then I got bumped on one side as Kimi’s car hit me. I’m not sure what happened. I spun at Turn 3, but that’s because the car was damaged already. Today we were on the wrong side of the track, which doesn’t help. But there is nothing we can do now and for sure it is bitter, and it’s a pity we couldn’t show our pace today; but we have other races ahead of us and I am sure there will be more opportunities for us.”
Never one to mince words, Raikkonen believes that the outcome was nothing he could have prevented.
“At the start I had a very good jump, then I got hit; that was the end of our race,” said Raikkonen, 37.
“I don’t think I could have really done anything differently to avoid it, apart from doing a bad start and not being there. It’s a pity, one of those things you pay a big price for. Whatever the cause or the issue, it doesn’t change the end result unfortunately.
“We go to the next races ready to fight and do our best.”