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No further action following first lap clash

NEWS STORY
17/09/2017

Race stewards in Singapore have declared that no further action needs be taken following the first lap crash in today's Grand Prix which saw Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen eliminated just seconds into the race, and which may have decided the outcome of the 2017 title fight.

The Ferraris appeared to carry out a pincer movement on Verstappen heading towards the first corner, with Raikkonen hitting the Red Bull and then his Ferrari teammate.

The Finn and Dutch driver clashed again in the first corner, by now both passengers in their cars, and taking out a hapless Fernando Alonso in the process.

Meanwhile, Vettel, who had been hit at the side and rear by his teammate was to spin on fluids deposited on the track from his own car, many observers claiming that it was the four-time world championship who instigated the entire incident.

However, after viewing the relevant video evidence and spoken to all concerned, the stewards deemed that no further action was necessary.

"Driver of Car 7 (Raikkonen) had a very good start and was able to attempt overtaking on Car 33 (Verstappen) on the left hand side," the said in a statement.

"At the same time, Car 5 (Vettel), 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 (Alonso) at the next turn.

"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."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Singapore, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Trixi, 20/09/2017 15:17

"As long as there are different stewards for each race, there will never be consistency in the rules of each and every race. "

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by mickl, 18/09/2017 16:34

"The thing is would any driver apologise to his team straight away if they hadn't realised what they'd caused instead of the usual effing and blinding on the radio about the other driver."

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3. Posted by Mad Matt, 18/09/2017 8:54

"I think that's in part my point... others have done this cutting off manoeuvre and escaped punishment while at other times it is punished. Personally I don't think it shouldn't be allowed. The car ahead taking its normal racing line or a car moving over while another card isn't yet alongside are one thing but cutting of someone who has got half their car alongside you is another.

For Steve: The other part of my point wasn't to blame Max but to point our that it all happened very quickly. Seb should have known Max was there but in a split second glance is unlikely to have known Kimi was inside Max. Max only had a small chance to re-act but I think he may have known Kimi was there (I believe he probably would have heard him even if he hadn't seen him) and therefore been able to guess what was going to happen. Your footage makes me think Max had less chance than I first thought..... On the other other hand Seb may have simply misjudged how fast Max was coming but unfortunately previous incidents with Seb leave me doubting I can rely on his explanations.....

I'd like to have more consistent rulings and have the guidance published so we as fans know what to expect too.


"

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4. Posted by Spartacus, 17/09/2017 22:30

"It seems Roope and Mad Mat have the most accurate analysis of the Singapore 1st lap incident. It was clear that VER moved over to avoid but I believe Max should have held his line. If he had done that VET would be under major scrutiny for the blocking maneuver, and it looks like they (VET / VER) would have collided. It is interesting that we use to see M Schumacher perform this cut down in front of the next car swerve almost every race but now people are blaming Vettel for this exact move. The wet conditions should warrant a more conservative start but VET is now behind in points and HAM has a nice cushion. Hopefully Ferrari is able to overcome this but it will be now very difficult to the seasons end."

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5. Posted by Stitch431, 17/09/2017 21:09

"This was, as also Niki Lauda saw it, totally Sebastian Vettel's fault. He just pushed Max to the left and Max could not go anywhere with Kimi on the right side. Teh FIARARI, as was to be expected, saw it otherwise. Ask Grosjean, he was punished with a race ban for the same "mistake". The problem is that rules are not the same for everyone..."

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6. Posted by CB120, 17/09/2017 20:50

"@Mad Matt I guess that if Verstappen was farther back on the grid he could have recognized a closing gap and avoided it, but he was at the front with only Vettel in front of him. The stewards said that Vettel had a poor start therefore Verstappen would have been thinking of going for the lead. Contact with Raikkonen came at about the 5 second mark of the race. Raikkonen was alongside for a fraction of a second before contact. I don't know how he could recognize a potential "closing gap" situation and be able to back out of it, while hoping no-one hits you from behind. Please take a look at the part of the video from Verstappen's car. Do you think he had time to fully recognize the situation and avoid it?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi-qitmfvlI

All the best.

Steve"

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7. Posted by Mad Matt, 17/09/2017 19:11

"@CB120
One of the things I learned over many years of very amateurish racing is that you can lose the race at the start and that you have to think ahead to what's about to happen. So, I wouldn't accelerate into a closing gap, it was obvious what was going to happen, whoever was at fault.

On the other hand I'm not a steward and I haven't seen the data so perhaps he did back out the best he could. It didn't look like that on the coverage I saw but as I say, I haven't seen the data."

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8. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 17/09/2017 18:57

"We were robbed of the spectacle of Useless Alonso in front, leading Wunderkind Hamilton. In qualifying, Wunderkind lost about as many grid places as Useless gained. By the first corner, Useless was ahead of Wunderkind, and would have been leading had he not been taken out..."

Rating: Negative (-9)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

9. Posted by Trixi, 17/09/2017 18:56

"I am glad the stewards made it a racing incident. I am tired of them constantly giving blame for every little thing. Little Jeff Gordon saying they should have spotters was the joke of the day. The fact we are getting those ridiculous halos is bad enough. What happened to racing? Aggressive...or assertive...hmmmm."

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10. Posted by VC10-1103, 17/09/2017 18:32

"Vettel should be thinking the long game now and just making sure he is finishing ahead of Hamilton in each race. He would have probably got past Max during the race anyway."

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11. Posted by CB120, 17/09/2017 18:14

"The more I look at it the more I can live with the stewards' decision. I wonder, however, how Vettel would have reacted if he was in Verstappen's position and Verstappen in his. I would bet that he would be livid about the youngster's mistake. The saddest part of this seems to Ferrari's explanation which put all the blame on Verstappen. That is just ludicrous and amateurish. It's not fitting for the senior F1 team. I can understand them trying to protect their drivers but find another way to do it,
@Mad Matt "One could equally say that Max shouldn't have accelerated into a closing gap." I'm sorry but when you're on the front row of the grid aren't you supposed to accelerate away? Indeed I believe that Verstappen stated that when he did realize what was happening he did try to back off."

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12. Posted by Roope, 17/09/2017 18:12

"The decision of the stewards is nothing short of ridiculous. How many first corner crashes, or knocking his team mate off the track does he have to make before being punished? Yes he is a championship contender. So what? The rules are applicable to all. Had that move by Vettel cutting across the track been done by a rookie the penalty would have been a race suspension. Have we already forgot what crash Grosjean caused at Spa a few years ago? And what about Vettels aggressiveness in Spa in 2016 causing Kimi and Max to collide in the first corner.

The fact is, Vettel got a bad start in Singapore and realized that Max was about to overtake him so he decided to block Max. The problem was, Vettel was not fully ahead of Max, which instead of blocking him resulted in sqeezing him between him and Kimi. Kimi got a fantastic start and war driving straight ahead on the left side of the track passing Max, when Vettel's ridiculous and totally irresponsible cutting across the track pinched Max between the Ferraris and even though Max tried to "break" himself out of the situation hit Kimi's right rear wheel sending him to spin into the side of Vettel and against the wall etc.

Sebastian was simply (again) too aggressive and made a very dangerous move immediately at the start with the whole field of the grid behind him. The outcome could have been a lot worse with people being injured. It is cowardly of Sebastian not to openly take full blame of what his aggressiveness (again) caused. Although in the team radio he apologized to his team! Shame on the stewards of the race and Vettel."

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13. Posted by Trixi, 17/09/2017 18:07

"Hey Jet Jockey...or better yet, Ferrari hater...I have seen plenty of drivers on pole take advantage of their situation and turn to avoid someone taking advantage of their second position. Of course, it seems that it isn't allowed by Vettel, in your blinded view. I suppose you think he should have pulled over and let everyone pass, and then gotten on with the race...."

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14. Posted by Mad Matt, 17/09/2017 17:46

"Yes I think Vettel shouldn't have moved over but it wasn't exactly a swerve. One could equally say that Max shouldn't have accelerated into a closing gap.

The only one who didn't appear to have anywhere to go was Kimi who looked like he was right at the track edge.

In the end the only winner was Lewis....

As for the safety cars, they looked justified to me. With one of them there was a car facing the wrong way on a narrow part of the track. It needed stewards and machinery on the track to recover it so a VSC wasn't an option in my opinion."

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15. Posted by Dajomas, 17/09/2017 17:39

"(MAF)FIA(T)"

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