The Singapore Grand Prix got off to a dramatic start this weekend as Sebastian Vettel crashed into Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the third corner of the first lap.
It marked the first time ever that Ferrari retired both cars before completing a single lap.
Vettel has been accused of ‘extraordinary recklessness’ by the British press and potentially throwing away the 2017 title after trying to shut of Verstappen in heavy rain and on a wet track.
Red Bull’s Verstappen had no qualms in blaming Vettel too, telling the BBC: “Sebastian started squeezing me. Maybe he did not see Kimi on the left but that is not an excuse; he shouldn’t take those risks.
“Three cars were taken out and I was in the middle not doing anything wrong.”
Ferrari hit back with a tweet blaming Verstappen for the crash, but after investigating the incident, the stewards ruled that no single driver had been predominantly to blame.
Lewis Hamilton had struggled in qualifying and thus started fifth on the grid, but with his rival Vettel out of the picture, he seized the opportunity and was leading within four corners.
Hamilton then went on to record one of his most impressive drives yet, with his 60th F1 victory, finishing ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, while third-place Valtteri Bottas made it a double podium for Mercedes.
The win puts Hamilton on 263 points and extends his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 28 points, ahead of Sebastian Vettel on 235 points and Valtteri (212).
Commenting after his victory, Lewis said the wet conditions worked in his favour and expected a much closer race, pace-wise.
“When I saw that it was raining, I knew that balanced everything out,” he commented. “I love racing in the rain, then everything unfolded in the beginning.”
He admitted that after the crash at the start, the rest of the race “was all about staying focused and not making any mistakes”.
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, added: “Singapore should’ve been Hamilton’s weakest circuit, so leaving with a win and so many points places him in a very enviable and comfortable position.”
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