Singapore GP start crash: F1 fans have their say

The collision at the start of Formula 1's Singapore Grand Prix instantly changed the complexion of the race, and potentially the 2017 world championship

Singapore GP start crash: F1 fans have their say

The incident took Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen out on the spot, as well as the unfortunate Fernando Alonso, while Sebastian Vettel's car was heavily damaged and he crashed out moments later.

Verstappen blamed Vettel, the Ferrari drivers shrugged their shoulders, and the stewards decided to take no action.

F1 fans have been debating the subject at length since the race, and here is a selection of comments from the Autosport Forum:

amedeofelix: I'm not blaming anyone. Seb's move was predictable. However, like I said elsewhere I do have an issue with Max's opinion that it was Seb who needed to look out. I prefer the old style where those NOT going for a title would avoid crashing into those who are. I also think Max should think more about getting to the end of races for his team.

MattK9: It can only be a matter of time before the start line chop is outlawed. As proved yesterday you simply cannot be aware of everyone around you or someone on the far side of the car you are trying to chop up.

I don't want to pick on Vettel but Japan 2011 comes to mind when he ran JB [Jenson Button] off the road on the way down to the first corner. I'm sure there are many other examples as well. It is crowding cars off of the race track and he should have a penalty really. Grosjean got a race ban from Spa 2012 which was a chop across the front of another car. Vettel gets no penalty, again. Does not compute!

Join the debate on the Autosport Forum

fastest: I think Verstappen is at fault here. Not going to be apologetic about it. Max squeezes Kimi in an attempt to cover him off, but he was way too late. This causes for the rear wheels to touch. Only after they touch wheels is Kimi's car angled to the right. This happened because the touch caused for Kimi's right rear to spin slower for a fraction of a second than the left, which made his car steer to the right.

So very poor judgment on behalf of Max to try and cover Kimi off when it was just way too late. Kimi was already beside him. And this contact between Max and Kimi was the cause of everything. Vettel was nowhere near Max at that time, and has nothing to do with the initial collision. Yes it was silly of him to cut to the left so aggressively, but Max would have taken Kimi out anyway. So Vettel basically only screwed himself.

Max had a lot of bad luck this season, but he is also starting to make bonehead mistakes himself now. I'll say this, Max in his rookie year at Toro Rosso was much more mature and clever on track. Always kept his nose clean, especially during starts. This season not so much...

Balnazzard: Look at the direction Vettel was heading... if Max and Kimi hadn't touched each other, it clearly looks to me as Vettel would have collided with Kimi and Verstappen might have just escaped that and taken the lead.

But really had Vettel not made that move, the worst case scenario for him would have been P3 after the first corners behind Kimi and Max... then all he would have needed was to overtake Max during pitstops and then at the end team orders would have come into play to get him to P1.

Tsarwash: Hands up all of us who thought there was going to be some kind of big accident at the first corner? Yep, almost all of us. And again, hands up who thought that it was going to involve Max at some point? Again, a good majority, I suspect.

Maybe this move was Seb's attempt to pre-empt a dangerous, crazy move by Max, but really there was always a strong likelihood of something happening at the first corner and the wise thing to do would be to have made as much space between yourself and the carnage behind as possible, not to squeeze the following cars together to increase the chance of said carnage.

Andy35: I have to say at full speed they have very little time to rationally think about it once the events start to happen.

One thing we can agree with is the cars were very close together. Given the conditions I am surprised Seb was happy to move over right to put pressure on rather than just stay out of trouble and then see how it went. Costly.

Very unfortunate for Alonso after very good first 100m.

cpbell: I'd love to hear what Lauda thinks about this, as, during his driving career, he was known for playing the percentages when in contention for the championship, which Vettel singularly failed to do yesterday.

Gareth: [Vettel] missed seeing where Kimi was, using a wing mirror the size of a mobile phone and with rather large plumes of spray coming up from his and Max's car. A mistake, clearly - but hardly the most egregious one ever. The consequences for that mistake, for both him and the other 3 drivers involved, were way out of proportion to the magnitude of the mistake.

I thought it was pretty unlucky for all involved. Similar to Spain T1 this year, really. Just a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances where you can pretty much understand every driver's decision but it takes a bunch of them out.

CountDooku: It is possible for the accident to be a racing incident and also Vettel's fault. He got enough punishment for crashing himself out and I don't think he deserves a further penalty.

The chop is a very valid start defence technique but a) it must be predictable b) you must have perfect understanding of your surroundings c) you must be aware that you are taking a huge risk d) you must know your opponent and lastly e) you do not take such a massive risk when fighting for the championship!!!

RedBaron: It doesn't particularly bother me, but I am surprised Vettel got no penalty for taking out Raikkonen, Verstappen and Alonso due to an aggressive start move squeeze.

Aggressive moves are fine, I wouldn't want to see them gone. However when as a result of that move you take a number of cars out the race to me it seems you need to be punished, that's the risk you take when you are aggressive. It may cross the line one way or another or it may work wonders for you.

Taking himself out of the race isn't really punishment, that is just a result of his actions. Be lenient on the punishment baring that in mind, but a punishment should still be served. If Vettel had taken Hamilton out too, would his 'self punishment' in terms of being out of the race be sufficient? No, that argument would not stand.

I would like to see in 2018 fair punishments handed out regardless if the driver is in the championship fight.

paulrobs: It was only a matter of time before a brutal chop at the start of a race ended in an accident like this. I'm surprised it hasn't happened before. Vettel was clearly at fault for executing the chop without any regard to any other driver. Most of the time drivers get away with it but not this time.

At a circuit where Ferrari and Vettel in particular needed to maximise their points haul they came away with nothing and 28 points behind with only a maximum of 150 at stake is quite a deficit given the reliability of these cars.

I'm disappointed that the stewards judged it to be a racing incident because they're effectively saying it's OK to chop like this and cause an accident at the start of a race. This cannot and shouldn't be right.

shares
comments
Formula 1 trials 360-degree filming at Singapore Grand Prix

Previous article

Formula 1 trials 360-degree filming at Singapore Grand Prix

Next article

Renault F1 team to give test in 2012 car to GP3 racer Jack Aitken

Renault F1 team to give test in 2012 car to GP3 racer Jack Aitken
Load comments
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021