"No further action" needed after Verstappen's first lap crash in Singapore

Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel congratulate each other after qualifying, but there would be fireworks between the pair 24 hours later
Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel congratulate each other after qualifying, but there would be fireworks between the pair 24 hours later

Max Verstappen suffered yet another first lap elimination after he was squeezed by both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.

Championship contender Vettel, starting on pole, moved over on the Red Bull racer in second place, unaware of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen's excellent start on the other side of Verstappen, leaving the Dutchman nowhere to go as the trio collided.

Ferrari blamed Verstappen, while the teenager pointed the finger at Vettel, but the stewards' investigation afterwards left blame unattached, deeming it a racing incident.

"Driver of car 7 [Räikkönen] had a very good start and was able to attempt overtaking of car 33 [Verstappen] on the left hand side," read a note from the stewards.

"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.

"Cars 7, 5 and 33 had to retire immediately as a result of the incident; 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."

Verstappen was philisophical afterwards, his third first lap elimination of the season and seventh retirement in 12 races, but left the blame squarely in Vettel's court.

“I think it wasn’t the smartest move and you can’t make excuses for it when you are fighting for a world championship. Kimi had a great start and was alongside me very quickly, I didn’t try and defend that as I knew it would be a long race, he then started to squeeze me also, at which point there wasn’t a lot I could do. The rear wheels are wider than the front so I was locked in the sandwich with no way out, even when I braked.

"If I made a mistake myself I would be upset or angry but there was nothing I could do today. We all lost out in the end so we all experienced some pain rather than someone making a mistake and then being able to carry on.

"We have to take the positives from the weekend, we were quick in qualifying and the practice sessions with good potential going into the race, we can hold onto this and move on to the next race.”