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Stewards decide no penalties warranted over first corner crash

Race stewards reviewed the accident at the start of the Singapore Grand Prix
© XPB 

Race stewards at the Singapore Grand Prix have decided to take no further action over the accident at the start of Sunday's race.

The stewards spoke to Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, and to Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, to see if there was anyone to blame for the crash.

The stewards also had access to data telemetry from the teams involved. They were also able to review all video footage of the start of the race. Ultimately they decided it was a racing incident with no one person mainly to blame.

The accident happened when the two Ferraris pincered Verstappen at the start. They went into the first corner three-wide. Contact then took out both Verstappen and Raikkonen on the spot.

Raikkonen hit his team mate as he crashed out. Vettel limped on for two more corners before spinning and being forced to retire with heavy damage. The incident triggered the first of three safety cars during the race.

Fernando Alonso was also caught up in the accident. He was forced to park his badly damaged McLaren nine laps into the race.

"The stewards examined video evidence and heard from Sebastian Vettel, the driver of car 5, Kimi Raikkonen, the driver of car 7, Max Verstappen, the driver of car 33 and the team representatives," the FIA reported.

"Driver of car 7 had a very good start and was able to attempt overtaking on car 33 on the left-hand side.

"At the same time, car 5, 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 (Fernando 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."

The decision will not go down well at Ferrari. Shortly after the accident, the team tweeted that Verstappen had "taken out" Raikkonen.

"What we tweeted was a factual description of events," the team said later, after the stewards ruling was announced. "No need to speculate on this."

"Whatever the cause or issue was, it doesn't change the end result unfortunately," added Raikkonen.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner defended his driver after the accident.

"Sebastian comes quite aggressively left, Kimi goes to the right," he explained. "Max can't disappear. He held a straight line and just desperately unlucky to be collected like that."

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