Verstappen-Vettel Feud Heats Up After Singapore Grand Prix Crash

Verstappen claims that the championship contender has not apologized for the wreck that retired him and three other drivers.

For the seventh time this season, Red Bull F1’s Max Verstappen couldn’t finish a race on Sunday as a result of the crash that also retired Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso. 

Coming into turn one of the first lap on Sunday, Vettel seemed to squeeze in to secure his line, leading to significant damage on the grid and sending out an almost immediate yellow flag. This was enough to start controversy with Verstappen, who qualified for P2, as it kept him from what may have been his best chance at a Grand Prix victory this season. 

Verstappen expressed his initial frustration after the Singapore GP, saying he didn’t expect such a move from someone who was in a tight contest for the Drivers’ Title.

“If you are fighting for the world championship, you shouldn’t take those risks squeezing someone that much,” Verstappen explained. “You can see what happens. Lewis is leading the race and the three of us are out.”

In the days following Sunday’s race, tension still looms with Verstappen. When asked if Vettel had apologized for the incident, the young Dutchmen said no, quickly following up: “He did say something like, ‘yes, in hindsight things could have been done differently.’ But what’s done is done.”

He then added that if it were Hamilton in Vettel’s shoes, it’d be a “completely different story.” 

Ferrari’s social media page was prompt to suggest that Verstappen had been the root cause of the first lap crash. This was enough to cue in Max’s father and former F1 racer, Jos, on the situation.

“If you look at the images, Raikkonen comes to the right and steers in,” Verstappen senior said. “But if you look at the footage more closely, you can also see that Vettel comes to the left and Max is in between them.”

“He can’t go the left and he can’t go to the right. You can hardly blame Max for any of this,” he said.

The event was reviewed by race stewards afterwards, who eventually deemed it a racing incident. Jos says it’s all a matter of politics given Vettel’s earlier run-in with Lewis Hamilton at Baku. 

“If he gets a penalty now, then I think they would also need to suspend him for a race, so this might but be another political game and deemed a racing incident. But I don’t think that would be fair,” the elder Verstappen said.