SINGAPORE – Pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel and his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen both crashed out as the rain-hit Singapore Grand Prix night race got off to a chaotic start on Sunday (Sept 17) night.
Raikkonen ploughed into Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the first corner, taking both cars out of the race and also dealing a heavy hit to Fernando Alonso’s McLaren.
Vettel, who had been looking to reclaim the world championship lead from Lewis Hamilton, spun further ahead and lost his front wing, a crash that also ended his race.
Hamilton avoided the trouble and progressed from fifth on the grid to first, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, as the cars race finally restarted after a safety car.
The floodlit race has never been held in the wet, and Haas driver Romain Grosjean earlier expressed concerns about visibility through spray on the narrow street track.
“I’ve got no idea – and that is the concern I’ve always had with this race,” Romain Grosjean told Autosport.com earlier, when asked if it would be safe to race in the rain.
“With the lights high up, if the spray goes up we may not see much. But let’s see. I don’t know how it is going to work.”