It was action from the get-go at the Marina Bay circuit, as Mercedes conceded the upper hand to title rivals Ferrari as Sebastian Vettel secured pole position on the starting grid, while Lewis Hamilton languished down in fifth after the qualifying session on Saturday.
However, fortunes took a drastic turn on Sunday as drama unfolded right from the opening lap, involving both Ferrari's and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The Dutchman got sandwiched in between the Ferrari teammates, incurring damages, while Vettel surprisingly steered left, realising Kimi Raikkonen and Verstappen made a better start.
Raikkonen collided with Vettel, instantly taking him out of the race, alongside Verstappen, who came in contact with McLaren driver Fernando Alonso as well.
With all three cars eliminated, it was only the German left, continuing in his pursuit to catch the pile of cars ahead, only to result in him spinning the car moments later, losing his front wing completely.
Despite the bizarre turn of events, Vettel made a last ditch effort to keep the car running, yet, all his vigorous attempts went in vain and he had to retire on the third lap.
The conversation between the 30-year-old and the team on the team radio has surfaced, revealing what resulted in Vettel deciding to end his race prematurely.
The four-time world champion informed the team that he spun, thereby, sustaining severe damages.
He said: “I spun, lost the car. I think I have damage on the front left.”
Ferrari official replied: “Big damage on the side.”
The final instruction came from the team who told Vettel to stop the car, stating the water pressure as the reason for doing so.
“Stop the car,” the voice on the radio echoed.
Vettel confirmed: “Stop the car! You sure?
“Confirm, I stop the car? Correct?”
“Yes! Stop the car now.” was the answer at the other end.
Vettel apologised for the outcome, saying: “Okay, sorry guys. Sorry, I’m really sorry!”
You can hear the full conversation in the clip below.
The chaos in the front and the end result aided in favour of Hamilton, who won his 60th race in top-flight and took a giant leap in the title challenge.
The Brit leads Vettel by 28 points, currently at 263, while Ferrari have to wait for two more weeks until the Malaysian Grand Prix on October 1, to see if they can close the gap substantially.
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