Ferrari’s bid to reel in Mercedes at the top of the Formula One constructors’ standings has become a whole lot tougher following the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel was forced to start from last position in Sepang after failing to set a qualifying time due to power unit problems with his car on Saturday.
In a double blow for the Italian team, Kimi Raikkonen was unable to start the race at all because of a mechanical failure on the starting grid.
Faced with multiple setbacks, Vettel did remarkably well to fight his way back into contention during a potentially significant afternoon for Ferrari.
However, his efforts went unrewarded with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claiming his second win for 2017 ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo.
Vettel climbed 16 places from the back of the pack to finish fourth – only the fifth time he’s failed to make the podium this year.
But in a bizarre incident, his Malaysian outing somehow went from bad to worse after the chequered flag had been waved.
With the race over and drivers undergoing a warm-down lap, Vettel was cruising behind Williams’ Lance Stroll before the two cars collided in a crash that inflicted serious damage to the Ferrari.
Vettel clipped the rear of his opponent with the impact leaving his car’s rear-left tyre detached and its bodywork a crumpled mess.
Take a look at the incident in the video below.
Vettel then promptly removed the steering wheel from his destroyed Ferrari before hitching a ride back to the pits with Pascal Wehrlein of Sauber.
Speaking about the incident after the race, the 30-year-old said, per Sky Sports: "Stroll completely shunted into my car.
"It's not my fault if someone is picking up rubber and doesn't look where they are going.”
The crash could force Ferrari to make an unscheduled gearbox change, resulting in a five-place grid penalty at the Japanese Grand Prix next weekend.
Do you think Vettel or Stroll was at fault for the collision? Let us know what you think in the comments below.