The first wet Formula One Singapore Grand Prix in history started with a bang. Max Verstappen’s Red Bull car became the filling in a messy Ferrari sandwich at the start of Sunday’s race. Whoever handles Ferrari’s Twitter account tried to place the blame on Max only to get put right in his place by ex-Red Bull F1 driver Mark Webber.
Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen collided with Max Verstappen on the start as he tried to pass the Red Bull around the outside at the very beginning. This sent the front end of Räikkönen’s Ferrari into Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel’s car. Fernando Alonso’s McLaren also got caught up in the mess, the damage from which forced him to retire later in the race a few laps later.
The collision extensively damaged Vettel’s car. Vettel crashed a couple turns after the crash as he was trying to limp his car back to the pits, forcing him to retire from the race along with Verstappen and Räikkönen.
This crash squashed Vettel’s hopes of taking back the drivers’ championship lead from Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton this weekend. Hamilton went on to win the race, stretching his championship lead to 28 points over Vettel.
Stewards took no action for the incident, stating in their report (as republished by NBC Sports):
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.
There’s no doubt that anyone who’s rooting for Vettel would be disappointed by the crash. However, the PR wonk manning Ferrari’s Twitter took it one step further with a ridiculous assignment of blame on the Not Ferrari involved after the race:
Ferrari took these alternative facts to Twitter in response to a comment by Verstappen during the race where he said that Vettel squeezed him over at the start. Verstappen told BBC:
Mainly Sebastian started squeezing me. Maybe he did not see Kimi on the left but that is not an excuse. He shouldn’t take those risks.
However, the sheer ridiculousness of Ferrari’s official Twitter account trying to assign blame in an incident ruled as a routine racing incident didn’t go over well. Giedo van der Garde, an ex-F1 driver best known for Sauber screwing him out of a drive, memed it:
Daily Sportscar’s editor Graham Goodwin, who also provided the race commentary for the World Endurance Championship’s stream of yesterday’s 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas, asked a race official for a second opinion:
But the most entertaining comment came from ex-Red Bull driver Mark Webber, who apparently knew the PR wonk manning Ferrari’s account and called him right out for trying to blame Verstappen:
Webber and Vettel have a long, awkward history going back to the days where they were both at Red Bull, and Webber felt like the team’s number two driver behind Seb. Apparently Webber knows that Ferrari’s F1 Twitter person isn’t all that skilled behind the wheel, too.