Contact at the first corner of the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix between Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg, sent Rosberg—the other Mercedes battling for a world drivers’ championship—spinning out of the front of the pack.
Rosberg rejoined in 21st position. Vettel’s front suspension was too broken to continue, and he retired his Ferrari from the race. Verstappen, meanwhile, was able to continue on and currently sits in fourth place.
“Sebastian is crazy,” said Verstappen on the broadcast of the incident. “He fucking smashed into Rosberg like an idiot.”
I guess this means Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton is probably going to win, then. To Rosberg’s credit, he’s already clawed his way back up to ninth place, but it’s been disappointingly easy for him to do so.
Either way, if you were hoping for a shake-up at the front of the grid, Vettel won’t be on the podium, but that’s about it.
Rosberg leads the championship by only 8 points over Hamilton, and it’s looking like he’ll lose that lead to Hamilton again today.
UPDATE [3:47 a.m. ET]: The stewards will be investigating Vettel after the race regarding this incident, per Motorsport.com. Rosberg has now climbed up to 5th place. Perhaps I’m too pessimistic about the predictability of F1 in 2016. Or perhaps not. There are 29 laps left. Anything could happen!
POST-RACE UPDATE: HOLY CRAP. Surprise! “Anything could happen” certainly did. As for Vettel, he was given a three-place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix next weekend as well as two penalty points for this incident, reports Motorsport.com.