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29 Oct 2017

Mexican GP: Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton collide on first lap

Championship rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton collided on the first lap of the Mexican GP in a chaotic start to the race.
Hamilton was punctured when he was hit from behind by Vettel's Ferrari.

"Did he hit me deliberately?" the Mercedes driver asked over team radio.

It is the latest clash between a pair who have courted on-track controversy for much of the season.

Vettel, needing to outscore the championship leader by 17 points to keep his title hopes alive, started on the front row but was quickly fending off Max Verstappen and Hamilton into Turn One.

After being passed by the Red Bull and the Mercedes on the exit of second corner, Vettel ran into the back of Hamilton's car with the impact puncturing the Englishman's rear right tyre.

Hamilton quickly dropping back was the ideal start for Ferrari, but Vettel's car also sustained heavy damage with carbon fibre flying off the SF70-H.

Hamilton then asked his Mercedes team if the move from Vettel was deliberate, four months after the pair's last coming together at the Azerbaijan GP.
The stewards decided that no investigation was necessary.

The drivers dropped back to 20th and 18th in the field respectively after their forced early pitstops, but while Hamilton can claim a fourth title by finishing fifth or just by scoring points, Vettel needs to make it back up to second at the very least.

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