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Vettel, Verstappen, Raikkonen move on from Singapore F1 clash

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Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen may have come to blows off the Formula 1 start-line in Singapore two weeks ago, but the trio had little more to say about the clash ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

Vettel saw his hopes of a fifth F1 world title take a hit when he tangled with Verstappen and Raikkonen on the run to the first corner at Marina Bay two weeks ago, with all three drivers retiring as a result of damage sustained.

Now 28 points back from chief rival Lewis Hamilton in the points’ standings, Vettel may have been expected to get more riled up about the incident that could ultimately deny him a maiden title in Ferrari colors.

However, the German was happy to let go and move on when flanked by Raikkonen and Verstappen in Thursday’s press conference ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

“I don’t think there is much assessment necessary. On Sunday all three of us weren’t happy, but you move on,” Vettel said.

“I think it would have been more difficult if I would have lost the car somewhere in the race, then it is obviously different.

“But with a collision like that at the start of the race like that, I think all three of us, when we had to face the stewards, what can you do? The lights went off, we did our start, everyone was trying to do his start and then the way it happened it ended up pretty bad for all three of us, but that’s the way it went. I could continue for a little bit more but the damage was so bad I had to stop anyway.

“Not much you can do, but I think it’s part of racing and it’s also not the first time I’ve been in a situation like this and it’s also probably not the last. You are not hoping for it to happen again, but it is part of racing and these things happen.

“There’s not much you can do and therefore not much point in trying to look at it again and again. I think your time and your energy is much better spent looking forward.”

Verstappen was quick to point the finger at Vettel after the race in Singapore, but did not wish to dwell on the incident.

“It happened, you can’t change it any more. It was just a very unfortunate moment,” Verstappen said.

“What can you do about it? We just come here again and we’ll try again.”

Raikkonen was his typically direct self when asked for his view on the clash, simply saying: “We moved on since Sunday, It’s a new weekend as we try again.”

F1 2017 driver review: Kevin Magnussen

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Kevin Magnussen

Team: Haas
Car No.: 20
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P7 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 19
Championship Position: 14th

Kevin Magnussen’s move to Haas proved to be a win-win situation for both parties through 2017 as they banished the struggles of the previous Formula 1 season.

For Magnussen, the move came after a difficult one-season stint with Renault who despite offering him a way back into F1 after a year on the sidelines were unable to produce a car allowing the Dane to fight far up the order.

Haas had not expected to be able to be that much further ahead, but Magnussen nevertheless immediately offered an uplift in performance after replacing Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to score a single point through 2016.

Magnussen picked up Haas’ first points of the season with a solid drive in China, and was able to capitalize on the bonkers Baku race to take P7, which would ultimately be his best result of the season.

Consistency was a real issue for Haas throughout the year as it continued to have teething problems most new teams encounter, and while Magnussen was more able to drive around the problems than teammate Romain Grosjean, he lacked the ultimate pace of his teammate.

That said, Magnussen’s season highlight came in Mexico, a track Haas expected to be its worst of the season. The ex-McLaren driver qualified on the last row but produced a stunning display to finish eighth, soaking up pressure from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton late on.

The signs are positive moving forward. Next year should be Haas’ best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations, presenting a good opportunity for Magnussen to prove his star quality.

Season High: Taking P8 in Mexico when Haas expected to be slowest.

Season Low: Lagging home P15 at Spa as Grosjean hit the points.