First-lap chaos sees Vettel, Hamilton collide, suffer damage (VIDEO)

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Formula 1 title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel came together in the opening lap of Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix in the latest – and seemingly deciding – twist in the championship race.

Vettel took pole on Saturday for Ferrari, knowing he realistically had to win in Mexico to stand any chance of keeping his title hopes alive heading into the final two races of the year. Hamilton, meanwhile, required only a top-five finish to clinch his fourth crown.

Vettel made a flying start from pole, only to come under pressure from Max Verstappen and Hamilton from P2 and P3 on the grid as they used the slipstream down the long front straight.

Verstappen was able to muscle his way past Vettel through Turn 2, with the pair making contact momentarily to break part of the Ferrari driver’s front wing.

While he was able to keep his foot in and fight for position, Vettel soon hit more trouble when Hamilton flew past exiting Turn 3, only for the pair to touch and both suffer damage.

A left-rear puncture forced Hamilton to slow and nurse his car back to the pits, while Vettel sustained severe damage to his front wing, prompting him to come in for a replacement.

The pair were left P19 and P20 at the end of the first lap, but with Vettel needing at least a top-two finish to keep his title hopes alive, the championship looks to have seen its final deciding moment in Mexico.

Dakar Rally Stage 10 video highlights: Cars, Bikes, Trucks, Quads

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After Monday’s Stage 9 was washed out due to weather and impassable course conditions, the 40th Dakar Rally resumed with Stage 10 on Tuesday.

Several top competitors struggled during the course of the stage, with some even being eliminated due to crashes or injuries.

Here’s some of the best video action of the stage, as seen on NBCSN:

BIKES: Matthias Walkner wins Stage 10 of after a major shakeup.

CARS: Carlos Sainz plays it safe in Stage 10

Stephane Peterhansel took the overall stage win while Cars leader Carlos Sainz played it safe and came in third.

TRUCKS: The Netherlands’ Ton van Genugten wins the stage, but Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev, who finished fourth Tuesday, continues to hold the overall lead.

 

QUADS: Nicolas Cavigliasso bests Gonzalez Ferioli in Stage 10, but Ignacio Casale continues to make a push for his second Dakar crown.

Stage 11 is Wednesday and runs from Belen, Argentina to Fiambala, Argentina.