Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix proved to be a race to forget for Ferrari as both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen retired, marking the Italian team’s first double DNF in over nine years.
Vettel’s race was compromized at the start when he was hit by Daniel Ricciardo, sustaining a puncture that dropped him to the very back of the field.
The German driver managed to fight his way back up to the fringes of the top ten, only for a recurring brake issue to cause him to spin.
Vettel’s race eventually came to an early end on lap 51 when he spun into the barrier at turn seven, bringing out the safety car.
Despite dealing with the brake issue throughout the race, Vettel hinted that it was the result of his own mistake, apologizing to the team over the radio.
Teammate Kimi Raikkonen’s race also ended in retirement following a run-in with Williams driver Valtteri Bottas.
Starting 19th, Raikkonen worked his way up into the top ten with a long first stint, but found himself being hounded by Bottas for position as his tires began to fade.
Bottas tried to pass Raikkonen around the outside of turn four, giving himself the inside line for turn five, only for the Ferrari driver to shut the door and leave him nowhere to go.
The two Finns made contact – just as they did three weeks ago in Russia – leaving Raikkonen with a broken rear axle and out of the race, ending his hopes of a fight-through-the-field to a points’ finish.
The result marks Ferrari’s first double DNF since the 2006 Australian Grand Prix when both Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa failed to finish the race.
In spite of Williams’ strong showing, Ferrari remains assured of second place in the constructors’ championship, although Vettel’s retirement combined with Nico Rosberg’s first race win since the Austrian Grand Prix in June realistically ends his hopes of finishing the year as runner-up to drivers’ champion Lewis Hamilton.