The race for the Formula 1 world championship in 2017 took a massive twist at the start of the Singapore Grand Prix as a start-line crash eliminated title contender Sebastian Vettel, alongside Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen.
Vettel arrived in Singapore looking to move back into the lead of the drivers’ championship after falling three points behind Lewis Hamilton last time out at Monza, and was poised to do so after taking pole.
Rain in the lead-up to lights out offered F1’s first ever wet night race, with Verstappen and Raikkonen both moving quickly to try and dive down the inside of Vettel.
Verstappen got caught between the two Ferraris, causing him to send Raikkonen spinning across the front of his car and into the path of Vettel, leaving all three with damage.
Raikkonen and Verstappen retired on the spot, while Vettel crashed after trying to get back to the pits due to the damage sustained, also retiring.
Lewis Hamilton was able to dodge the drama and take the lead of the race, and is now poised to extend his advantage over Vettel in the championship.
Formula One’s “Flying Finn” is going back home for the first time.
More precisely, Valtteri Bottas is returning to his Finland homeland to compete in his first career rally race in the Finnish Rally Championship season opener.
Bottas, teammates on the F1 Mercedes team with five-time champ Lewis Hamilton, will compete in the World Rally Championships’ Arctic Lapland Rally from January 24-26.
He’ll team with two-time World Rally champion Timo Rautiainen in a M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC on rally roads of the Finnish Arctic Circle.
“This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying,” Bottas told Finnish rallying website Rallism.f1. “I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible.
“It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally Car. Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you’re driving in.”
Added Rautiainen, “In my life, I’ve sat in a rally car with only three drivers, but this is such an interesting mission that I just had to accept the challenge. I believe that for a talented wheelman like Valtteri, we’ll be able to establish a good basic driving routine in testing.”