Blame game: Ferrari stand by controversial tweet

Vettel Raikkonen Verstappen crash

A tweet from Ferrari following Sunday’s dramatic crash at the Singapore GP set tongues wagging, but the Scuderia outfit are standing by their words.

Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen were all eliminated from the race after a disastrous coming together at the first corner.

A stewards’ investigation could not determine who was predominantly to blame for the incident, but that’s not how Ferrari saw it:

Tweeting shortly after the incident, they placed the blame squarely on Verstappen’s shoulders:

Unsurprisingly, reaction to Ferrari’s version of events was swift.

Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber shot back on Twitter, accusing whoever sent the tweet of lacking the experience to know what they were talking about:

Max’s father Jos Verstappen, another former F1 driver, also responded. Though he didn’t refer to the tweet, it was pretty clear what he was responding to:

Indeed, most pundits and ex-drivers thought it was Vettel who was as fault.

“Worth registering my disappointment in Seb Vet after seeing him pretty much blow his and Ferrari’s championships into smithereens before the first corner,” wrote former world champion Damon Hill on his Drivetribe account.

“Also, ruining Kimi’s blinding start and Max’s opportunity to shine. Nice one Seb. You’re better than that. Need to watch that short fuse.”

When told what Ferrari had tweeted, Red Bull team principle Christian Horner was incredulous.

“How on earth you can work that out [Verstappen to blame] from watching that, I have no idea,” he told Sky F1.

“You can see that Sebastian comes quite aggressively left, Kimi goes to the right and Max can’t disappear. He held a straight line and it’s just desperately unlucky for him to be eliminated like that.

“Seb moved over to the left, squeezing, squeezing. It’s racing it’s one of those things when you’ve got three cars going into the corner like that but Max couldn’t just disappear.

“What Seb probably couldn’t see was Kimi on the other side of Max. He’s been aggressive with Max and Kimi’s done the same thing from the other side and the end result is what you see there.

“Anyone who can blame Verstappen out of that needs their eyes tested.”

But despite all the criticism, Ferrari are sticking to their guns. Not only is the orginal tweet still visible on their account, they later officially endorsed it once more:

“What we tweeted was a factual description of events. No need to speculate on this,” they wrote.

As for Vettel himself, he seems less confident than his own team when it comes to placing the blame.

In a late-night press release from Ferrari, the German was quoted as saying: “I had an average start and then I moved slightly to the left trying to defend my position from Max. Then I got bumped on one side as Kimi’s car hit me. I’m not sure what happened.”

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