Singapore GP: Ferrari tweet blaming Max Verstappen causes a storm
Scuderia scorned by Horner and Webber for blaming Verstappen for crash; Team described their summary as 'factual'
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 02/10/17 2:40pm
Ferrari are standing by their controversial tweet blaming Max Verstappen for his ruinous crash with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen during the Singapore GP.
All three drivers were eliminated from the race due to the crash, with Vettel's broken car slithering into the barriers at the third corner. The stewards investigated the incident but ruled that no single driver had been predominately to blame.
However, Ferrari caused a storm during the race when they tweeted:
Told of Ferrari's summary, an incredulous Christian Horner, Red Bull's team boss, responded: "How on earth you can work that out [Verstappen to blame] from watching that, I have no idea.
"Anyone who can blame Verstappen out of that needs their eyes tested."
Mark Webber, a former team-mate of Vettel at Red Bull, shot back:
Although not directly responding to Ferrari's post, Verstappen's father, Jos, then tweeted:
Former world champion Damon Hill also expressed his frustration with Vettel.
"Should be heard no more having strutted my stuff already on Sky F1, but worth registering my disappointment in Seb Vet after seeing him pretty much blow his and Ferrari's championships into smithereens before the first corner," the Sky Sports pundit wrote 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."
It was reported by Ted Kravitz during Sky F1's Singapore GP coverage that the tweet hadn't been posted by Ferrari's head of press communications but "by someone else in the garage and wasn't officially endorsed by Ferrari".
However, Ferrari have kept the tweet on the feed of their official account and late on Sunday evening added:
What we tweeted was a factual description of events. No need to speculate on this— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) September 17, 2017
'With the exception that VER didn't actually make contact with VET and the stewards found nobody at fault, it was spot on!' scorned NBC's Will Buxton in response.
The furore was compounded by the team's reluctance to otherwise provide their version of events in public.
Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene restricted his thoughts to describing the race as "an unfortunate day for Ferrari" before leaving the circuit without further comment.
Likewise, neither Vettel nor Raikkonen were willing to provide a detailed account when they appeared in the media pen immediately after the crash and both drivers also left the circuit without further public reflection following the stewards' investigation.
In a late-night press release from Ferrari, Vettel 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."