Vettel was slowly start from pole, and looked to jam Verstappen, who had started together with him in second on the grid. But Verstappen had Raikkonen, who had made a perfect getaway from fourth, alongside him, and the pair made collision.
Kimi was spun around and hit Vettel, before colliding again with Verstappen, with Fernando Alonso’s McLaren also caught up in the fight.
Vettel’s damaged Ferrari spun after the second turn, and hit into wall – lost the front wing and plenty of fluid leaked from his car at the next corner, following this incident the German forced to retire from the race.
The incident was due to be investigated by race stewards post-race.
Understandably, Vettel was in no mood to talk in the paddock, but said about the start: “I didn’t see that much. I saw Max and then the next thing I see is Max and Kimi hitting me somewhere.
“It doesn’t change much, obviously we are not in the race and can’t show the pace we have.”
Verstappen told Sky F1 following the incident – “I think mainly Sebastian started squeezing me. Maybe he didn’t see Kimi on the left but that’s not an excuse,”
“If you are fighting for the world championship you shouldn’t take those risks squeezing someone that much. You can see what happens. Lewis is leading the race and the three of us are out.
“I don’t think it was a racing incident. They took in total three cars out and I was in the middle doing nothing wrong. We’ll see what happens.
“I’m happy not only I retired but all three of us so we all have a bit of pain.”