Formula 1

Mercedes F1 non-executive chairman and three-time Formula 1 champion Niki Lauda is blaming Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel for a crash in Singapore that may have killed his championship hopes.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, the Maranello team lashed out at Red Bull's Max Verstappen for Sunday's first-corner crash, while Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene said it was "clearly" the Red Bull driver's fault. But Lauda, the F1 legend told the Austrian Osterreich newspaper: "It was clearly Sebastian's fault. I don't know why he would risk so much at this important stage of the world championship."

Lauda also told Italian La Gazzetta dello Sport: "If that had happened in my time, we would have walked back to Maranello."

Why Vettel was not punished by the stewards for causing the crash, meanwhile, is another matter.

Jos Verstappen, Max's father, told motorsport-magazin.com he sensed a "political" reason.

"If (the FIA) gave him a real punishment, the championship would be over," Jos Verstappen said.

And the Spanish newspaper Marca quoted Mark Webber as saying the stewards not punishing Vettel was "a joke."

"I think sometimes Seb forgets where the back of his car is," said Webber, who is Vettel's former Red Bull teammate.

However, it could get worse for Vettel anyway. La Repubblica newspaper reports that the German's engine may have been damaged in the crash.

"The one used in Singapore was No. 3 for the season. If it cannot be recovered, Vettel may take (grid) penalties later in the season," the reporter noted.

Teams are allowed just four engines for the season before having to accept grid penalties.

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Source : http://autoweek.com/article/formula-one/mercedes-niki-lauda-blames-sebastian-vettel-f1-singapore-crash

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