Two years ago, his title attack with disintegrated after a startline collision with ’s and his own teammate . Now he arrives in after back-to-back wins for his current teammate, Charles Leclerc, and has faced vocal criticism again after his spin at Monza and clumsy rejoin, during which he collected the Racing Point of Lance Stroll.

But let’s take a look back at the 2017 edition, and remind ourselves of how it unfolded…

 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, immediately prior to contact

, SF70H, , Racing RB13, , SF70H, immediately prior to contact

Photo by: Andrew Hone / LAT Images

 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H hits Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13

, SF70H hits , SF70H and , Racing RB13

Photo by: Andrew Hone / LAT Images

The scenario: 

Vettel qualified on pole position, with title rival – who was on a streak of back-to-back race wins – struggling down in fifth. Vettel had lost his championship lead in the preceding race at Monza, and was keen to redress an advantage.

’s Verstappen qualified second, ahead of his teammate Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel’s colleague Raikkonen.

A rain shower before the start only added to the drama, but the race began from a standing-start grid, rather than behind a safety car. As the lights went out, Raikkonen got by far the best getaway of the top four. He powered off the line and rocketed to the left-hand side of Verstappen. 

However, just as he was about to move ahead, his right-rear wheel hit Verstappen’s left-front. This was because Vettel had swerved to his left, pincering the between the s. Verstappen had made the second-best start, so he too was alongside Vettel, and the three cars all made contact – with Raikkonen’s car (by now on three wheels) being flicked into a half-spin and cannoning into the left-side of Vettel’s car.

Although he actually led through the opening sequence of corners, Vettel would spin due to the damage further around the first lap.

 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08

, SF70H, , Mercedes AMG F1 W08

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, crashes out on the opening lap as Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, passes

, SF70H, crashes out on the opening lap as , Mercedes AMG F1 W08, passes

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, crashes out on the opening lap

, SF70H, crashes out on the opening lap

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

All three were elminated from the event, opening the door for Hamilton to win again and extend his points lead, an advantage he would retain to the end of the season.

In a poll of almost 2000 readers of James Allen on F1, 76% blamed Vettel for sparking the crash, with 17% calling it as a racing incident. Raikkonen was held least accountable at 2%, with 5% believing Verstappen was at fault.

What they said:

Vettel: “We did our start, everyone was trying to do his start, and then it ended up pretty bad for all three of us. It is part of racing. These things, they happen, not much you can do – so therefore not much point to try and look at them again and again.

“Every start is different and the way [it] happened you can look at it again and again, it is done. It was pretty unfortunate for all three of us, so we have to move on.”

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

,

Photo by: Sutton Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

, Racing

Photo by: Sutton Images

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Max Verstappen, Red Bull, after the crash

, , , , after the crash

Photo by: Steve Etherington / LAT Images

Verstappen was clear with who he blamed: “Mainly Sebastian. He started squeezing me, maybe he didn’t see Kimi on the left. That’s not an excuse – if you’re fighting for the world championship, you shouldn’t take those risks to squeeze someone that much.

“What does he expect? When you’re fighting for a world championship, you shouldn’t do that. It was not very clever. I tried to back out of it because I could see it coming, but the rear tyres are wider than the front so I couldn’t back out of it anymore.

“I was in the middle without doing anything wrong, I was just trying to have a clean start.”

Raikkonen, in true Kimi style, was merely phlegmatic about the whole episode: “I don’t think I could have done anything to change the end result apart from doing a bad start and not being there. And that’s not really my fault.”

F1’s stewards took no action after a post-race investigation. But in terms of the world championship, it was a hammer blow to Vettel and .

What would Vettel give for another pole here in 2019, and to get his season back on track…

2017 GP startline crash in pictures:

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Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H leads at the start of the race

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H leads at the start of the race

2/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H leads at the start of the race

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H leads at the start of the race

3/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H leads at the start of the race

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H leads at the start of the race

4/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H, , Racing RB13 and , SF70H at the start of the race

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H at the start of the race

5/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H leads at the start of the race and the cars of , SF70H and , Racing RB13 crash after colliding

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H leads at the start of the race and the cars of Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 crash after colliding

6/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H collides, , Racing RB13 and into , SF70H

 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H collides, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and into Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H

7/41

Photo by: Andrew Hone / LAT Images

, SF70H, , Racing RB13 and , SF70H crash at the start of the race

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H crash at the start of the race

8/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H leads at the start of the race and the cars of , SF70H and , Racing RB13 crash after colliding

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H leads at the start of the race and the cars of Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 crash after colliding

9/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H, , Racing RB13 and , SF70H crash at the start of the race

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H crash at the start of the race

10/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H leads at the start of the race and the cars of , SF70H and , Racing RB13 crash after colliding

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H leads at the start of the race and the cars of Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 crash after colliding

11/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H crashes into , Racing after the checkered flag

 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H crashes into Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing after the checkered flag

12/41

Photo by: Steven Tee / LAT Images

, SF70H leads at the start of the race and the cars of , SF70H and , Racing RB13 crash after colliding

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H leads at the start of the race and the cars of Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 crash after colliding

13/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H leads at the start of the race and the cars of , SF70H and , Racing RB13 crash after colliding

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H leads at the start of the race and the cars of Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 crash after colliding

14/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H after colliding, , Racing RB13 on the first lap

 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H after colliding, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 on the first lap

15/41

Photo by: Steven Tee / LAT Images

, SF70H leads at the start of the race, a damaged radiator ahead of the damaged car of , Racing RB13 after crashing and colliding, , SF70H

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H leads at the start of the race, a damaged radiator ahead of the damaged car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 after crashing and colliding, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H

16/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, Racing RB13 crashes and collides, , SF70H at the start of the race

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 crashes and collides, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H at the start of the race

17/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H leads as , Racing RB13 and , SF70H crash at the start of the race

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H leads as Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H crash at the start of the race

18/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, Racing RB13, Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32 Honda crash

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32 Honda crash

19/41

Photo by: Steven Tee / LAT Images

, SF70H, takes out , Racing RB13 and Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32

 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, takes out Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32

20/41

Photo by: Steven Tee / LAT Images

The cars of , SF70H and , Racing RB13 crash and collide

The cars of Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 crash and collide

21/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H leads at the start of the race as Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32, , SF70H and , Racing RB13 crash in the background

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H leads at the start of the race as Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 crash in the background

22/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32 involved in the collision, , Racing RB13 anDrivers , SF70H

 Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32 involved in the collision, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 anDrivers Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H

23/41

Photo by: Steven Tee / LAT Images

, SF70H leads at the start of the race as Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32, , SF70H and , Racing RB13 crash in the background

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H leads at the start of the race as Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 crash in the background

24/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H leads at the start of the race and the cars of , SF70H and , Racing RB13 crash after colliding

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H leads at the start of the race and the cars of Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 crash after colliding

25/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

The cars of , SF70H and , Racing RB13 crash and collide

The cars of Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 crash and collide

26/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

The crashed cars of , SF70H and , Racing RB13 after colliding at the start of the race

The crashed cars of Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 after colliding at the start of the race

27/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

The crashed cars of , Racing RB13 and , SF70H and Medical car

The crashed cars of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Medical car

28/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, SF70H leaves his car after his collision, , Racing RB13

 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H leaves his car after his collision, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13

29/41

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

, Racing RB13 and , SF70H crashed at the race start

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H crashed at the race start

30/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, Racing RB13 and , SF70H crashed at the race start

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H crashed at the race start

31/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

, and , Racing walk back to the pits after their collision

 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing walk back to the pits after their collision

32/41

Photo by: Steven Tee / LAT Images

, SF70H goes into the wall

 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H goes into the wall

33/41

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, as , SF70H, , SF70H, , Racing RB13, crash out behind them

 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, as Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, crash out behind them

34/41

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

, SF70H in reverse after hitting the wall

 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H in reverse after hitting the wall

35/41

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

Daniel Ricciardo, Racing RB13, passes , SF70H, as the latter crashes out

 Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13, passes Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, as the latter crashes out

36/41

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

, McLaren MCL32 passes , SF70H after he hits the wall

Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 passes Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H after he hits the wall

37/41

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia STR12, Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32 and Kevin Magnussen, VF-17 run wide to avoid , SF70H

 Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32 and Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-17 run wide to avoid Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H

38/41

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

The crashed cars of , Racing RB13 and , SF70H are recovered

The crashed cars of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H are recovered

39/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

The damaged cars of , Racing RB13 and , SF70H after crashing out at the start of the race

The damaged cars of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H after crashing out at the start of the race

40/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

The damaged cars of , SF70H and , Racing RB13 after colliding at the start of the race

The damaged cars of Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 after colliding at the start of the race

41/41

Photo by: Sutton Images

  

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