Force India’s Adrian Sutil was fined $20,000 at the Singapore Grand Prix for crashing into Nick Heidfeld, ending the BMW Sauber driver’s remarkable run of race finishes.
On lap 19, Sutil tried to pass Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari but touched wheels and spun. The German immediately restarted and tried to turn his car around on the track, but ran the nose of his car into the path of compatriot Heidfeld.
The ensuing crash immediately ended the race for Heidfeld while Sutil replaced his nose and continued on briefly before retiring with a brake problem.
“I didn’t see him coming as I was on the move already and couldn’t react to it, but I’m sorry for it,” Sutil said. “It was a race incident.”
Heidfeld was fuming, as the crash ended his run of 42 straight races in which he had finished or completed enough laps to be officially classified in the results.
“For me, it was clearly Adrian Sutil’s fault,” Heidfeld said. “He had spun backwards and then just drove back onto the track and straight into my car. That’s something you just can’t do.
“Although my chances were far from promising today, it is still annoying not to finish because of such a stupid incident.”
It was a bad day for Heidfeld, who had qualified in sixth but had to start from pit lane because his car was found to be below the minimum weight in qualifying due to a mistake by the team, which fitted the wrong ballast weights.