Fernando Alonso made an unbelievable start for McLaren, briefly vaulting as high as third, but was then an innocent victim of the Turn-1 carnage, sustaining auto damage that forced him to retire a few laps later.
The safety auto is then immediately enter the track, while the Briton Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who started in fifth position on the grid, took advantage of this accident to take the lead of the race. "So far I don't feel like I'm missing out", said the Briton, who has won six of 13 races this season and claimed a record 69th pole position.More news: North Korea releases photos it claims are of latest missile test
Vettel had got around the first corner ahead, but then spun, and with his vehicle badly damaged he retired from a race for the first time in 2017.
"Your guess is as good as mine", said Hamilton when asked how he could best minimise the loss of points to Vettel on Sunday. "I knew I had the pace when it rains, but unfortunately we just didn't have the vehicle in the dry, but today with it raining, those are my conditions that I love to drive in".
Alonso lasted just a few laps before the damage sustained at the first corner forced him to retire, and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat became the fifth man out when he ploughed nose-first into a barrier - prompting a second safety vehicle. Normally when it rains, you're kind of a little bit apprehensive, it's a little bit nerve wracking because it makes it so much trickier for us and here we've never even driven in the rain so. but for me, I was like 'Yes'.More news: When I Was Nominated: Emmy Awards Edition- Stephen Colbert
"I had an average start and then went to the left trying to fend off Max and the next thing I get a bump on the side and see Kimi's vehicle".
"I think there's a couple of us that particularly love those conditions more than maybe others".
On the incident, he said: "I had an average start and moved slightly to the left trying to fend off Max and the next thing I know I felt a bump on the side". I hoped I would get to race Sebastian at the beginning.More news: Hazard, Sanchez Set to Start as Chelsea Host Arsenal in London Derby
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