I simply cannot stop wondering about the start at Singapore. Not from the point of view of who was at fault, but about how things played out. I watched a few dozen times to watch each of the players; how they started and how they reacted, going back as far as Alonso.
Kimi, Max, and Hamilton clearly got away better than Vettel. Of those three, only one, Hamilton avoided an accident. Hamilton happened to be on the very outside of the track, and so never had his line impeded until Vettel came across to change his line into the first corner. If you watch Ricciardo and Hulkenburg you can see that they did not get away spectacularly, but also changed their line and did some early braking to both avoid the accident, and to position themselves for the first corner as the damaged vehicles ploughed their way across the track. Alonso on the other hand just kept it flat in the hope that he would be in the right place when it was all sorted out. As it was, this unsighted him (as he was outside of Ricciardo) to the trajectory of Kimi's sled, and what would then ensue. It is rather ingenuous of Alonso to say that he would have been on the podium if the accident didn't happen, because from what I could see, if Ric and Hulk had not braked, and the others had got away cleanly, Alonso would have entered the first corner in 7th.
I really wonder if Hulkenburg, and Ricciardo, and Hamilton all had a first corner incident in mind in their start tactics. I would easily be convinced that this was the case. Here is why:
Hamilton - Went down the outside. If everyone had got away cleanly, the chances of him losing a lot of places in the first two corners was very high. But if you look at his start, he heads straight to the outside, and does not waiver one inch from that line.
Ricciardo - When he gets an average getaway, he most often goes to the outside to stay clear in a contested corner. This time, he stayed much closer to the middle of the track and both lifted and then braked.
Hulkenburg - Initally reacted much like Ricciardo, but also had an aborted dodge for an inside line as the accident developed, which if he had not abandoned it, would have resulted in him getting in front of Ricciardo.
Could it be that each of these drivers had a plan? I know that when I looked at the pre-race before going to bed and noticed the weather that was in Singapore, I made a note to self that with Vettel & Max on the front row, an accident was more likely than not likely. I think it must have been a discussion among drivers and strategists as well. Watching Max's start, he looks a bit undecided. First he heads right, but then straightens before moving a little to the left (presumably after seeing Kimi pop into the mirror). After the contact his car attitude indicates that he doesn't know what to do. Again, could it be that he had been warned, and having failed to jump Vettel, tries too little too late?
Honestly, the dumb move was Alonso. Could he not see the speed that he was passing people was unrealistic? That there was a reason why they were going slower? Perhaps all that time with the Honda has dulled his racing mind to what actually happens at THE FRONT?