Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel beat title rival Lewis Hamilton in the Belgian Grand Prix to cut his lead to 17 points.
Fernando Alonso, Nico Hulkenberg and Charles Leclerc were uninjured after the German rammed Alonso’s McLaren and launched it over Leclerc’s Sauber.
Hulkenberg received a 10-place grid penalty at the next race for the incident.
Alonso related it to the first-lap crash at this race in 2012, in which Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was given a race ban for causing a similar incident, which also took out the Spaniard.
“Again a very big-time missing braking point,” Alonso said. “That time Romain had a race ban.
“It is tough to understand how you can miss (the braking) so much. It is not a couple of metres. You arrive at a speed that it is impossible to negotiate the corner. So, sad for that but happy that we are all fine.”
The big difference between the 2012 and 2018 crashes was that Grosjean was a repeat offender in terms of first-lap crashes that year, while Hulkenberg is one of the sport’s most consistent performers.