Felix made another good getaway off the grid and immediately challenged pole-sitter Juncadella for first place, but the Prema Powerteam driver defended his position violently and came dangerously close to putting Felix in the pit wall at 150 km/h. Juncadella kept forcing Felix towards the right-hand edge of the circuit – and over the pitlane exit – as they went further down the straight, eventually leaving Felix with no room at all on the grass and forcing him to retire as he crashed into the inside barriers.
Felix left his stricken Mücke Motorsport machine in frustration at having been denied yet another shot at a strong result following a jinxed 2012 season, while Juncadella received a drive-through penalty for “having caused an avoidable incident.” The Spaniard later crashed out of the race for good in another collision, this time with fellow countryman Carlos Sainz Jr.
While Mücke Motorsport were left furious about the lap one incident, the Berlin squad at least got something to smile about when Pascal Wehrlein went on to win a race of high attrition which also saw Prema Powerteam duo Raffaele Marciello and Sven Müller send each other into retirement in another opening lap clash.
The chaotic event left the stewards with plenty to do at the fall of the chequered flag, and further action might be taken towards a host of drivers in the aftermath of the race.
COMMENT | FELIX
"In my opinion, what happened at the start was very, very dangerous. Daniel is normally a good guy and a friend of mine, but this time I don't really know what he was thinking. I was left with nowhere to go as he pushed me towards the wall and onto the grass, and I tried to get back onto the track several times - but his car was right on the edge of the tarmac.
"It was a big shame, because we have been really quick all weekend and I think I could have challenged for the win from the front row of the grid today. This is just not meant to be my season, but the best thing we can do is to move on from this and try to grow with every setback we encounter. It's not easy at the moment, but I've got a great team behind me and I really appreciate all the support I get from friends, fans and supporters."