Lewis Hamilton arrives in Singapore as Formula One leader and the season's first back-to-back victor, but Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel could dash the Mercedes driver's hopes of a third win in a row on Sunday.
Contact between the pair sent Raikkonen spearing into the side of Vettel's vehicle and all three drivers were forced to retire.
The crash ended all their evenings.
On that evening, Hamilton lost the championship lead to Nico Rosberg, and it was a deficit from which he would never recover.
"I had an average start, moved slightly to the left and was trying to fend off Max", Vettel explained. The Briton is one of only four drivers to have won the race since it joined the calendar in 2008 but Hamilton has only two wins there to Vettel's four.
"I knew we had it in us. I've had experiences like that but I learnt that lesson, that always just comes in and reminds me in the back of my mind, it's nearly like he talks to me: 'Just stay focused, keep it together'".
Hamilton added: "I got everything I could out of the vehicle".
"Daniel started to lose an very bad lot of gearbox oil, which created a lot of problems with oil pressure, and we were feeling that it was looking unlikely that Daniel would get to the end of the race" Horner said. "It's really unfortunate for Ferrari but great for the team (Mercedes)".
Vettel attempted to put a courageous face on the fist-lap mayhem - an incident which will now be investigated by the stewards - but he will know that his chances of stopping Hamilton march on to the title have taken a significant hit.
"As I said, when starts are so close, things usually happen so we'll try to find another chance in Malaysia".
A downpour in the afternoon had already left the Marina Bay Street Circuit damp, before another shower hit just before the start of the race, leaving the field with no option but to take on either intermediate or full-wet tyres for Singapore's first-ever wet grand prix.
"If you are fighting for the title you shouldn't take those risks".
All three drivers were forced out of the race, allowing Hamilton to take the lead behind a safety auto.
Vettel's mood will have been boosted further with Lewis Hamilton having to settle for fifth place on the grid, the Mercedes man in possession of a three-point advantage at the top of the drivers' standings coming into the weekend.
"Red Bull will be fast and it is known that it is not going to be the easiest of weekends for us", said Hamilton yesterday. "To come out of it in the other direction is a shock".