A bad weekend in Belgium meant that Mercedes had a lot of work to do and do it they did. Walking in to Monza, they dislodged Ferrari from a home victory by exposing qualifying errors for the Italian team. This weekend in Singapore, many felt that qualifying and error corrected, Ferrari were still the team to beat on the streets of the Lion City. They were wrong.
Lewis Hamilton once again capitalized on qualifying bobbles from Ferrari but it was his tremendous qualifying effort that placed a large stamp on his 5th championship bid. Strolling into the race with a hefty 30-point lead in the driver’s championship, Lewis claimed victory in Singapore by converting his pole position to a win and stretched his lead to 40 points.
The win left Ferrari fans downtrodden and questioning the team errors and the time wasted in qualifying and perhaps doubting the red cars still have the power advantage they seemed to have gained with their spec 3 engine in Belgium. Mercedes fans, on the other hand, are elated that the team seem to have bounced back to find the speed they need to claw their way back ahead of Ferrari.
A big win for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes who not only expose and capitalize on Ferrari errors in strategy and qualifying but have managed to innovate their way back to the top. Both Mercedes and Ferrari brought their spec 3 engines in at Spa Francorchamps and it seemed that the red cars had the edge but Mercedes has managed to whittle away at that power advantage and out-developed Ferrari since Belgium.
Win for Max Verstappen and Red Bull who have secured a podium in Singapore every race this decade. Max’s dodgy engine torque issue was a plague all weekend but the Dutchman managed to drive around the issue, keep the race clean and bring home second place having jumped Ferrari’s Vettel on their pit stop.
A win for McLaren and Fernando Alonso with a 7th place finish. While Alonso calls it a one-off, the team did manage to get the Spaniard a reliable car on a track that suited it’s lack of power and with his teammate, Vandoorne, down in 12th it sends yet another affirmation that Lando Norris is the right choice for 2019.
A win for both Renault drivers who finished in the points as Force India’s Sergio Perez single-handedly destroyed the pink team’s race. Renault were off the pace from the leaders but still managed a good points haul to put some space between themselves and Haas F1 who were well off the pace in Singapore.
A win for Sauber with Charles Leclerc in the points with a 9th place finish and Marcus Ericsson in 11th. The team ran Ericsson longer than anyone else and it didn’t quite pay off but Leclerc had a spirited drive and good passes to claim more points for the team.
A fail for Ferrari who managed to waste time during Q2 in qualifying with a bumbled Ultrasoft compound attempt and then missing pole position by not getting the timing right in order to get heat in their tires. This translated to a 3rd place starting position with Max and Lewis in front of Sebastian Vettel and the weekend only got worse from their as their undercut attempt early was ill advised and neither Seb nor his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, could make any ground on the field. Mercedes is slapping Ferrari in the face with every single error they make.
A fail for Force India and Sergio Perez who managed to take his teammate, Esteban Ocon, out of the race on the first lap and then nearly took himself out by hitting Sergey Sirotkin on lap 34 due to red mist. The Mexican’s antics denied the team any chance for points.
A fail for Haas F1 who just didn’t have the pace in Singapore to keep their fight against Renault alive in the constructor’s championship. A fastest lap record for Kevin Magnussen was the best they could achieve.
A fail for Toro Rosso who just didn’t have the pace all weekend long on a track that exposed the lack of power and the lack of downforce they have.
A fail for Williams F1 who equally were exposed for the lack of chassis performance that did absolutely nothing to flatter the Mercedes power they have.
A WTH moment for Sergey Sirotkin who went from tidy defending mode to forcing drivers off the track. Sure, Sergio Perez caused his own drama but Sergey forcing Brendon Hartley off track was a poor way of showing your frustration with the car.
I’m curious with Lewis’s radio message about his Soft compound tires not working well as if they were cold. The team agreed that temps were cold but wear was good. Was the new wheel rim working too well for such a hard compound? The new rims are designed with heat elements to transfer heat from the tire to the wheel.
The race was ultimately marred by the tire compound degradation rates and the pace was a managed affair with fast laps being set back in 17th place and the mid-field pushing harder than the leaders. It is the very type of processional racing detractors disliked about F1 in the early 2000’s.
Singapore GP results
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||61||8.961s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||61||53.982s|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Renault||60||1 Lap|
|9||Charles Leclerc||Sauber/Ferrari||60||1 Lap|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||60||1 Lap|
|11||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||60||1 Lap|
|12||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren/Renault||60||1 Lap|
|13||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||60||1 Lap|
|14||Lance Stroll||Williams/Mercedes||60||1 Lap|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||60||1 Lap|
|16||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||60||1 Lap|
|17||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||60||1 Lap|
|18||Kevin Magnussen||Haas/Ferrari||59||2 Laps|
|19||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams/Mercedes||59||2 Laps|
|–||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||0||Collision|