F1 – Singapore GP – Race
Round 15 of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship took place at the visually spectacular Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore.
Lewis Hamilton led away from pole, but the real action was behind. Esteban Ocon found himself with an opportunistic chance to pass Romain Grosjean. Ocon went around the outside and ended up alongside his team mate. Unfortunately for him, Sergio Perez made contact, and Ocon was slammed into the wall. That’s such a shame for Esteban in what will probably be his last race of the season – possibly even his last ever.
Sebastian Vettel was able to get past Max Verstappen at the start of the race for 2nd place. However, Verstappen would perform an overcut and take the position back. Vettel took his pit stop earlier and then got stuck behind Perez on exit from the pit lane; losing a significant amount of time. That was the only net positional change in the top six as they all ended up finishing exactly where they started.
All the frantic action today came from two men; Sergio Perez and Sergey Sirotkin. Perez had already hit his team mate, but that wasn’t enough. Poor strategy from Force India damaged Perez’s chances today as he emerged from his pit stop behind Sirotkin’s unbearably slow Williams. The Mexican got stuck for several laps with an increasing amount of frustration. Eventually, Perez did manage to get past, and then just decided to drive clean into the side of the Williams, ruining any chances he had of points. Bizarre.
That wasn’t Sirotkin’s only intense battle of the day either. The Russian driver was fighting for his life with Grosjean for 14th place. As they were battling, they didn’t care that Lewis Hamilton was behind looking to lap them. Hamilton lost a few seconds, which suddenly allowed Max Verstappen to get within inches of the lead. There would be no change of position though, so, no harm done. Sirotkin would later receive a five-second time penalty for running Brendon Hartley off the track. You have to admire the spirited defence from the Russian, even though he went a bit too far on occasion; that’s just inexperience really.
Lewis Hamilton came home to win his 7th race of the season ahead of Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel. Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo completed the top six, in that order. Spaniard’s Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz were 7th & 8th, with the ever-impressive Charles Leclerc 9th for Sauber. Nico Hulkenberg would score the final point for 10th place.
The gap between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in the championship is now a huge 40 points. With just six races left to go, it really does feel like Vettel needs a little luck now. How do you see this playing out? Let us know in the comments below.