F1 – Singapore GP – Race
The superb urban jungle of the Marina Bay area in Singapore plays host to the F1 race this weekend; round 15/21. Despite being ranked 176th by land area, Singapore has developed into one of the World’s major countries for a number of industries such as education, healthcare, innovation, technology and transport. It really is an incredible place, and I re-iterate my point from yesterday that it makes a superb holiday destination.
Following a stunning lap yesterday, Charles Leclerc will line up at the front of the grid for his third consecutive pole position with Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen chasing behind.
As the five red lights went out in the Singaporean darkness, the Ferrari’s drivers both started well with Leclerc pulling out a 1.1s gap over Hamilton on the opening lap who saw off an early challenge from Vettel.
All the overtakes at the front happened during the pit stop phase, with the undercut being extremely effective on this circuit due to the huge pit lane loss time. Verstappen and Vettel were the drivers able to pull off successful undercuts. Verstappen jumped from 4th to 3rd, and Vettel jumped from 3rd to 1st! Brilliant strategy from the German’s side of the Ferrari garage. Meanwhile, you do have to question what Mercedes were thinking today by firstly leaving Hamilton out for so long, and secondly by telling Valtteri Bottas to back off so that he would remain behind the British driver after he’d pitted.
Looking elsewhere, there were three safety cars today. First of all, a karting-style accident between Romain Grosjean and George Russell ended with the latter in the wall. Secondly for when Sergio Perez stopped on track with a technical issue. Finally, when Daniil Kvyat attempted an overtake on Kimi Raikkonen from very far back, “torpedo-ing” the Finnish driver out of the race.
Vettel made three strong safety car restarts to take victory for the first time this season (officially, although he himself counts Canada as a win also). Leclerc came home 2nd to make Ferrari the first team to ever score a 1-2 finish at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Verstappen was 3rd for Red Bull ahead of Hamilton who missed out on the podium for only the third time this season. Bottas finished 5th, 5.5s clear of Alexander Albon in 6th – a solid result for a rookie. Lando Norris also did well today to bring the car home in 7th, ahead of Pierre Gasly and Nico Hulkenberg. Antonio Giovinazzi finished in 10th place, having led for a number of laps due to being out of sync with everyone else on the pit stops.
Ferrari have now had the quickest car at Spa, Monza and Marina Bay – three very different circuits. It’s fair to say they now have the quickest car overall. With only six races to go, is there any chance they can mount a late challenge to either of the titles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.