SINGAPORE GP

    

 

Round 14 – Marina Bay, 15 - 17 Sep

 

All times UK

Day

Session

Times

Sky

Channel 4

Fri 15th

FP1

1100 to 1230

1045 to 1300

(0925-1105: preview)

 

FP2

1430 to 1600

1415 to 1610

 

Sat 17th

FP3

1100 to 1200

1045 to 1210

1055 to 1225

 

Qual

1400 to 1500-ish

1300 to 1540

1255 to 1545

Sun 18th

Race

1300 to 1430-ish

1130 to 1615

1200 to 1615 ?

 

TYRES:

 

Ultra Soft

Super Soft

Soft

Medium

Hard

Intermediate

Wet

Drivers MUST keep at least one set of the softest tyre for Q3.  (This set will be returned to Pirelli after Q3 for those who qualify in the top 10.  Remaining drivers will not have used them in Q3 so will not hand anything back.)

Drivers MUST use at least two different compounds during the race.

 

 

Individual driver’s tyre choices:

 

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Soft

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Super Soft

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Ultra Soft

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2

2

9

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

1

3

9

Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

2

1

10

Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

1

2

10

Lance Stroll (Williams)

1

2

10

Felipe Massa (Williams)

1

2

10

Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

1

2

10

Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

1

2

10

Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)

1

2

10

Jolyon Palmer (Renault)

1

2

10

Esteban Ocon (Force India)

1

2

10

Sergio Perez (Force India)

1

2

10

Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)

1

3

9

Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso)

1

3

9

Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)

1

2

10

Fernando Alonso (McLaren)

1

2

10

Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)

1

2

10

Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber)

2

2

9

Romain Grosjean (Haas)

1

4

8

Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

1

4

8

 

FP1:

·      Earlier rain so some of the kerbs were still a bit damp, but it soon dried out.

·      Stroll had to stop running early due to a gearbox problem, otherwise quite uneventful session.

·      Antonio Giovinazzi used Magnussen’s car, and Sean Gelael used Sainz’s.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

1m42.489s 

2

Vettel

Ferrari

 

3

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

4

Hamilton

Mercedes

 

5

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

 

6

Bottas

Mercedes

 

7

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

8

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

 

9

Hulkenberg

Renault

 

10

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

11

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

 

12

Palmer

Renault

 

13

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

14

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

 

15

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

 

16

Giovinazzi

Haas-Ferrari

 

17

Gelael

Williams-Mercedes

 

18

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

19

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

 

20

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

1m47.886s 

 

FP2:

As usual one shouldn’t attach too much credence to times in these practise sessions, but it’s fairly obvious that Red Bulll have got it all together here in Singapore.  Mercedes are up there but the car doesn’t look that well balanced, and you can never tell with Ferrari, especially since Vettel set his fastest time using the soft tyre, when everyone else was on the ultrasoft. Hulkenberg looked strong in the Renault as did both McLarens. At the other end of the scale Williams and Haas looked scrappy.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

1m40.852s 

2

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

3

Hamilton

Mercedes

 

4

Bottas

Mercedes

 

5

Hulkenberg

Renault

 

6

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

 

7

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

 

8

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

 

9

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

10

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

11

Vettel

Ferrari

 

12

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

13

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

14

Palmer

Renault

 

15

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

 

16

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

 

17

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

 

18

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

 

19

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

 

20

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

1m45.721s 

 

FP3:

Not what they call a power-dependent circuit so a good chassis will get you a good time: see McLaren in 4th  and 5th!  Mercedes still having to work to get a good balance and Raikkonen will probably will do a lot better in qualifying. Williams rarely show well in the practise sessions, but I think here they will struggle to get near Q3!!!

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

1m41.829s 

2

Vettel

Ferrari

 

3

Hamilton

Mercedes

 

4

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

 

5

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

 

6

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

 

7

Hulkenberg

Renault

 

8

Bottas

Mercedes

 

9

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

10

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

 

11

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

12

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

13

Palmer

Renault

 

14

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

15

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

 

16

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

 

17

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

 

18

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

 

19

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

 

20

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

1m46.339s 

 

Q1:

Track evolution: What happens when the temperature or slippery conditions change during the session. Singapore qualifying runs during the early evening so the track cools down, particularly during Q1, thus becoming quicker and allowing the last cars on track to make up places when the flag comes out.  Witness Sainz, Palmer, Kvyat mixing it with the normal front-runners. I’ve not included the Red Bulls and McLarens because this is a “non-power dependant” circuit so a good chassis will draw a good time out of the car, so they were up there on merit.  Doesn’t say much for the Mercedes chassis design – you could see them struggling with handling throughout.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

1m42.010s 

2

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

 

3

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

 

4

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

5

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

6

Hamilton

Mercedes

7

Palmer

Renault

8

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

9

Hulkenberg

Renault

10

Bottas

Mercedes

11

Raikkonen

Ferrari

12

Vettel

Ferrari

13

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

 

14

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

15

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

1m43.627s 

16

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

1m43.756s 

17

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

 

18

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

 

19

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

 

20

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

1m45.574s 

 

Q2:

Track temperature stabilising now. Red Bulls still in charge, although the Ferraris showing strength. Mercedes weakness still apparent, and the difference between the drivers is that Hamilton was quite aggressive whereas Bottas’ finesse wasn’t helping him at all.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

1m40.332s 

2

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

 

3

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

4

Vettel

Ferrari

 

5

Hamilton

Mercedes

6

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

7

Hulkenberg

Renault

8

Bottas

Mercedes

9

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

10

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

1m41.326s

11

Palmer

Renault

1m42.107s

12

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

13

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

 

14

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

 

15

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

1m43.883s 

 

Q3: 

Vettel gor his Ferrari working very well to sneak ahead of the Red Bulls who still showed strength against everyone else.  Red Bull and to an extent Mercedes are confident about their race pace as well, so this could be an excellent race.  The tyres seem to be holding up well so a one-stop is likely to be the order of the day so overtaking on track is going to make it worth watching.

Pos

Driver

Car

 

1

Vettel

Ferrari

1m39.491s 

2

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

 

3

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

 

4

Raikkonen

Ferrari

 

5

Hamilton

Mercedes

6

Bottas

Mercedes

7

Hulkenberg

Renault

8

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

9

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

10

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

1m42.056s

 

GRID:

The only penalty is Ercsson with a 5-place drop for a gearbox change but as he was at the back anyway…

Pos

Driver

Car

Pts

1

Vettel

Ferrari

20

2

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

19

3

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

18

4

Raikkonen

Ferrari

17

5

Hamilton

Mercedes

16

6

Bottas

Mercedes

15

7

Hulkenberg

Renault

14

8

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

13

9

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

12

10

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

11

11

Palmer

Renault

10

12

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

9

13

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

8

14

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

7

15

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

6

16

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

5

17

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

4

18

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

3

19

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

2

20

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

1

 

RACE:

·      When chatting about this race with a friend last night I said I was expecting to see Verstappen take out Vettel in the first corner – but it was the other way around, with a little help from Raikkonen.  Recriminations will go on for a few days yet (not helped by Vettel’s conviction that he’s never wrong) but the way I saw it was that Vettel made a slow-ish start, Verstappen made a normal one, and Raikkonen made and really good one. Thus as they barrel up the straight towards turn one Vettel sees Verstappen coming up his left side and moves just a little bit to the his left to ‘put the squeeze’ on his opponent. Raikkonen, it seems to me, sees himself as being a bit too close to the wall to make the left-hander coming up so moves a tad right and ‘puts the sqeeze’ on Verstappen from that side.  Max has nowhere to go and makes contact, mostly with Kimi. Damage to Max’s car is quite bad but he’s still under some control, as is Vettel, but Kimi’s car is pretty well beaten up and he’s a passenger. Car’s ahead of Kimi turn into the corner but Kimi just ploughs straight on, taking out Max and giving Alonso, who’d made a great start, damage to his left sidepod and floor. In fact, the severity of the impact with Fernando causes his car to fly, briefly, but somehow he’s able to continue. Vettel’s damage includes a water leak and he is slowing but still manages to spin into the barrier removing his front wing, nose, and a hefty amount of chassis structure into the bargain. Scratch two Ferraris and a Red Bull from the fight. Alonso struggle around with the damage and no car-to-pits data stream so he can get no advise from his engineer about the extent of the damage.  After a few laps the damage proves to extensive so he retires the car.  A great shame as he’d made a good start in a car that today could have got him on the podium.

·      Kvyat had been stuck behind a couple of cars for a few laps and as soon as he got past he misjudged his braking point and went straight on into the barrier.

·      Ericsson’s accident was clipping the kerb coming off the bridge and hitting the wall on the corner exit, spinning the car and running backwards into the barrier.

·      Hulkenberg was doing well but then had to pit for a while to top up his air supply and a few laps after he went back out his Renault developed an oil leak.

·      Magnussen was also doing quite well when his kinetic energy generator failed.

·      At the front Hamilton, Ricciardo and Bottas swapped fastest laps for a good deal of the time but they never got close enough to each other to cause any excitement.

·      So, with many of the normal front-runners eliminated it was a day for the rabbits to excel. And these sort of races mix up the FGP league nicely!!!

Pos

Driver

Car

Laps

Pts

 

1

Hamilton

Mercedes

58

20

 

2

Ricciardo

Red Bull-Renault

58

19

 

3

Bottas

Mercedes

58

18

 

4

Sainz

Toro Rosso-Renault

58

17

 

5

Perez

Force India-Mercedes

58

16

 

6

Palmer

Renault

58

15

 

7

Vandoorne

McLaren-Honda

58

14

 

8

Stroll

Williams-Mercedes

58

13

 

9

Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari

58

12

 

10

Ocon

Force India-Mercedes

58

11

 

11

Massa

Williams-Mercedes

58

10

 

12

Wehrlein

Sauber-Ferrari

56

9

 

13

Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari

50

8

MGU-K

14

Hulkenberg

Renault

48

7

Oil leak

15

Ericsson

Sauber-Ferrari

35

6

Accident

16

Kvyat

Toro Rosso-Renault

10

5

Accident

17

Alonso

McLaren-Honda

8

4

Accident Damage

18

Vettel

Ferrari

0

3

Accident

19

Verstappen

Red Bull-Renault

0

2

Accident

20

Raikkonen

Ferrari

0

1

Accident

 

 

 

 

 

© Ian Bushnell, 2017