Race Review - Singapore Grand Prix
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Last weekends Singapore Grand Prix saw some fantastic racing, battles and tactics which eventually saw Sebastian Vettel win the race. You could go as far to say that it was slightly processional, which is unfortunately unavoidable in Singapore, but it was a good race overall. Here I look at some of the headlines from the weekend.
One of the main talking points is STILL Hamilton’s future in F1. I’m getting slightly fed up with all the rumours and speculation to be quite honest, I just want Lewis to make his mind up now. One day people are saying it looks more likely that he will move to Mercedes, other days McLaren are looking more favourable. What’s even more annoying is that it takes the audience’s eyes off the racing, something admittedly I am doing right now. Hamilton obviously wants certain parts of the contract to be changed, otherwise these negotiations would not be going on. I get that he wants to keep his trophies and wants less time with the media (not surprising, McLaren drivers have some of the most demanding sponsors, but it also comes down to pay. McLaren admitted that the amount offered was lower than he wanted, but lets face it what harm is a couple of million less going to cause? I think the smartest move for LewLew is to stick with McLaren.
On to the racing then. However Hamilton is still in the headlines. After leading early on he started to increase the gap on Vettel, but suddenly he slowed down. It was an internal gearbox problem which meant he lost all gears. Some more awful luck for McLaren then. He had looked dominant up until then and even went on to say he was “coasting”. Where would he have ended up if that did not happen? I think he would have won it. It is such a shame for him because it has now pushed him out of the championship fight. Alonso is extremely lucky, second place in the standings keeps changing which has helped him keep his lead.
Behind Vettel, Button and the lucky Alonso, what a race from Paul Di Resta. I’m so impressed with him but I was not surprised as such. He went well on the circuit last year, finishing 6th, and after qualifying strongly I knew a big haul of points was possible. That is just what Force India need to cement 7th place and start pressuring Sauber. Paul started well and kept with the leading pack. The Safety Cars helped close up the field and he was sniffing at a podium. I’m not sure if he could have made it onto the podium with a few more laps left, but a controlled drive non the less.
Behind finished Rosberg and Raikkonen, who had a nice little scrap towards the end. Then came the returning Grosjean who showed he is just as good as before. Felipe Massa was next up. Compared to Alonso his result is pretty typical, but he dropped to last on the first lap due to a puncture and then clawed his way through with some great lap times and well called pit stops. One of his strongest races this season, even if the end result does not show it.
Timo Glock crossed the line a lap down, but in 12th place. We all know the Marussia is not the best car and to keep it on track for almost full distance (the race went down to time) was impressive in itself. Even more so is that he set consistent lap times, often matched the Caterham’s and stayed clear of contact to cross the line 2 positions away from the points. It is the teams best result and also only the second time that a new team has finished so high up, the first being for Lotus Racing in 2010. This result means they take 10th in the constructors off Caterham, but with so many races remaining it could all change. Who knows, HRT could even take 10th place!
There were some after race penalties applied, some I agree with and some not so. The first was given to Webber, a 2o second time penalty which dropped him from 10th to 11th. He was given this for overtaking Kobayashi with all 4 wheels over the white line at the exit of turn 7. In fairness he was over the white line, but Kobayashi gave him little room to move across so there was not much he could do. Schumacher has a 10 place grid penalty for Japan for crashing with Jean-Eric Vergne. The crash was heavy and destroyed the Mercedes, Schumi saying it was driver error.
Charles Pic was given a penalty before the race even started. After overtaking during the red flag in FP3, he was given a 20 second time penalty to his race time and also a new “community service” penalty. This means he has to go to an FIA action for road safety campaign in the near future. I really do not get this penalty, because the drivers should want to go to that regardless. It was a very interesting decision, and I wonder if we will see any other drivers receive that penalty soon.
Author: Rick McCabe
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