Singapore GP: Introducing a newbie: Race Day

I have no idea who is going to win today

Why it wasn’t clear to us that Sebastian Vettel was going to do what Sebastian Vettel does best, I do not know.

Singapore was more a race of technical issues and sick cars than on-track dices, although there were a fair amount of fights towards the latter stages of the Grand Prix.

It appeared the drivers knew to wait and be patient for action as the first few laps unfolded, as it looked as though we were set for another procession after a cracking qualifying yesterday. There was no change in the top six as the cars pulled away from the grid, and then we settled into a quiet, uneventful rhythm.

Max Verstappen stalled on the grid and it seemed he had a character-building race ahead of him to unlap himself and then try to chase down some points. How wrong we were again.

Massa and Hulkenberg’s coming together brought out the Safety Car, allowing Verstappen to unlap himself for free and bringing him back into contention. In the final few laps he and Carlos Sainz, who at one point were last and second-to-last, had some great dices with the Lotuses of Maldanado and Grosjean and finished 8th and 9th respectively. However it looks like they are in for a frosty reunion after Max was told to give his place to Carlos and refused. The team will not appreciate their order being ignored.

Lewis Hamilton joined Massa and Hulkenberg in retiring from the race just around the halfway mark after issues with his throttle pedal sent him to the back of the grid. Fernando Alonso then retired from a points-scoring position, and Jenson Button’s hopes of bringing home some points were quashed after coming together with Maldanado and having to pit for a new front wing, and then retiring to preserve his gearbox.

What an idiot!

This was our joint expert analysis of the events that led to the second safety car being deployed, after a fan decided he had nothing better to do than take a walk on the track, and according to Daniel Ricciardo, take a video. I hope they are pleased that they caused so much chaos, and not only did their stupidity put both himself and the drivers in danger, it resulted in the race being neutralised as everyone opted to pit and change to identical strategies.

Sebastian Vettel’s fourth Singapore GP victory means he is now has more victories than the great Ayrton Senna, and occupies third places in the list of all-time victories.

Hamilton’s retirement and Rosberg’s fourth place does bring the gap between them down by 12 points, but given Mercedes’ ruthless recovery from technical issues in the past, it is hard to imagine him being plagued by any other reliability problems for the remaining six races. However, having had no Mercedes on the podium in two of the last four races has been refreshing and allowed others to come to the fore.

Daniel Ricciardo was magnificent and finished second ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in third. Alexander Rossi did extremely well on his debut, finishing ahead of his teammate in 14th place and having had no radio communications for the second half of the race.

So how well did the Singapore GP convince Imi?

I thought it was very eventful, which impressed me. I thought it was strange how they handled the man on the track; there didn’t seem to be any repercussions of that.

I was happy my prediction was correct, and Daniel Ricciardo ended up on the podium.

It’s a shame that Hamilton wasn’t able to equal Ayrton Senna’s record, as that would have been very impressive. However, I am a fan of Vettel and was pleased to see him make history today.

I prefer the BBC coverage and so my experience of it may have been slightly compromised as I was unfamiliar with the Sky coverage and found it to be meandering, rather than atmospheric. So I may choose to turn in to a highlights package on the BBC over a live race in future.

All in all, I found it at times thrilling and did go “Ooohhh!” on many occasions.

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