22 September 2019

Five and a half hours after the race

We have had a run of really good Formula 1 races this summer, but the Singapore Grand Prix failed to live up to such status. The leaders were unable to do much in the track and so it was really down to strategy. At the start, Charles Leclerc stayed ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari wanted to get a 1-2 and so Charles backed up the field, to try to help Sebastian pull off an undercut on Lewis. The problem was that Leclerc was not aware that Vettel had pitted and so when he pitted a lap later he discovered that he had been undercut by his own team-mate! Hamilton went on, his strategy presumably being to try to win the race as the Ferraris worked their way through a group of slower cars. But the Mercedes was not fast enough and when Lewis pitted after six laps, he fell back into the pack and found himself behind both Leclerc and Verstappen. That was really the end of the game. There was an odd period when the race was led by Antonio Giovinazzi in the Alfa Romeo, but this was never going to be a successful strategy and he duly fell away. In the second half of the race there were three Safety Car interludes caused by some wild activity in the midfield but these served only to bunch up the cars and at the same time negate potential tyre advantages that might have made the fight more exciting at the end of the race. And so Vettel won his first victory for a year, Leclerc wasn't very happy and wanted to understand what had happened and the others were happy enough because they admitted that the Ferraris were unbeatable. It was a Ferrari 1-2 with Verstappen third with Hamilton and Bottas fourth and fifth, while Alex Albon took sixth in the second Red Bull, a decent effort in his first ever visit to the circuit. The minor points went to Lando Norris, who was cased to the finish line by Pierre Gasly, Nico Hulkenberg and Giovinazzi.

- We look at the Leclerc-Verstappen rivalry
- We talk to Claire Williams
- We look back at Singapore 2008
- DT looks back at nearly-men in F1
- JS ruminates on the subject of market research
- The Hack passes judgement on drivers who should have retired earlier than they did
- Peter Nygaard lights up the darkness in Marina Bay

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