Singapore Grand Prix – Race

The provisional grid after yesterday’s qualifying session is: LH, SV, NR, MW, FA, TG, NH, RK, HK, RB, KN, JB, KR, SB, JT, AS, JA, GF, RG, VL. (This is allowing for RB’s 5 grid spot penalty for a gearbox change.)

Since then, BMW Sauber announced that NH’s car was underweight – note it was the team who told the FIA; he’ll start the race from the pit lane instead of P7. That bumps everyone from RK onwards up one spot.

In case you’ve missed out on the fallout from last year’s Singapore GP, check out my notes on the hearing and penalties.

My race notes are after the cut as usual.

LH leads everyone (except NH) around on the formation lap

01/61: Good start for LH
KR cut Turn 1 – penalty?
FA has passed MW
MW passes FA but he went wide of the corner so he’ll have to give that place back or face a penalty
JB has passed KN
TG passed FA too

02: LH, NR, SV, MW, TG, FA, RB, RK

03: NH still in P20
Replay of MW passing FA – looks like they both ran wide in that corner

04: Lots of leaves and dust on the track
RG pits and is directed into the garage – he parks it and he’s out of the race

05/61: LH, NR, SV, MW, TG, FA, RB, RK (JB P10)
Pit-car for LH tells him they may have a KERS issue; tell him to change setting to disable KERS
SV sets fastest lap 1:49.122

08: Pit-car for MW tells him to let FA past – that means he has to let TG past too because TG is between MW and FA

09: LH f/lap 1:48.423 – his KERS is working again
Pit-car for AS warns him that his engine is overheating because he’s in JA’s dirty air

10/61: LH, NR, SV, TG, FA, MW, RB, RK; retirements: just RG
Pit-car for GF tells him about AS’s problem and encourage him to push & pass him

11: LH has a 2.4sec lead over NR

12: SB runs wide and KR steals P12

13: AS is still all over the tail of JA, despite being told to take care of his engine temperature

14: VL tries to get up the inside of GF; GF forced wide in the corner – will he be told to yield P16?
Yellow flag out because there’s a piece of TG’s bodywork in the middle of the track

15/61: LH, NR, SV, TG, FA, MW, RB, RK
Will they deploy the Safety Car in order to clear that piece of debris? (The stewards are a little paranoid since Massa’s accident)

16: LH’s lead now 3.2sec over NR
BBC report RB’s been told to close the gap to MW otherwise when SV pits he (SV) will come out in front of RB and mess up their strategy

17: A marshal dashes onto the track, grabs the debris and bolts back behind the barriers

18: SV pits from P3 – 8.4sec stop – rejoins just behind RB, so the team’s advice was right

19: NR pits from P2 – front wing tweak – 9.1s – runs wide on the pit exit – he crossed the white line, so he’ll get a drive-through penalty
MW pits to
RB gets past NR
BBC debate whether NR should get a penalty – I think it’s clear he should because it’s a safety issue, nothing to do with gaining track advantage

20/61: LH, TG, FA, RB, NR, SV, RK, HK
TG pits – slow change of the left front wheel
RB struggles to keep the Brawn inside the pit lane exit line

21: LH pits from P1 – 8.8s – clean stop – rejoins ahead of FA
“Incident involving car 16 (NR) under investigation” … so expect a penalty soon
Yes, “Drive through penalty for car 16 – crossing the line at pit exit”
AS leaving the scene of an accident with NH
AS has no front wing; NH has a destroyed rear right wheel – he drives behind off track and retires
Replay shows AS trying to pass down the inside into Turn 14 – hits JA – spins the Force India – keeps his foot down and spins around into NH
There’s GOT to be a major penalty for AS – that was stupidly dangerous!
Safety Car deployed

22[SC]: AS pits for a new nose cone
Lots of debris strewn across Turn 14
JB pits, as does FA, KR, KN, …
JA pits – he pulls away before the lollipop is lifted – takes the fuel hose with him
Replay: JA definitely went before he was told to – they’d only just dropped the rear jack, so maybe he forgot which pedal is the brake?
BBC happen to be in the pits – everyone’s OK
Marshals clear up the debris in Turn 14

24[SC]: Pit-car for NR tells him to follow the SC into the pits so he can serve his drive-through penalty

25[SC]: AS pits and parks in the garage – hopefully he’ll have a penalty for the next race
Safety Car in at the end of this lap – lights on the top of the SC are off, which informs the drivers he’ll be peeling off into the pits
LH starts to back up the pack as the SC heads for the pits

26: LH, NR, SV, TG, FA, RB, HK, JB; retirements: AS, NH, RG
So NR didn’t pit as per his team’s instructions

27: NR doesn’t pit this lap either, so he’s got to come in next lap
“Incident involving cars 6 and 20 will be investigated after the race” – that’s AS and NH

28: NR serves his drive-through penalty at last – rejoins in P14
BBC say Force India are hoping to get AS back on track soon

29: SV almost half a second quicker than LH
TG pit-car tells him not to let SV open the gap but TG is clearly slower

30/61: SV right on LH’s tail but can he try to pass?
TG now 4.5s behind SV and slowly falling back

(Half distance)

32: LH, SV, TG, FA, RB, HK, JB, MW; retirements: AS, NH, RG

33: SV still harrying LH; it could all come down to their 2nd pit stops

34: Pit-car for JB telling him SV will pit in 6 laps

35/61: NR runs wide – kicks up lots of dust but I think he kept it out of the wall – that’s the same spot where RB wiped out in Qualifying

37: LH f/lap 1:48.345 but still only about 0.9sec quicker than SV

38: Replay shows SV’s right wing mirror break free = more debris on the track

39: NR is all over the tail of JA, hoping to take P16 … which he does

40/61: SV pits from P2 – 8.4s stop – rejoins behind JB

42: Replay shows SV hit his own wing mirror that he dropped a few laps back – looks like he’s damaged the rear diffuser
“Drive through penalty for car 15 (SV) – speeding in the pit lane”

44: SV serves his drive-through penalty – rejoins just ahead of KR

45/61: MW pits – long stop while they check the front right brake – thumbs up – 14.7s stop
BBC report a mechanic picked up the brake dust from MW’s stop and they’re examining a lump

46: LH, FA, JB
BBC also report that SV’s mechanics took a look at his rear diffuser when he served his drive-through penalty – apparently one mechanic signalled that it’s over but he’s still running
MW backwards into the tyre wall – brake failure?

47: LH pits from P1 – 6.5s stop – good stop – rejoins behind FA so he’s in P2
Replay of MW’s accident – big cloud of brake dust from the front right under braking = brake failure – fortunately it was one of the few places with a decent run off area
No safety car – the marshals can clear this under yellow flags

48: Pit-car from LH asking if all is OK after he accelerated out of the box as the rear jack was removed; team say all OK

49: JA and SB both pit … and both are directed into their garages!

50/61: FA, LH, JB, TG, SV, KR, RB, HK; retirements: SB, JA, MW, AS, NH, RG

51: FA pits from P1 – 5.5s – quick stop – rejoins in P4
Brawn mechanics get ready for JB – should be a splash & dash
Pit-car for RB saying JB in this lap, warning him the teammates could be entering Turn 1 together

52: JB pits from P2 – 6.4s stop – almost a second slower than Renault – rejoins ahead of KR
Replay of SV running wide in Turn 1

KR pits from P6, which means RB is now behind his teammate
Pit-car from JB asking if he needs to look after the tyres (or can he just go for it?); answer is a bit conservative

53: FA f/lap 1:48.240

55/61: LH, TG, FA, SV, JB, RB, HK, RK; retirements: SB, JA, MW, AS, NH, RG
BBC talk to Ross Brawn – RB’s brakes are a bit too warm

56: KR closing in on KN
Replay shows lots of brake dust coming from the front right of JB’s Brawn

57: LH has a 7sec lead over TG, who in turn has a 7sec lead over FA

58: BBC point out JB is lifting off early and using engine+aero braking
Pit-car radio has Ross Brawn tell JB that he has to back off and not fight SV for P4

59: Pit-car for RB tell him to be easy on his brakes, and that JB has a brake problem too; RB immediately asks if he can catch JB 🙂 Team say he’s 10sec ahead (so no!)

60/61: LH, TG, FA, SV, JB, RB, HK, RK; retirements: SB, JA, MW, AS, NH, RG
KR continues to push KN but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to take P9

61 = final lap: LH has a comfortable lead over TG
RB closing on JB but JB should hold on to P5
LH takes the chequered flag
TG very happy as he crosses the line for P2
P3=FA, 4=SV, 5=JB, 6=RB, 7=HK, 8=RK
9=KN, 10=KR, 11=NR, 12=JT, 13=GF, 14=VL
DNF: SB, JA, MW, AS, NH, RG

Provisional results: LH, TG, FA, SV, JB, RB, HK, RK, KN, KR, NR, JT, GF, VL; SB, JA, MW, AS, NH, RG.

Next race: Suzuka, Japan, next weekend.

4 thoughts on “Singapore Grand Prix – Race

  1. The stewards investigation into the AS/NH incident was held after the race; the FIA site reports “Sutil was subsequently reprimanded and fined $20,000.”

    I don’t think a financial penalty is appropriate – he should have received a time/grid spot penalty for the next race, I believe, but at least they slapped his wrist.

    Unfortunately the incident ended NH’s long run of finishes: “The last time Heidfeld was not classified in a race result was at the 2007 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis where his car succumbed to hydraulic problems.” [FIA]

  2. Sebastian Vettel thinks the stewards were wrong to penalise him for speeding in the pit lane, and I tend to agree with his argument: he says (according to autosport.com) that the FIA calculated his speed based on dividing the time it took him to enter the pits divided by their predetermined measurement of the distance. He maintains he took a shortcut, hence a shorter distance and therefore his speed was calculated as being higher than it actually was.

    It’s not like the FIA can’t afford to buy a couple of police speed radar guns!

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