Singapore Grand Prix – Qualifying

Since the Italian GP weekend, Bernie Ecclestone has banned teams giving drivers advice over the radio; this has subsequently been backed off a little, but it’s still a stupid idea – it’s jsut going to lead to the teams using coded messages to get around it.

Singapore is always an interesting race, if only because it’s held at night. It’s hard to pass (like most circuits) so Qualifying is important.

Free practice times:

  1. FP1: ALO (1:49.056), HAM, ROS, VET, RIC, VER; VET had an engine failure so it’s been replaced by an older one.
  2. FP2: HAM (1:47.490), ALO, RIC, RAI, VET; ROS was P13; MAL had a big off and brought out the red flags.
  3. FP3: ALO (1:47.299), RIC, ROS, VER, VET; HAM was P6 after a spin.

So we could be in for some good racing this weekend.

My GridBids picks for the race are: ROS, HAM RAI, MAL, GRO, BUT & HUL.

Air temperature 27°C; track 32°C; humidity 77%
10% chance of rain during Qualifying

Tyre choices: prime=soft (yellow markings), option=super-soft (red)

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
A lot of cars streaming out of the pits
ROS runs wide in Turn 8 – locked up his front left
VER 1:49.379
BOT 1:48.743
Half the cars are on super-soft tyres already
RAI 1:48.583
ALO 1:48.203
10mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are GRO, SUT, GUT; no time from RIC, VET, ERI
HAM 1:47.847
GRO takes to the escape road; on the radio saying he has brake problems
(GUT P2 on options)
ROS leaving the pits on options
VET waving his fist at KVY but they’re both on quick laps
5mins left; bottom 6 are KOB, BIA, CHI; RIC, VET, ERI without a time
RIC 1:47.488
Everyone on options (timing data shows MAS on primes but he’s in the pits)
HUL 1:47.370
RAI 1:46.685 – first to go quicker than the best FP3 time
2mins left; bottom 6 are SUT, MAL, KOB, BIA, CHI, ERI
Chequered flag
(CHI P20)
(SUT P16; GRO to P17)
(BIA P19)
(GRO P13; SUT P17)
Back of the grid will be: SUT, MAL, BIA, KOB, CHI, ERI.
Radio from SUT – there’s nothing more in the car

Qualifying session 2 (Q2)
2mins in to Q2 and everyone is on track
PER 1:47.597
MAS 1:47.535
RAI 1:46.359
ALO 1:46.328
(ROS P3)
HAM has his hands full as he pushes his Mercedes to the limit
HAM 1:46.328
5mins left of Q2; bottom 6 are HUL, MAS, BOT, PER, GUT, GRO
Everyone in the pits; change of tyres before a final flying lap (for most of them)
(MAS P4; BUT to P11)
(BOT P8; VER to P11)
Chequered flag; bottom 6 are VER, BUT, HUL, PER, GUT, GRO
(GUT P14)
(BUT P11)
ROS 1:45.825 – that seems like a waste of a set of tyres
Middle of the grid: BUT, VER, HUL, GUT, PER, GRO

Qualifying session 3 (Q3)
Fighting over the top 10 grid spots are ROS, HAM, ALO, RAI, MAS, RIC, VET, BOT, MAG & KVY
MAS and MAG first out of the pits
RIC a bit wide out of Turn 5
MAS 1:46.007
After everyone’s first run, the order is MAS, RIC, ALO, RAI, BOT, HAM, ROS, VET, KVY, MAG
Radio for HAM asking about balance; HAM says he needs more front wing
RIC first to set off for the final laps
Timing data show ROS, KVY and MAG all on used options
Radio from RAI – problem with power; told to stop
Will RAI park safely off track or cause a yellow flag which will hinder people beating his time?
Chequered flag
Looks like RAI made it back to the pits
RIC 1:45.854
ROS 1:45.688
HAM 1:45.681
VET P4
ALO P5
MAG P9
Front of the grid: HAM, ROS, RIC, VET, ALO, MAS, RAI, BOT, MAG, KVY

Did that unnecessary extra run in Q2 (which meant he had to run on used tyres in Q3) cost ROS pole position?

Provisional grid: HAM, ROS, RIC, VET, ALO, MAS, RAI, BOT, MAG, KVY, BUT, VER, HUL, GUT, PER, GRO, SUT, MAL, BIA, KOB, CHI, ERI.

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