Grand Prix of Singapore – Race

Quite the upset in Qualifying; grid is: VET, RIC, RAI, KVY, HAM, ROS, BOT, VES, MAS, GRO, HUL, ALO, PER, SAI, BUT, NAS, ERI, MAL, STE*, RSI*.
*STE and RSI each have five-place grid penalties for gearbox changes.

Air temperature 30°C; track 37°C; humidity 75%
Tyre choices: prime=soft (yellow side wall); option=super-soft (red)

VET leads away on the formation lap
Looks like everyone is starting on options
BBC report both Mercedes had software problems but apparently that’s now fixed

01/61: VES doesn’t get off the grid
BOT attacking ROS
PER almost runs into the rear of his teammate
VES being pushed into the pit lane

02: VET, RIC, RAI, KVY, HAM, ROS, BOT, MAS, HUL, PER, ALO, SAI, GRO, NAS, ERI, BUT, MAL, RSI, STE, VES
VES is running again; exits the pit lane already a lap down

03: VET fastest lap 1:51.623
DRS now enabled

04: VET has already opened a 4.8sec gap over RIC

05/61: VET, RIC, RAI, KVY, HAM, ROS, BOT, MAS, HUL, PER
Radio from BUT – rear tyres overheating

06: VES is currently fastest but he’s still down in P20

07: Radio from PER – says he’s faster than HUL, hoping team will tell HUL to let him pass

08: Radio from BUT – tyres are very poor

10/61: VET, RIC, RAI, KVY, HAM, ROS, BOT, MAS, HUL, PER
GRO pits; switch to primes

11: ALO pits, as does SAI, ERI & MAL
GRO attacking ALO
GRO takes P13
Replay shows ALO stop was a little slow due to front-left but then had to wait as others passed his pit box

12: HUL pits
SAI looking for a way past ALO

13: KVY pits; another set of options
MAS pits; options too
MAS hits HUL as MAS exits pits; HUL into the wall
Virtual Safety Car deployed

14[VSC]: VET pits as do RIC, RAI, HAM, ROS, BOT, PER, NAS, BUT
BUT pit stop terrible – front right issue
Radio from MAS – check my car; told everything looks OK
RSI and VES pit too

15[VSC]: VET, RIC, RAI, HAM, ROS, KVY, BOT, PER, NAS, GRO
MAS pits; primes; team check for damage
SC deployed to guide cars past the marshals as they clear up debris

16[SC]: VES allowed to pass SC to unlap himself

18[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap

19: Green flags for the restart
Problem for SAI on the restart – car on neutral as everyone streams past – eventually found a gear

20/61: VET, RIC, RAI, HAM, ROS, KVY, BOT, PER, NAS, GRO, ALO, MAL, MAS, ERI, BUT, SAI, RSI, STE, VES; retirements: HUL
Incident involving cars 19 and 27 (MAS and HUL) under investigation – causing a collision

21: Looks like the Ferrari pit wall have lost some of their displays
Radio from HAM – thinks VET is slowing the pace to give RAI a chance to pass RIC

22: Radio for KVY telling him to adjust brake balance

23: Drop of 3 grid positions for HUL for causing the collision with MAS
Radio for BUT – car is hot, avoid tow, move out of slipstream; BUT not happy, asks “anything else?”

24: Radio for RIC – obviously VET isn’t pushing, look after your tyres
KVY still on ROS’ tail

25/61: VET, RIC, RAI, HAM, ROS, KVY, BOT, PER, NAS, GRO

26: Radio from HAM – “lost power”
HAM still running but has lost some pace

27: ROS passes HAM for P4
GRO pits
KVY and BOT pass HAM
Radio for HAM suggesting setting changes; HAM says not working
VET has picked up his pace and is leaving RIC behind

28: VET f/lap 1:50.520
Team ask HAM if problem is throttle pedal; no
HAM dropping down to P10
MAL pits

29: ERI and SAI pit
Radio from MAS – car just went into neutral but OK now

30/61: VET, RIC, RAI, ROS, KVY, BOT, PER, NAS, ALO, BUT; HAM is P11
MAS pits… but drives straight through and out of the pits
Radio for MAS – told to pit and retire the car

31: Radio for HAM – team still trying to fix his problem
MAS pits & retires

32: Radio from HAM suggesting they retire to save the engine
SAI right on the tail of ERI

33: SAI harrying ERI for P14
Radio from HAM – dropping back; team agree; box, box
HAM pits; team change tyres as matter of course but then push him into garage

34: KVY pits, as does ALO
ALO pushed into the McLaren garage

35/61: VET, RIC, RAI, ROS, BOT, PER, NAS, BUT, KVY, VES; GRO, MAL, ERI, SAI, RSI, STE; retirements: ALO, HAM, MAS, HUL
PER & NAS pit

36: PER attacking GRO; takes P9
KVY passes BUT for P6

37: PER lining up VES
There’s a spectator on the track!!!
SC deployed

38[SC]: VET pits, followed by RIC, RAI, ROS, BOT, RSI, BUT, SAI

40/61[SC]: Lapped cars are permitted to overtake … but RSI isn’t passing RIC!?
Radio for BUT telling him to save fuel and brake hard; asks if he should rub his tummy and pat his head 🙂
SC in at the end of this lap
RAI still stuck behind RSI

41: VET, RIC, RAI, ROS, BOT, KVY, PER, GRO, MAL, BUT
BUT and MAL fighting over P9
MAL runs wide; cuts in front of BUT; BUT hits rear of MAL, breaks his front wing

42: BUT pits; new front wing
Radio from BUT – “I should have known really, he’s mental”

43: SAI past MAL

44: VES f/lap 1:50.298
BBC report “Replays show that part of Jenson Button’s front wing very nearly struck Carlos Sainz’s helmet. A very dangerous moment.”

45/61: VET, RIC, RAI, ROS, BOT, KVY, PER, GRO, VES, SAI; MAL, NAS, ERI, BUT, RSI, STE; retirements: ALO, HAM, MAS, HUL
GRO has VES and SAI right on his rear wing

46: Incident involving cars 13 and 22 (MAL and BUT) under investigation – causing a collision
VES inside GRO; clean battle; VES takes P8

47: SAI pushes GRO wide, takes P9

48: VET f/lap 1:50.186
MAL has NAS and ERI closing on him

50/61: RIC f/lap 1:50.118
Incident involving MAL and BUT – no further action

52: VET f/lap 1:50.075
VES closing on PER

53: RIC f/lap 1:50.041
Radio for BUT telling him to retire the car; gearbox problems
BUT pits, drives straight into garage

54: NAS takes P11 from MAL
ERI right on MAL’s tail now

55/61: VET, RIC, RAI, ROS, BOT, KVY, PER, VES, SAI, GRO; NAS, ERI, MAL, RSI, STE; retirements: BUT, ALO, HAM, MAS, HUL
MAL pits

56: Radio for BOT telling him to look after gearbox on downshift but “there’s not much you can do”

57 = 5 laps left: might just complete the distance inside the 2 hour limit

58: NAS closing on GRO

59: NAS all over the rear of GRO

60/61: GRO locks up the front right; NAS steals P10
GRO pits
Radio for VES telling him to switch positions with SAI; VES immediately says “no”

61: Radio for VES telling him again to let SAI take P8

VET takes the chequered flag
RIC only 1.4sec behind
RAI, ROS, BOT, KVY, PER
VES holds on to P8 ahead of his teammate

Provisional result: VET, RIC, RAI, ROS, BOT, KVY, PER, VES, SAI, NAS; ERI, MAL, GRO, RSI, STE
DNF: BUT, ALO, HAM, MAS, HUL

I expect there will be conversations in the Toro Rosso camp after VES ignored orders to let SAI take P8.

So instead of HAM equalling Senna’s total 41 race wins, VET moves ahead of Senna with 42 (behind Schumacher, 91, and Prost, 51).

Overly-long anthems
VET: “great day, great weekend”
RIC: if it weren’t for the safety car, could have got closer
RAI: “today was a struggle again”

Grand Prix of Japan next weekend; remember there’ll be a 3 grid position drop for HUL for causing the collision with MAS

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