Grand Prix of Singapore – Qualifying

The big news (which everyone has been expecting for weeks, maybe months) is the sale of F1: Liberty Media have bought CVC’s majority shareholding and the new chairman of Formula 1 is Chase Carey, the executive vice chairman of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox … but Bernie says he has been asked to stay on as chief executive for three years. [BBC]

The weather (especially the humidity) is always a challenge for the Singapore GP. “Weather conditions throughout the Singapore Grand Prix week will be predominately dictated by the presence of the SouthWest monsoon, according to UBIMET, official meteorological service provider to the FIA.” [pitpass.com]

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: VES (1:45.823), RIC, VET, HAM ROS
    BUT only managed a couple of laps before his McLaren came to a stop just before the pit entrance, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car
    GRO wasn’t able to take part in FP1 as his team investigate a leak in his Haas
    A few drivers getting very close to the wall, to the point that their wheel hubs are kicking up sparks!
    ROS lost his front wing when he hit the wall on the outside of Turn 18; looks like a puncture too
  2. FP2: ROS (1:44.152), RAI, VES, RIC, VET
    RIC spins after clipping a wall; he’s not the first to hit a wall in FP2, but he is the first not to get away with it
    GUT is the first to go out on the purple ultra-soft compound tyres
    OCO made a mess of his ultrasofts after kissing a wall
    GRO runs wide, smacks a wall and break off part of his rear wing! He’s staying out of people’s way as the Haas limps back to the pits
    HAM seemed to have trouble with grip, never quite hooking up a really quick lap; in the end he parks it in the Mercedes garage and the mechanics go to work trying to fix a hydraulic leak; FP2 is over for him
    RIC on the radio complaining about NAS exiting the pits just in front of him but then using DRS to stay ahead, impeding the Aussie’s quick lap; his engineer replies “you need to remember, it is Felipe Nasr” – ouch!
    Radio from VES whining that he’s always in traffic; he’s told “It’s a street circuit mate – deal with it” 🙂
    Just as the chequered flag falls, ALO parks his McLaren on an escape road – sounds like a gearbox problem
  3. FP3: ROS (1:44.352), VES, RAI, RIC, VET
    HAM continued to struggle to find a good lap; he finished P8 while his teammate was P1
    WEH hit the wall, losing part of his rear wing and bringing out the red flags briefly
    VES spotted a monitor lizard scurrying across the track
    BUT struggled with understeer

Just five minutes until the start of qualifying
Air temperature 30°C; track 34°C; humidity 60%; no current threat of rain

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
WEH first on track; he’s on soft tyres
HAM heading out on ultrasofts, as is ROS
ROS 1:45.316
HAM 1:45.167
BUT P3, 1sec slower than ROS
MAS P3
ALO P3 with Ferrari and Red Bull yet to set a time
RAI 1:44.964
VES P2
Radio from VET – “I think the front anti-roll bar broke; there’s something wrong with the car”
Will Ferrari have time to fix the problem and get VET out again to set a time?
RIC 1:44.255
VET heads to the pits; the car is lifting a front wheel when he corners
4mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are MAG, NAS, ERI, WEH, OCO, VET
VET still sitting in the car but his qualifying is over; his teammate is P2
Chequered flag
KVY P5, splitting the Mercedes pair
BUT P5 – great lap for the McLaren
Back of the grid: MAG, NAS, PAL, WEH, OCO, VET

Qualifying session 2
ROS goes out on new ultrasofts
Remember the top 10 on the grid will start with whichever tyres they use to set their fastest Q2 time
ERI 1:48.230
ROS 1:43.020
HAM P2
90seconds left of Q2; bottom 6 are BUT, PER, GUT, ALO, GRO, ERI
ALO on a hot lap
GRO lost the tail, spun into the barriers tail first; yellow flags out in sector 2
Chequered flag
ALO to P8, pushing MAS to P11
PER P9, relegating BOT
Did BUT hit the wall? Looked like a problem with his rear tyre
Was PER’s time set while the yellow flags were out?
VES and RIC will start the race on those supersoft tyres; the rest of the top 10 will be on ultrasofts
Middle of the grid: BOT, MAS, BUT, GUT, GRO, ERI

Bit of a delay before Q3 as the track workers reset the barrier that GRO hit

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between ROS, HAM, RIC, VES, RAI, KVY, SAI, ALO, PER & HUL
HUL is followed out of the pit lane by everyone except RAI and KVY
Radio from HAM – “right front (brake) is always very slow to wake up”
HUL 1:44.954
ALO 1:44.553
RIC 1:43.741
ROS 1:42.584
SAI P3
PER P6
VES P3
HAM P2
RAI P3
First run order: ROS, HAM, RAI, RIC, VES, SAI, ALO, HUL, PER, and no time yet from KVY
RAI is the last one out of the pits for the final flying laps
Chequered flag
RIC P2
VES P4
ROS doesn’t improve his time
Nor does HAM
KVY P6
ALO P8
Front of the grid: ROS, RIC, HAM, VES, RAI, SAI, KVY, HUL, ALO, PER
So ROS will be on pole for his 200th Grand Prix start

Provisional grid: ROS, RIC, HAM, VES, RAI, SAI, KVY, HUL, ALO, PER, BOT, MAS, BUT, GUT, GRO, ERI, MAG, NAS, PAL, WEH, OCO, VET
I wonder if there will be any penalties if the stewards investigate the people setting quick laps under yellow flags in Q2?

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