Grand Prix of Singapore – Qualifying


Singapore is a unique race – it’s the only one run under floodlights. The drivers tend to use clear visors rather than the tinted ones preferred for daytime races, which provides an opportunity to watch the concentration required to compete at this twisty circuit. [video]

Some good news following the horrible crash in the Forumula 2 race in Belgium three weeks ago in which Anthoine Hubert died:

Formula 2 driver Juan Manuel Correa has been taken out of an induced coma but still faces “a race against time” to undergo major surgery on leg injuries. [BBC]
“Doctors are in a race against time to perform a pending major surgery in order to minimize risk of irreversible injuries to his right lower extremity but can’t proceed until lungs are ready to withstand a lengthy operation.”
Correa is still “vulnerable medically” but his condition has been upgraded from critical to serious.

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: VER (1:40.259), VET, HAM, BOT, ALB
    BOT hit the wall in Turn 19, doing a lot of damage to his Mercedes and causing a brief red flag (session suspended) [video]
    LEC’s Ferrari lost power and rolled into the pit lane
    Alfa Romeo also had power problems – their garage had an electrical issue which meant RAI and GIO missed part of the session
    Mercedes has been fined €5,000 after the Singapore stewards deemed that the German team had used fuel more than eleven degrees centigrade below the ambient temperature. [pitpass.com]
  2. FP2: HAM (1:38.773), VER, VET, BOT, ALB
    ALB locked up and ended up nose-first in the wall at Turn 10, destroying his Red Bull’s front wing
    PER (who apparently is a bit under the weather) and MAG tussled, with PER squeezing MAG against the wall – after FP2, PER was reprimanded but not penalised by the stewards [video]
  3. FP3: LEC (1:38.192), HAM, VET, BOT, ALB
    PER hits the wall; he’s had incidents in each session now; brief red flag so marshals can clean up debris from his Racing Point [video]
    HAM spins but keeps it out of the walls
    Smoke from KVY’s Toro Rosso; he’s told to pit

Good to see ALB in the top 5 in all three Free Practice sessions, even ahead of teammate VER in FP3.
PER needs a new gearbox so that’s a 5-place grid penalty
KVY’s Toro Rosso is still being rebuilt after an engine issue

Air temperature 30°C; track 35°C

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Radio from SAI – “I have no power; no power” but he seems to be still heading around the track
HAM and BOT are on medium compound tyres; everyone else on softs
Bit of jostling for position ready to start their quick laps
GIO 1:40.029
BOT 1:38.623
(HAM P2)
LEC 1:38.014
(VET P4)
(SAI P4) – so much for “no power”!
(VER P2)
STR skimming the wall
Radio for LEC “we need to maximise full throttle” – does that mean put your foot down all the way or for longer?
(VET P2)
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are RAI, GRO, MAG, RUS, KUB
Both Mercedes on track again, but on softs this time
2mins left; only the top 3 (LEC, VET, VER) and ALB stay in the pits
BOT 1:37.317
(HAM P2)
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are RAI, GRO, MAG, RUS, KUB
MAG P12, STR P16
RAI P12, PER P16
STR P16
PER P14, KVY P16
Back of the grid: KVY, STR, GRO, RUS, KUB

Qualifying session 2
BOT and HAM are the first out of the pits; on softs, as expected for Q2
Did HAM tap the wall? No marks on the wheel, so maybe he just got away with it
BOT 1:37.142
HAM 1:37.061
LEC 1:36.930
(VET P4)
(VER P3)
RAI slapped the wall with his rear left
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are GIO, GAS, PER, RAI, MAG
LEC passes HAM on their out lap
2mins left; everyone’s on track for a flying lap
HAM’s passed LEC so now LEC has to back off before they start their quick lap
Chequered flag
VET 1:36.720
LEC 1:36.650
(HAM P3)
PER P11
RAI P14
Middle of the grid: PER*, GIO, GAS, RAI, MAG
*PER has a 5-place penalty for a gearbox change

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between LEC, VET, HAM, VER, BOT, NOR, ALB, SAI, RIC and HUL
Everyone on soft tyres, of course
VET 1:36.437
SAI P2
BOT P2
NOR P4
HAM P2
LEC P2
VER P3
HUL P8
RIC P8
ALB P6
Order after the first run: VET, LEC, VER, HAM, BOT, ALB, SAI, NOR, RIC, HUL
Replay shows VET tapping a wall on his fast lap
Replay of BOT hanging the tail out in Turn 2
5mins left of Q3
Everyone back on track for the final run
VER abandons his lap
VER P3
SAI P6
LEC 1:36.217
RIC P8
NOR P10
ALB P4
HAM P2
BOT P5
Front of the grid: LEC, HAM, VET, VER, BOT, ALB, SAI, RIC, HUL, NOR

Radio from LEC “I lost control three times I think!”
HAM “I gave it everything I had”

Provisional grid: LEC, HAM, VET, VER, BOT, ALB, SAI, RIC, HUL, NOR, PER*, GIO, GAS, RAI, MAG, KVY, STR, GRO, RUS, KUB
*PER has a 5-place penalty for a gearbox change