I thought it couldn't get worse after Spa and Monza but proved wrong here. Only the racing at the end saved the race from minimum points but that racing itself was artificial due to the difference in tyre wear.
For next year can we have 0 as an option for these polls?
I'll go for a 6 as well, the racing after the safety car saved it. I think I probably enjoyed it more than Monza (which I also gave a 6) because of that, but I don't think I can stretch to a 7. Without the safety car it would have been a Vettel dominated procession, with the safety car it was a Vettel dominated procession with a bit of tyre induced overtaking and excitement towards the end.
4 from me and that's being generous. Thank goodness for the safety car. That was on target to being one of the worst races I've ever watched otherwise. Virtually all the overtaking at the end was between very unmatched cars though, but the difficulty of overtaking on this circuit made it a bit more interesting. I really don't like the Singapore Grand Prix very much.
I think there are a few things to say here. Positives and negative, as it were.
Positive number one, honestly, is the fact that those who watched this Grand Prix probably saw one of the greatest team/driver performances of all time. Seriously, just think about what the number 1 Red Bull did. Started off repassing at turn One and started gapping at 7 seconds on lap 7. When the lead was destroyed by a Safety Car, and they got the strategy wrong (ie. all others who tried the same ended up behind Raikkonen and Alonso) that car simply just beggered off, 2 seconds a lap quicker than the field and pulled a pitstop back. Then won by 33 seconds. That's another pitstop. An utterly incredible performance.
Positive number two is that after the Safety Car period, the strategy became interesting, even if the leader was in a different race, with victory for Alonso in that particular battle.
Positive number three is the huge stramasch in the top 10 from Button - Sutil for the last 15 laps.
The negative. The one negative (but a very big negative) can be summed up in just 11 characters: Mark Webber. He was our only chance of actually having a race, and boy did he fail to deliver! We haven't seen a driver 2 seconds slower than a team-mate for a good while and if your team-mate is escaping from the car in front of you by 2 seconds a lap, you have DRS and he doesn't, then there is absolutely no excuse for you not passing him. He was running 4th before his engine grenaded, which makes you wonder just how good a car the team have to supply for the guy to actually finish in 2nd place in a race! And to top it off, on two reprimands, he picks up a 10 place penalty for Korea because he couldn't be arsed to walk back, pretty much killing the next race as a contest for good measure.
OK, the rest didn't compete with Red Bull, but sometimes a team can steal a march. What we need is a #2 who might, like Barrichello or Patrese, at least finish 2nd!
6. Completely frustrated on how no one in the field can get their acts togeter other than Red Bull and Vettel. Yes great drives from Alonso and Kimi but if they'd had a decent qualifying maybe they'd have been in a position to challenge in the race. Not sure what was going on with Rosbergs pace at times and Lewis seemed off his game. Add to that RoGro car woes and its no wonder it looks easy for Vettel. Maybe we should boo the rest of the field rather than Sebastian.
Six, I liked the end, Lewis on a charge, this time with Nico and Mark for company, shame we didn't get to see more of a Mercedes duel, I thought Lewis was quicker in the end stint.
I also like the finish line fireworks
4, didn't see the full race coverage as I was out with the family so had to suffer the Beeb highlights for the first time in a while. I can't say if it's a valid 4 as I don't know how I would have felt watching the race live.
Vettel just ran away with it.
Alonso and Vettel both made their race out of lap one.
For a race with so few cars dropping out, it was bloody typical that two of them were in my fantasy team which isn't helping my mood at the moment.
Ah well, everyone else may as well pack up, go home and start planning for 2014 and let Vettel have this one because if this race is anything to go by, the rest of the season is going to be a cake walk.
Unusually for me I was able to watch the GP2 sprint race on a reasonably good internet feed and enjoyed it immensely. Am I right in thinking that the GP2 chaps have no DRS or KERS? (Note to self: I must read up on GP2 tech'). Thus, in spite of the efforts of the commentators to big it up by shouting all the time, the F1 race was thoroughly disappointing .
Several things stood out. Firstly - and I don't know if it was the same bloke doing the job later - the producer covering the GP2 race made an effort to show some very hard fought battles that were taking place throughout the whole field. This meant that there was a lot of entertainment even though it was an almost Seb-like runaway victory for Sam Bird. We also got to see much more of the "ambient" environment of the circuit and surrounding features. We could see the architecture of the circuit, the city's buildings and bridges, parks and gardens, giving a great sense of location without losing sight of the action. It also felt right to be watching a race in daylight during daytime.
Contrast that with the F1 coverage where we got the first 12 laps procession interspersed with pictorially attractive but pointless travelogue helicopter shots of night time Singapore. Watching a night race at lunch-time feels just wrong. I started to get jet-lag whilst sat on my sofa. To compound the effect, the on-track action as ever looked like it was shot in a tunnel. Yes the F1 cars looked lovely and shiny, and yes the colours under the floodlights looked impressive, but only briefly since after the first few laps it all melted into the same boring backdrop. From the helicopter shots the dots that were racing cars disappeared and reappeared in the bright stripe that was the circuit. Personally I could not see who was who during those shots and found it extraordinarily tedious.
There were a few very good overtakes but two them invoked the muted wrath of the Stew-hards who chose to negate them by imposing drive-through's. Correct me if I am wrong but is it not the rule that competitors must leave a car's width of race track for opponents who are alongside them? How is then that Hamilton and Hulkenberg got penalised for being forced off of track limits in what to my mind were fair tussles? We may have seen a more interesting battle up front had the consequences for Hamilton not cost him at least eleven laps stuck behind the dodgy Massa for fear of that happening again. Those two penalties possibly deterred others from making passes, I don't know, but I am sure it stunted overtaking opportunities for The Ham and the Hulk, whether they themselves say or admit so in public or otherwise.
And (to break the "never start a new sentence with 'and' or 'but'" rule, just for effect you understand) then there was the curse of the reliability, unpredictable tyres and totally predictable DRS regulation. I thoroughly enjoy the tactical side of F1. However, the whole tyre, car conservation and DRS artificial overtake remedy meant that most of the near two hours - I'll say that again in big letters and an expletive for emphasis - TWO ****ING HOURS - of racing consisted of ... not racing!
To cap it all off we were treated to the usual exhortations of what a wonderful drive it was by Sebastian - which it was - but we didn't get to see any of it! I personally derive pleasure from seeing one or two complete laps of the driver leading the race. Especially those laps where he is pushing like hell to break from the pack and build a lead. Apart from the occasional super-slo-mo (or still photograph as I like to call them) I don't recall seeing any of the laps where Seb would have been throwing the car through the turns and esses.
So, having said all that I will depart from my usual efforts to score elements of the race to come up with a total. That is because I know without the need for exhaustive calculation that I was once again bored almost to a torpor. I managed to stay awake this week only by having BSB on Eurosport to glance at from time to time, but iit was a gargantuan effort requiring more than I usually consume in a week. Ironically I have derived more satisfaction and enjoyment writing this critique than I extracted from the entire race!
Therefore Singapore 2013 gets a lowly three from me.
A re-run and/or highlights of this critique will appear later in the pages of Rootersport
I nearly voted, but falling blood pressure in my voting finger prevented me from managing it. My other hand tried to give it a lift back to the pits, but has been penalised for doing so - it now has to spend a week as one of my feet. This I find to be rather inconvenient, but will ultimately have no bearing on the result of the season...