Grand Prix 2017 Singapore Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

So every year I write the Singapore intro thread. I have concluded from this that I am the only person who actually likes the Singapore Grand Prix. I know it’s a hastily put together micky mouse street circuit in a country with no fan base, but I can’t help it, I think it looks amazing under the lights and I love the closed in walled racing. I know Bahrain and Abu Dhabi do night racing now but just something about Singapore that gets me excited. I guess it’s a bit like the way Monaco gets me excited. I know we’re not going to get a lot of overtaking and the race might have some very dull moments but I can’t help but enjoy it. I think its just something about the tension of street circuits I like. The fact that it could all go wrong at any moment is just good watching.

This is the 10th Singapore Grand Prix and all 9 previous races have talking points. The most notorious one of course was the very first race in 2008 where the result was Nelson Piqueted after a conspiracy to fix the result. Pat Symonds is back now days so I’m hoping Sky will go over to him live on the pit wall and ask “So Pat is now a good time to get one of your drivers to deliberately crash?” – I doubt they will though as the whole thing has been brushed under the carpet. The driver the result was fixed to please was of course Fernando Alonso, although he knew nothing about it. Apparently. For legal purposes that's all I'm saying. Alonso was at the time in a team that used to be a front runner but had slipped to the back and not getting results. Alonso has been increasingly frustrated all season, sounding off in the press and the media and saying he was leaving to join a competitive team to get his third title. How times change huh?

For a change I thought I’d do a team by team look through:


Thanks to a combination of engine jiggery pokery with the rules and some great form by Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes have powered their way back to the front through the high speed circuits. Singapore is a very different kettle of fish though and will certainly pull them back to the rest of the grid. Their saving factor will of course be Lewis Hamilton’s good form and he is pretty nifty round Singapore even if he hasn’t got the results he sometimes deserved. Bottas was obviously told during the summer that he is a number 2 driver and has slipped into the background and I expect that to continue.


Ladies and Gentlemen we are now entering the Vettel zone! Yes the back end of the season (excluding the US and Brazil) has always been a sweet patch for Seb and I fully expect that to continue. He has always been top notch around Singapore and I think he’s probably favourite to win. His team mate on the other hand has an awful record at Singapore. I expect him to hit a wall or another car and then complain about it on the radio.

Red Bull:

This track has to be viewed by Red Bull as somewhere they can win. Ricciardo jokingly said he expected to lap the whole field in Singapore. He is pretty sharp round here like all street circuits and if he sniffs a win or a podium he usually goes all out. As does his team mate Max Verstappen. Usually I’d make a comment about Max, street circuits and walls but he is much improved on that front this year. I imagine he’ll be able to compete for the win as long as his car holds together. Everyone seems very keen to have a Ricciardo vs Verstappen fight (as long as Verstappen wins)

Force India:

Apparently the two Force India drivers aren’t allowed to race anymore. We never got to find out if either of them agreed to that as Ocon was away in the distance from Perez. This is a trend I expect to continue. I’m pretty sure Perez has brought a safety car out at every single Singapore Grand Prix he has raced at.


Everyone is praising Williams return to form and coming back to the front. They were on high speed circuits though. Back to the back here, do not pass go, do not collect £200


Haas seem to be on an upward spiral at the moment but this hasn’t stopped Grosjean complaining about everyone and everything. Magnussen has impressed me with his resolve and attitude this year and seems to be a match for Grosjean most of the time. I’m hoping he’ll have some close combat with Hulkenberg and talk about balls again.

Torro Rosso:

Has anyone seen Torro Rosso recently? Do they still race anymore?


There are signs that the Renault could be a competitive car but they are very fleeting. Hulkenberg is pretty much just going about his business but even he has struggled to get results. Palmer has so many car issues even his transponder has stopped working and was shown as 4 laps down in monaza at one point despite running 13th. Palmer has found himself in an intense unlikely rivalry with Alonso in the last couple of races. Basically Palmer came on the radio in Spa and complained that Alonso ran him off the road. Everyone knows complaining on the radio is Alonso’s thing so its no wonder he is annoyed. Palmer actually has good form round here. I remember him winning the GP2 race, held in the searing heat of the day back then, by a country mile. He certainly needs to start clocking results.


Sauber like Torro Rosso have gone MIA but we do see them on occasions because their drivers like to collide with each other at least once a race. Marcus Ericson (This will be his 70th Grand Prix by the way which seems crazy) is allowed to hit Wehrlein as much as he likes because he owns the team. Wehrlein is very gloomy as he’s gone from being about to jump into a Mercedes seat to not being in F1 next year. When he and Ocon tested for Force India they were very evenly match but Force India took Ocon because the mechanics got on with him better. If only someone had told Wehrlein being nice to people would get him places! I've never really been able to decide whether I rate Wehrlein or not but being made to go back and race DTM does make me feel sorry for the lad.


What to say about Mclaren? Well Singapore should even things out engine wise for them and as they are meant to have one of the best chassis should put them in the mix. This is assuming of course that the cars keep running. Its not being talked about much but Vandorne is pretty much keeping pace with Alonso – certainly within in the last few races. He was 10 seconds ahead in Monza before his engine packed up. Vandorne vs Alonso would be a fight well worth watching. Lets hope the engines hold out. On a serious note though I expect both Mclarens to have top 10 finishes and Alonso could even come alive and push close to a podium - lets hope its not after a safety car caused by this team mate though.

So that’s the scene for Singapore. It could be a classic or it could be dull as dishwater. Whichever it is it will certainly look good!
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World Champion
I still think Ricciardo over race pace is the favourite. The last person Vettel wants lunging inside of him is Verstappen which I can see happening


Mostly bacon
Vettel is clear favourite. With a decent start and then staying out of trouble he wins the race. No small task but less to do than either Red Bull, who may even hold each other up.

Unless of course turn one becomes 'interesting' in which case it's a lottery.

I've just agreed to take my daughter go-karting so I'll miss the race live, but I'll be channeling Max so he better finish this time.


Podium Finisher
Before the start I did say, if I were Vettel I'd let Verstappen pass, as it would be too risky. Funnily enough, Vettel did the complete opposite and he may have thrashed his title chances. It was a school boy error.

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Best qualifying, worst race thanks to Vettel doing what he has done before but not got away with it. The fight for the title is over barring Hamilton have an engine or two blow.

Ah well, maybe a decent season next year.

PS This is not decrying what Hamilton did, he took his chance brilliantly.


World Champion
Looks like I was right about Vettel not wanting Verstappen down the inside into turn 1 :whistle: and deciding it was better to do his customary wall squeeze when he should be thinking about trying to race himself against Hamilton

Vettel, Verstappen and Raikkonen have been all called to the stewards so Ferrari's tweet was ill advised blaming Verstappen who got squeezed between the two Ferrari's

So will someone now point the finger at Raikkonen for wrecking Vettel's chances within Maranello then?


World Champion
Hulkenberg now becomes the man who has drove more races and still no podium:teary:

Jolyon Palmer might have just earned some breathing space with his drive today and a fantastic pass on Bottas earlier

Sainz outstanding and shows he is ready to move up

Perez - typical drive keeping out of trouble with solid points

Bottas - where was he during the race ?


World Champion
Today the momentum has swung towards Hamilton and looking at the tracks, they all seem to favour Mercedes with the exception of Brazil because its short and not many long straights plus the rain

This is going to be tough for Ferrari to come back from

Dario Resta

Podium Finisher
I see the stewards haven't pinned the blame on one driver for the start line fracas. To me, it was a good 80% Seb's fault. No need to move over as far as he did and he left Verstappen nowhere to go. Season over I'm afraid. Well done to Lewis - got his miracle and ran off with it.


Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I think the stewards have got it about right. Seb was moving across to defend his place, Kimi got a demon of a start and Max had nowhere to go when sandwiched between the Ferraris. The only option Max had was to stamp on the brake pedal which would have probably resulted in him getting punted up the rear and isn't really something a racing driver does. The worst thing us fans is that this effectively means the drivers championship is over barring another "miracle".


Those who know, they know
I would have been disappointed in the sport if it was called any other way.

However the choice was Sebs, he took himself out unnecessarily which, if it decides the championship in a race he could have got a great lead, is his own bloody fault.


Champion Elect
just finished catching up on Singapore gp watching it sunday evening was weird felt like i was in singapore as 1st time ive watched night race while it dark in England as well. fantastic drive by Lewis driver of the day yeah probally even if i wouldve given it to sainz. huge slice of luck to get through 1st corner unscathed all Lewis birthdays & christmas's came at once. then drove brilliantly to keep extending the gap on the bogey circuit & actually on there worst circuit only team to have both cars in the points. but where did red bull pace go every time pack was closed up Lewis pulled away. which is strange as red bull were thrashing mercedes all weekend by constant 6/7tenths. other people who had bad luck felt for alonso as him in 3rd couldve been brilliant to watch in those changeable conditions & really feel for hulkenburg what does that guy have to do to make a podium

wow that 1st lap was completely 100% correct decision to start. but was it was funny in my household alot if shouting. i was "KIMI GOING TO, Woah no hes not, both out, oh vettel gone. is that both red bulls gone. no just alonso". i was gutted for max his wretched luck continues 7 dnfs this season through either mechincial failure or other accidents. i must say i was wrong in 1st reaction as i thought max turned in on kimi but replays show he the innocent party. completely vettel fault without doubt, i said red bull should chuck 1 up the inside because vettel will jump out of the way thinking of championship. but no he squeezed verstappen & underestimated kimi having the lightning start wouldve no doubt lead into 1st corner. on the vettel on board there wasnt room for 1 car nevermind 2.

i said on friday if lewis is leading the world championship leaving Singapore. then lewis is world champion & squeezing max which in turn into kimi has just handed Lewis the title (102pts handed merc contructors) because highly likely 28 will turn into 35 in malaysia & likely 42 by suzuka is insurmountable without help & the very apolgetic radio call according to ted seems to reflect that. very strange also as was hinted towards Lewis's previous 2 title challenges v ferrari in 08 & 17. ferrari has seemingly lost it in singapore
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