Grand Prix 2019 Singapore Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Here we go you lucky ducks. Our good friend Olivier signed up for this one, but since he's not around you're stuck with me doing it instead, sorry ;)

As we head into Asia and the race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit of Singapore the balance of power looks to have shifted slightly in the 2019 season. We started off the year with the domination of Ferrari in testing and then when the racing started we were back to square one. Mercedes were on the front foot and off up the road like a robbers dog winning every race going it seemed. Bottas, complete with his new beard, even showed some fight against his team mate and took a couple of wins in Australia and Azerbaijan, he was the only one who managed to deny his team mate in the first eight races as we all sat back and expected total domination by the German team and Hamilton, it seemed likely.

Then we went to Austria and something happened. Now Austria is always a track where Mercedes as a whole and Hamilton in particular has struggled more than at other circuits from what I can tell, Hamilton did again this year it would seem. The young Dutch driver Max Verstappen managed to stun us all and pull a win out of the bag, followed home by both Ferrari's and Bottas ahead of Hamilton. Since then out the last five races Hamilton has only won two, his dominance seemingly less than it was. Whether he's so far ahead in the championship he's not as driven to win, or if it's something else, who knows? Red Bull and Ferrari seem to have suddenly found a way to beat him, at least Verstappen and Leclerc have, let's not mention their team mates just now for various other reasons.

Singapore is another track like Monaco where the walls are incredibly close, the turns tight and twisty and where pretty much anything can and often does happen. We rarely see a race there without at least one safety car, often there is more than one due to the nature of the track and lack of run off areas etc. not to mention the narrow and cramped pit lane. It's a bumpy circuit, and although the race is run in the evening when it should be cooler, note the should, the temperature inside the cockpit can get up to 60C (140F). The humidity is also incredibly high making it even harder on the body, along with being one of the longer races which can trouble the two hour limit. So it's not for the feint hearted. You need to be on your game both mentally and physically to win in Singapore.

Of the eleven times it's been raced since we returned there in 2008, Nico Rosberg has won it once, Fernando Alonsohas won (ahem) it twice and both Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have four wins under their belts. The way things are going you have to wonder if either of them will win it again this year. Vettel likes this track but in his current form I have to wonder if he can up his game enough to take his first win of the season on such a demanding track, especialy when his younger team mate Charles Leclerc is showing such brilliant form and could potentially make it three wins a row. Then again will Max Verstappen put in another sterling performance to take his first win here and third win of the year as well? Will Hamilton find that extra something that seems to have been missing in some of the recent races and grab another win here, his fifth here and his ninth of 2019? Under the artificial lights and in the heat and atmosphere of Singapore you can bet whoever wins it will be physically drained by the end of it all. Probably we will too if the race is anything like as demanding as it had been sometimes.

Last year your pole sitter was Hamilton and your podium was 1st Hamilton, 2nd Verstappen 3rd Vettel. On a side note, Kevin Magnussen managed to grab the fastest lap there which just proves how unpredictable this place can be.

Turn on your fans, sit back and let's hope we all enjoy Singapore 2019!
 

Angel

Race Winner
Contributor
as i put on the other thread. for vettel to be told to push & leclerc not. is very unethical and behaviour you would expect from different teams

According to the column by Jolyon Palmer, Ferrari made a mistake, they did the undercut hoping to get ahead of Hamilton not expecting that Vettel would ever make up the 3.5 seconds needed to get ahead of Leclerc. Somehow the unexpected happened and Vettel did make up that time, whether he was exceptionally fast or Leclerc was slow or a bit of both, who knows? Once Vettel was ahead with Leclerc in second it wasn't really in their interest to ask Vettel to move over, especially when Vettel needed the win more than Leclerc in some ways.

Maybe they should have, but it's a judgement call and that moment in time they chose not to for whatever reason. By allowing Vettel to remain where he was they got a 1-2 finish which is an excellent result for them and not what they expected at that track. It hasn't helped the tension between their drivers, especially after Monza where Vettel gave Leclerc a tow in qualifying then got caught out when he didn't get one in return as agreed. It's easy for us to chew it over afterwards and say they should have done this or that, if they'd asked Vettel to have moved over they'd have upset him, by not asking him to move over they upset Leclerc, there was no third option that would satisfy them both sadly.
 

Izumi

Banned
Vettel had also slower pit stop than Leclerc by 0.4 sec, and he has overcome that as well. I am not hearing Leclerc complaining about it, just as he couldn't care less about Vettel in Monza after taking advantage of him first, and then team let Vettel hanging dry. To add insult to the injury, some fans want Leclerc to "retaliate" in the future. I am not sure if that is funny, or sad, but I think it will be either war, or for Seb this will be his last year with the red team, if not with F1.
 
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BradMan

Rookie
According to the column by Jolyon Palmer, Ferrari made a mistake, they did the undercut hoping to get ahead of Hamilton not expecting that Vettel would ever make up the 3.5 seconds needed to get ahead of Leclerc. Somehow the unexpected happened and Vettel did make up that time, whether he was exceptionally fast or Leclerc was slow or a bit of both, who knows? Once Vettel was ahead with Leclerc in second it wasn't really in their interest to ask Vettel to move over, especially when Vettel needed the win more than Leclerc in some ways.

Maybe they should have, but it's a judgement call and that moment in time they chose not to for whatever reason. By allowing Vettel to remain where he was they got a 1-2 finish which is an excellent result for them and not what they expected at that track. It hasn't helped the tension between their drivers, especially after Monza where Vettel gave Leclerc a tow in qualifying then got caught out when he didn't get one in return as agreed. It's easy for us to chew it over afterwards and say they should have done this or that, if they'd asked Vettel to have moved over they'd have upset him, by not asking him to move over they upset Leclerc, there was no third option that would satisfy them both sadly.
abit of both
 

Carlos7182

Browser
Thanks ruslan. Dont get me wrong I love the sport and have been an avid fan since i could walk. I'll never stop watching it. But to watch them drive at a pace that is slower than other formulas for 20-30laps and they still cant pass and follow each other to preserve tyres then it just seems like it's a pointless race especially when it ends up gifting the race to your team mate.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Welcome Carlos7182 have to agree with you that F1 needs a serious shake up. In some ways it was good to see the field so close together in Singapore which made the the big teams have to think about strategy and not have it all their own way. But when you realised it was all artificially then it left me feeling the same way a DRS overtake does....empty.
 

Ruslan

Podium Finisher
Thanks ruslan. Dont get me wrong I love the sport and have been an avid fan since i could walk. I'll never stop watching it. But to watch them drive at a pace that is slower than other formulas for 20-30laps and they still cant pass and follow each other to preserve tyres then it just seems like it's a pointless race especially when it ends up gifting the race to your team mate.

I actually don't mind a strategic race where people have to preserve and maintain their tires and cars. That used to occur a lot in the earlier years of F1. So, I thought the first 20-30 laps was fairly interesting. The fact that it did not turn into anything interesting, and positions were sorted out by the vagrancies of pit stopping, made it a poor race. But F1 has rarely been a two-hour sprint race.

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P.S. If you use "@" and then the name "Carlos7182" then it will notify the person they have a post referencing them, like this: Carlos7182
 

Izumi

Banned
So, Singapore race is over, all people interested in objective evidence can, if they care, understand circumstances what happened at Ferrari camp. Vettel made up in clean air, overcoming delay in pits about 4 sec in total, and marginally overcame gap to the lead position. Good for him, I say. There was no evil intent to harm anyone, and that's how cookie crumbles sometimes in racing. I remain however at lost why internet is talking about controversial win. Shouldn't some people perhaps ask (as they won't), whether they letting their personal hatred of a person little too far, blaring all borders of decency?
 
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Bleu

Podium Finisher
IMO Singapore has almost always been a race where first 10-15 laps are generally uninteresting. Once pit stops start and there are more differences in tyre conditions it gets better.

The bottom of the grid was more interesting to take risks in this race. The slow pace early in the race probably affected that since Albon who was the worst of the top teams would not have been able to pit during the first safety car without losing positions.

But in general we saw lots of overtaking on fresh tyres vs. old so I think pitting in his case would have been bad idea. Drivers like Norris, Magnussen and Räikkönen should have been easy overtakes on fresher tyres just like we saw top drivers getting around Gasly and Giovinazzi when they were mixing up in the front before the stops.
 
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