Hamilton wins F1’s first ever wet night race after chaotic start

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton wins an action packed Singapore GP ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Mercedes Valterri Bottas as both Ferrari’s are eliminated after a chaotic start.

17/09/17

Tyre Choice

Rain starts to falls just before the National Anthem. The teams make the tyre choices. Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne, Jolyon Palmer, Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson will start on the Wet tyre. Everyone else will start on the Intermediate tyre.

Race

The lights go out and its a poor start by Sebastian Vettel who sweeps to the left to cover off Max Verstappen. Unbeknown to Vettel, his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen also got a good start and goes to the left of Verstappen. Raikkonen steadily moves over to the right and with Verstappen in the middle, contact is made. Raikkonen then smashes into Vettel’s side-pod. Raikkonen has broken his front left and right suspension and can’t control the car. Raikkonen spears into Verstappen at turn 1. Fernando Alonso got an amazing start and was side-by-side with Verstappen before turn 1. Alonso is spun around with Raikkonen and Verstappen now officially out at turn 1.

Not the start that Ferrari wanted. Sebastian Vettel leads out of turn 1 but then. The 4 time champ loses the rear and crashes into the wall, damaging the front of his car. Vettel is now facing the wrong after spinning and has serious damage to his side-pod. Starting 5th and avoiding everything, Lewis Hamilton now leads ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg. The Safety Car is called out and leads the cars through the pit-lane as there is debris at turn 1. It is confirmed that Vettel is out. The race that Ferrari needed to bounce back and win, has gone the opposite way.

The debris is swept up by the marshals and the racing continues on lap 5. Valterri Bottas is overtaken by Jolyon Palmer into turn 1. The Brit is up to 5th and could score his first points of the season. Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Daniel Ricciardo by 4.4 seconds. Lap 9, after taking damage at the turn 1 collision, Fernando Alonso is told to retire the car as the team had lost too much data and the car had taken too much damage. Lap 11, Daniil Kvyat is out. The Russian locked-up going into turn 7 and hit the barrier. The Safety Car is called out once again.

Due to Kvyat’s crash, some drivers switch tyres. Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon pit for the Intermediate tyre. Nico Hulkenberg, Jolyon Palmer and Stoffel Vandoorne also pit for the Inters the following lap. Lewis Hamilton leads behind the Safety Car ahead of Ricciardo, Bottas, Carlos Sainz and Hulkenberg. Racing continues on lap 15.

Lap 23, Lewis Hamilton has gotten the gap to 4.3 seconds ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. Lap 25, Kevin Magnussen pits from 11th place. The Dane puts on the Ultrasoft tyre as he thinks the track is dry enough. Felipe Massa also thinks that the track is dry and puts on the Ultrasoft tyre. Lap 28, Stoffel Vandoorne and Carlos Sainz pit. Sainz goes onto the Supersoft tyre with Vandoorne on the Ultrasoft. Lap 29,  Ricciardo pits. The Australian puts on the Ultrasoft tyre and is followed by Valterri Bottas. At the end of lap 29, Hamilton pits, putting on the Ultrasoft tyre and rejoining in 1st. After the round of pit-stops, Hamilton leads ahead of Ricciardo, Bottas, Nico Hulkenberg, Sainz and Sergio Perez.

Lap 38, there is a Sauber facing the wrong way and in a very dangerous position. It’s Marcus Ericsson and the replay shows the Swede losing the car and spinning at turn 12. The Safety Car has been called out. Nico Hulkenberg has pulled into the pits. It’s a long pit-stop for the German and it looks like his chance at a podium are over with a hydraulics leak. Renault send him back out, rejoining in 10th. Lap 42, Ericsson’s Sauber has been removed off of the track and racing continues.

Approaching the 2 hour limit, the drivers only have 30 minutes remaining. The full race distance will not be completed. Lap 49, after a superb and controlled drive, Renault have told Nico Hulkenberg to retire the car. A huge shame for the German as a top 5 finish was certain. Lap 52, Kevin Magnussen slows and crawls back to the pits. Lap 59, Lewis Hamilton wins ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Valterri Bottas.

Race Result

1.Hamilton  2.Ricciardo  3.Bottas  4.Sainz  5.Perez  6.Palmer  7.Vandoorne  8.Stroll  9.Grosjean  10.Ocon  11.Massa  12.Wehrlein  DNF Magnussen, Ericsson, Kvyat, Alonso, Vettel, Verstappen and Raikkonen

My View

The Singapore GP will go down as a huge turning point that shaped this championship. After Lewis Hamilton’s back-to-back wins in Belgium and Italy, Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari knew that Singapore was a must-win. It was a really good chance for Ferrari to get both cars ahead of Mercedes as that had pretty much been the order all weekend up until the race. For Hamilton, it’s a bonus. An unexpected win after what is the weakest race for Mercedes. Notable mentions go to Carlos Sainz, Jolyon Palmer and Stoffel Vandoorne. It was a result Palmer needed. His first points of the year and learning that he will not be at Renault next year. Also mentioning that Lance Stroll did a great job, impressing with his skill in the damp conditions where he did so well in Italy. Ferrari and Sauber were the only 2 teams not to score any points.

Drivers Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton 263pts
  2. Sebastian Vettel 235pts
  3. Valterri Bottas 212pts
  4. Daniel Ricciardo 162pts
  5. Kimi Raikkonen 138pts
  6. Max Verstappen 68pts
  7. Sergio Perez 68pts
  8. Esteban Ocon 56pts
  9. Carlos Sainz 48pts
  10. Nico Hulkenberg 34pts

Constructors Championship

  1. Mercedes 475pts
  2. Ferrari 373pts
  3. Red Bull 230pts
  4. Force India 124pts
  5. Williams 59pts
  6. Toro Rosso 52pts
  7. Renault 42pts
  8. Haas 37pts
  9. McLaren 17pts
  10. Sauber 5pts

 

 

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