F1: Ferrari And Sebastian Vettel Dominated At Singapore
Sunday night in Singapore featured some great F1 racing on the Marina Bay circuit, the longest most grueling race of the season.
It was the 1st contest since Y 2013 that neither AMG Mercedes racers was not on the 1st or 2nd row of the grid, and this guaranteed that spectators would see a story unfold between the 4 drivers of the 2 teams ahead of the Mercedes, the Red Ferraris and Red Bulls.
At the end, it was Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who started on Pole position and led from lights out to chequered flag, driving the 61 laps of the race through 2 safety cars, debris and a fan on the track to take his 3rd victory of the season and his 4th at Singapore.
It was also the 42nd victory of his career, which moved him into 3rd place in the victory statistics, a spot above Ayrton Senna, with only Alain Prost with 51 and Michael Schumacher with 91 ahead of him.
“It was pretty intense,” Mr. Vettel said. “Obviously we had a bit of a breather with the safety car, but lots of pressure from behind. Then, on the second stint I was dictating the pace. It’s not easy to overtake here, so I was taking advantage of that.”
On Lap 26, Lewis Hamilton in his AMG Mercedes running in 4th, had a problem and lost time. His teammate, Nico Rosberg, passed him, and radioed in to his team to ask what the problem was and they sent instructions to change a setting. Mr. Hamilton dropped down to 7th.
“The throttle is not going to wide open throttle; is it the pedal?” asked his engineer. Mr. Hamilton responded that he was pressing it full. That ended the night for Mr. Hamilton, he retired at lap 33.
At that same time, Mr. Vettel marked the fastest lap of the race.
“I was super optimistic in the car, the guys in front were on the options and I was on the primes,” Hamilton said. “And I said, ‘You know what, we have a race on our hands here,’ and I was waiting for the time that I could push. But it never came.”
The results means, that with 6 races still to run in the season, Mr. Vettel stands in 3rd in the series, 49 pts or just 2 wins behind Mr. Hamilton, while Mr. Rosberg, who finished 4th in the race, remains in 2nd, and is 41 pts behind Mr. Hamilton.
“All we have to do is look after ourselves, maximum attack,” Mr. Vettel said, before adding of his championship hopes: “We still have a small chance.”
His Ferrari teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, finished 3rd for Ferrari, Daniel Ricciardo, driving a Red Bull, finished in 2nd, just 1.4 secs behind Mr. Vettel.
The race heavy on incident, was relatively short on action.
From the start the front 3 followed each other for most of the 2 hours. Towards the finish a resurgent Max Verstappen ignored orders to allow his team-mate past. The 17-year-old drove superbly to 8th place.
Then came delirious celebrations for Ferrari, which spilled over into an expletive-filled dust up with security during the Podium ceremony. The team was ordered to write an “unconditional apology” but escaped without sanction.
2015 Formula 1 Drivers’ Standings
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing
In 7 days’ ahead, F1 runs the Japanese Grand Prix. The championship battle is on.
Ferrari is a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, NV (NYSE:FCAU) and plans to go public in an IPO on the NYSE in October.