Welcome to the 2015 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix:
Today, we have on our commentary desk: Mr. Christoph Büscher, an experienced motor sports commentator who is not the biggest fan of multiple F1 championship winner Sebastian Vettel. So, how will Seb this time around? Needless to say, we know by now who is going to win the season for sure.
Goodbye from Singapore, see you in Japan!
Will Mercedes come back stronger in the next race? Will Red Bull keep up their good form? Will Sauber’s updates prove more efficient on another circuit? Will Rossi beat his teammate Stevens regularly?
These questions will be answered next weekend in Suzuka, Japan!
So, what happened here in Singapore?
1. Ferrari had a fantastic race, scoring their best result of the season
2. Red Bull were their old, strong selves again
3. Mercedes struggled tremendously and will have to bounce back next week in Japan
4. Williams struggled as expected, but went home with a rather good 5th place for Bottas
5. Force India were in the upper midfield, as usual
6. Toro Rosso’s race had a disastrous beginning and a successful ending
7. Sauber scored one point again, but the updated C34 wasn’t as fast as expected
8. Lotus failed to score points for a second time in a row, but have apparently finally made the deal with Renault and will be a works team in 2016
9. McLaren looked set for points, but Button ruined it by crashing into Maldonado
10. Manor had a quiet race as usual, but were on TV for once when Rossi and Stevens found themselves in the leadin pack behind the safety car
Now, the constructors standings:
1. Mercedes 463
2. Ferrari 310
3. Williams-Mercedes 198
4. Red Bull-Renault 1395. Force India-Mercedes 69
6. Lotus-Mercedes 50
7. Toro Rosso-Renault 41
8. Sauber-Ferrari 26
9. McLaren-Honda 17
10. Manor-Marussia-Ferrari 0
Let’s take a look at the new drivers standings, shall we?
1. Hamilton 252
2. Rosberg 211
3. Vettel 203
4. Raikkönen 107
5. Bottas 101
6. Massa 97
7. Ricciardo 73
8. Kvyat 66
9. Perez 39
10. Grosjean 38
11. Verstappen 30
12. Hülkenberg 30
13. Nasr 17
14. Maldonado 12
15. Alonso 11
16. Sainz 11
17. Ericsson 9
18. Button 6
19. Merhi 0
20. Stevens 0
21. Rossi 0
22. Magnussen 0
Also a great race from debutant Rossi, beating his teammate (which really is the only thing you can do in a last-year’s Marussia with last-year’s Ferrari engine).
The winners: Ferrari, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Sauber, Manor, Force India
The losers: Williams, Lotus, McLaren, Mercedes
Final classification of the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix:
1. Vettel (Ferrari)
2. Ricciardo (Red Bull-Renault)
3. Raikkönen (Ferrari)
4. Rosberg (Mercedes)
5. Bottas (Williams-Mercedes)
6. Kvyat (Red Bull-Renault)
7. Perez (Force India-Mercedes)
8. Verstappen (Toro Rosso-Renault)
9. Sainz (Toro Rosso-Renault)
10. Nasr (Sauber-Ferrari)
11. Ericsson (Sauber-Ferrari)
12. Maldonado (Lotus-Mercedes)
13. Grosjean (Lotus-Mercedes)
14. Rossi (Manor-Marussia-Ferrari)
15. Stevens (Manor-Marussia-Ferrari)
Hülkenberg (Force India-Mercedes)
The other final positions are:
The race is over! Vettel wins, Ricciardo is second and Raikkönen third. Great race for both Ferrari and Red Bull.
Vettel is in his final lap and looks set to win!
Toro Rosso want Verstappen to let Sainz pass but he refuses.
Subjective predictions for teams and engines next season:
5. Force India-Mercedes
9. Red Bull-Ferrari
10. Toro Rosso-Ferrari
Felipe Nasr has overtaken Grosjean and is now 10th. He’ll score his first point since the Monaco Grand Prix.
BIG NEWS: Renault has apparently bought Lotus and will return as a works outfit next season. They may, however, continue with Mercedes engines for 2016.
Current top ten with two laps left: 1. Vettel 2. Ricciardo 3. Raikkönen 4. Rosberg 5. Bottas 6. Kvyat 7. Perez 8. Verstappen 9. Sainz 10. Grosjean
Nasr is now right behind Grosjean and fighting him for the final point.
There’s apparently a gearbox problem in Bottas’s Williams. He hopes to make it to the end.
Manor confirm that Rossi cannot receive radio transmissions, which is why he never got the order to un-lap himself during the earlier safety car period.
The 2-hour limit will only be reached after the full 61-lap distance, so the race will not be ended early.
(Lap 56) Vettel seems to be in control still. It looks like he’ll score his third victory of the season.
Six laps remaining! Perez is still keeping the Toro Rossos behind him.
Both Saubers have now overtaken Maldonado’s Lotus.
A little gossip on the side: The Haas team, which will enter F1 next year, has yet to confirm its drivers. The most likely candidates right now seem to be Ferrari test drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Esteban Gutierrez, as well as McLaren test driver Kevin Magnussen.
(Lap 53) Button is retiring.
Verstappen is now fighting with Perez for 7th. With these two, this will be interesting.
Verstappen and Sainz are driving superbly in their Toro Rossos after the troubles they hit in the early stages of the race.
Ricciardo is three seconds behind Vettel. Can he close the gap in the final laps?
(Lap 50) Current positions: 1. Vettel 2. Ricciardo 3. Raikkönen 4. Rosberg 5. Bottas 6. Kvyat 7. Perez 8. Verstappen 9. Sainz 10. Grosjean 11. Maldonado 12. Nasr 13. Ericsson 14. Button 15. Rossi 16. Stevens
“No further action” will be taken concerning the Button/Maldonado incident. Meanwhile, Ricciardo just drove the fastest lap of the race.
If Vettel wins and Rosberg finishes 4th, the Ferrari driver will overtake the Mercedes driver in the drivers standings.
Correction: The Saubers are chasing Maldonado in 11th place, not Grosjean in 10th.
(Lap 48) Vettel just drove the fastest lap of the race.
Grosjean is now 10th and would get the final point, but the Saubers of Nasr and Ericsson are chasing the Lotus driver now.
Sainz follows and also overtakes Grosjean, almost forcing him off the track.
Verstappen has overtaken Grosjean.
The Button/Maldonado incident is under investigation.
(Lap 46) The Toro Rossos are chasing Romain Grosjean’s Lotus, fighting for 8th.
(Lap 42) Current positions: 1. Vettel 2. Ricciardo 3. Raikkönen 4. Rosberg 5. Bottas 6. Kvyat 7. Perez 8. Grosjean 9. Verstappen 10. Sainz 11. Maldonado 12. Nasr 13. Ericsson 14. Button 15. Rossi 16. Stevens // OUT: Alonso, Hülkenberg, Hamilton, Massa
Button was 10th in his McLaren, but crashed into Maldonado (yes, for once not the other way round) and damaged his front wing.
The Manor sponsors must be happy right now, seeing the red-white-and-blue cars in the leading pack.
Restart! Vettels stays in the lead.
Strangely enough the Manors did not un-lap themselves. Rossi is now between Ricciardo and Raikkönen and Stevens between Rosberg and Bottas.
(Lap 40) Safety car coming in.
The Manor-Marussias of Rossi and Stevens are now allowed to overtake everyone and un-lap themselves.
The biggest loser in the leading pack is Kvyat, who lost two places over the course of the race and is currently 6th.
Mercedes expect everyone to finish the race with the tyres they have now. There are 22 laps to go, though the 2-hour limit might be reached earlier, reducing the number of laps.
Vettel’s pit stop (29 seconds including entering and exiting the pitlane) is the quickest up to now.
The safety car is still out, which means Vettel will once again have to defend himself against Ricciardo.
Everyone is coming into the pits now, while the fan climbs over the fence and leaves the track. Idiot.
(Lap 37) Safety car coming out because a fan is walking on the track!
Considering Williams’s general lack of pace on tight circuits with short straights, Bottas is doing a very good job in 5th.
Ricciardo is 4,5 seconds behind Vettel.
(Lap 35) Current top ten: 1. Vettel 2. Ricciardo 3. Raikkönen 4. Rosberg 5. Bottas 6. Button 7. Kvyat 8. Verstappen 9. Grosjean 10. Perez
Perez is pitting as well, this shakes up the top ten. Nasr pits as well.
Kvyat comes into the pits and has an unusually long stop.
Lewis Hamilton is apparently retiring from the race. A weekend to forget for the world champion.
McLaren, by the way, is using the short nose again, after having raced with the older, long nose in Monza.
I’m not sure how this happened, but both McLaren-Hondas are in the points right now.
Williams decided to retire Felipe Massa’s car. Apparently, it was damaged in the crash with Hülkenberg.
(Lap 31) Current positions: 1. Vettel 2. Ricciardo 3. Raikkönen 4. Rosberg 5. Kvyat 6. Bottas 7. Perez 8. Nasr. 9. Alonso 10. Button 11. Verstappen 12. Grosjean 13. Maldonado 14. Hamilton 15. Ericsson 16. Sainz 17. Rossi 18. Stevens 19. Massa
(Lap 30) Vettel is going faster now, moving away from Ricciardo. He seems to be in control of the race.
Debutant Alexander Rossi, by the way, is still leading his more experienced teammate Will Stevens. The Manors are 18th and 19th.
(Lap 28) Hamilton is only in 10th place now, Marcus Ericsson is chasing him, attempting to move into the points. With Nasr 8th and Ericsson 11th the updated Sauber cars seem to work much better today than they did yesterday in qualifying.
Hamilton claims his throttle control is not working correctly, causing his problems.
(Lap 28) New top ten: 1. Vettel 2. Ricciardo 3. Raikkönen 4. Rosberg 5. Kvyat 6. Bottas 7. Perez 8. Hamilton 9. Nasr 10. Grosjean
(Lap 27) Hamilton’s power loss enables Rosberg, Kvyat and Bottas to overtake the world champion. Mercedes say thay are “looking at it”.
Vettel is curiously slow at the moment, keeping the field lined up behind him. Hamilton, meanwhile, complains about power loss.
Just a reminder: Yes, it’s the 2015 Formula 1 season and, yes, the Mercedes are 4th and 5th, both seemingly unable to pass the top three. The grip problems the team have had here all weekend do not seem to have been solved.
(Lap 25) Current top ten:
2. Ricciardo (+0,9)
3. Raikkönen (+2,0)
4. Hamilton (+3,6)
5. Rosberg (+6,0)
The stewards have just announced a 3-place grid penalty for Hülkenberg, which he will have to serve in Japan. It seems a little weird to blame Hülkenberg for the crash. The German certainly won’t be happy with this decision.
(Lap 23) Raikkönen in third place is currently the fastest driver on track, chasing down Ricciardo.
Here’s another shot of the updated Sauber C34-Ferrari. The new short nose is clearly visible.
Nasr and Grosjean are fighting for 9th place.
The Massa/Hülkenberg incident is now officially under investigation.
Carlos Sainz seems to have gearbox troubles. He resetted the software and is now running again.
(Lap 19) Restart! Vettel stays in the lead, no overtaking anywhere.
(Lap 18) The safety car will come into the pits this lap. Restart about to happen.
Meanwhile, Felipe Nasr has quietly made his way into the top ten in his updated Sauber-Ferrari.
The virtual safety car is now replaced by the real safety car, because parts of Hülkenberg’s Force India need to be collected. This means Vettel loses his 7 second lead over Ricciardo and needs to defend his position at the restart.
(Lap 17) Current positions: 1. Vettel 2. Ricciardo 3. Raikkönen 4. Hamilton 5. Rosberg 6. Kvyat 7. Bottas 8. Perez 9. Nasr 10. Grosjean 11. Alonso 12. Sainz 13. Maldonado 14. Massa 15. Ericsson 16. Button 17. Rossi 18. Stevens 19. Verstappen OUT: Hülkenberg
Massa’s car seems to be fine, but the stewards are looking at the incident and it looks like Massa might be penalised for taking out Hülkenberg.
Button is having a nightmare stop, his team being unable to change the right front tyre. He lost a lot of time.
(Lap 14) With the virtual safety car in action, the top five all come into the pits.
(Lap 13) Massa and Hülkenberg collide! The German stops his Force India while Massa heads back toward the pits. Virtual safety car.
(Lap 13) Kvyat and Massa are the first drivers of the top ten to pit.
Sainz, meanwhile, is attacking Alonso. They currently battle for 14th. Considering that McLaren had high hopes for this race it is not going too well for them at this stage.
The latter half of the field has pitted now, while the top ten are still running on their original tyres.
(Lap 11) Alonso and Sainz react to Grosjeans early pit stop and come into the pits as well. Alonso exits the pit lane directly ahead of Grosjean. The Lotus driver passes the McLaren man.
Lotus are trying an undercut to allow Grosjean to overtake Sainz and Alonso. Will Raikkönen try the same thing soon to pass Ricciardo?
(Lap 10) Ricciardo is slowly closing the gap to Vettel, while Grosjean pits.
(Lap 8) The top ten are just cruising at this moment. The two Force India in 9th and 10th place are the only cars actually fighting with each other.
There’s an intense battle for 11th place between Alonso, Sainz and Grosjean.
Looking at the top ten, the winners of the start were Massa and the two Force India drivers, while Grosjean fell out of the points.
(Lap 5) Current positions: 1. Vettel 2. Ricciardo 3. Raikkönen 4. Kvyat 5. Hamilton 6. Rosberg 7. Bottas 8. Massa 9. Hülkenberg 10. Perez 11. Alonso 12. Sainz 13. Grosjean 14. Nasr 15. Ericsson 16. Button 17. Maldonado 18. Rossi 19. Stevens 20. Verstappen
(Lap 3) News from the back of the grid: Debutant Alexander Rossi overtook his teammate Will Stevens at the start.
Behind the Ferrari and Red Bull, the Mercedes, Williams, and Force Indias drive in pairs.
Verstappen is rejoining the race.
(Lap 2) Vettel is already three seconds ahead of Ricciardo
Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso stalled on the grid. He seems to be out of the race already.
- Vettel 2. Ricciardo 3. Raikkönen 4. Kvyat 5. Hamilton 6. Rosberg 7. Bottas 8. Massa
The cars are now on their installation lap. The 2015 Singapore Grand Prix is about to begin!
Here’s a stunning picture of the Marina Bay Circuit, which – since its debut race in 2009 – has quickly become the second jewel in F1’s crown, rivalling the glamour of Monaco.
Behind the scenes, Red Bull and Toro Rosso have announced that they will indeed end their partnership with Renault early and use another engine next season. Since Mercedes has already said that they will not supply the Red Bull teams (there are rumours linking Manor to Mercedes), Red Bull’s only option seems to be Ferrari. Renault might still buy the Lotus team and return as a manufacturer or quit F1 completely.
The main questions ahead of this race are:
1. Will Red Bull or Ferrari take victory?
2. Can Mercedes and Williams spring a surprise in the race and fight for the podium?
3. Will the McLaren-Honda drivers be able to score points?
4. How often will we see the safety car? It is highly likely that it will come out at least once.
As expected, the Mercedes-powered teams (Williams, Force India, Lotus) are not as strong on the Marina Bay Circuit as they were in Monza, because top speed is less important here. This also means that Red Bull and McLaren hope for a particularly good race in Singapore.
Also, Sauber have introduced a major update for their C34 – the first one this season. It includes a shorter nose and narrower sidepods, but with Nasr and Ericsson only starting 16th and 17th it did not bring an obvious boost in performance.
This weekend, the american ex-Marussia and Caterham test driver Alexander Rossi, who currently lies second in the GP2 standings, is replacing Roberto Merhi at Manor-Marussia. He will compete in five of the remaining seven races alongside Will Stevens.
The final grid positions are as follows:
- Vettel (Ferrari)
2. Ricciardo (Red Bull-Renault)
3. Raikkönen (Ferrari)
4. Kvyat (Red Bull-Renault)
5. Hamilton (Mercedes)
6. Rosberg (Mercedes)
7. Bottas (Williams-Mercedes)
8. Verstappen (Toro Rosso-Renault)
9. Massa (Williams-Mercedes)
10. Grosjean (Lotus-Mercedes)
11. Hülkenberg (Force India-Mercedes)
12. Alonso (McLaren-Honda)
13. Perez (Force India-Mercedes)
14. Sainz (Toro Rosso-Renault)
15. Button (McLaren-Honda)
16. Nasr (Sauber-Ferrari)
17. Ericsson (Sauber-Ferrari)
18. Maldonado (Lotus-Mercedes)
19. Stevens (Manor-Marussia-Ferrari)
20. Rossi (Manor-Marussia-Ferrari)
Yesterday’s qualifying session surprised many. For the first time this season no Mercedes is on pole, with both Ferrari and both Red Bull having beaten Hamilton and Rosberg.
Welcome everybody the the Singapore Grand Prix, the only night-city-race on the Formula One calendar.