Singapore: a very different challenge

Singapore: a very different challenge

Postby meteorite » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:33 pm

The four-legged racing fraternity has a number of truisms, and many centre around the notion that there are "horses for courses"; the some times for reasons not observable, calculable or explainable, some horses (and jockeys) are much more successful at some racecourses than others.

The same applies to cars and drivers. Drivers almost always do better on their home tracks, notably British, German and Italian.Cars often favour the areas where they are built. Singapore notoriously favours Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari.More generally, fast and adatable drivers fare well there, but they'll accumulate more points ver the years if their cars are not necessarily the fastest but have a particular level of staility, traction, and maneuverability

So it's no surprise that pole man is Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel; his been there disproportionatel ofthe before. Recent engine improvments over the lst few races make it unsurprising that Red Bull has the next two spots, in fact it's a tribute to Vettel's incredible speed that Raikkonen landed in fourth, though he has been an outstandingly fast qualifier of late. with their tight, precise,speed-oriented chassis Mercedes were relieved to salvage the third row, though Hamilton admitted it will take luck, strategy, luckily-timed safety carrs and attrition among the leaders for either to stand on the podium. The starting grid is:


2017 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING

15 17 Sep 2017 Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore

Race
Starting grid
Qualifying
Practice 3
Practice 2
Practice 1

Pos No Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:43.336 1:40.529 1:39.491 19
2 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:42.010 1:40.332 1:39.814 18
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:42.063 1:40.385 1:39.840 18
4 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:43.328 1:40.525 1:40.069 18
5 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:42.455 1:40.577 1:40.126 17
6 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:43.137 1:41.409 1:40.810 16
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:42.586 1:41.277 1:41.013 18
8 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:42.086 1:41.442 1:41.179 20
9 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1:42.222 1:41.227 1:41.398 19
10 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:42.176 1:41.826 1:42.056 20
11 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:42.472 1:42.107 12
12 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:43.594 1:42.246 8
13 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:42.544 1:42.338 14
14 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:43.626 1:42.760 11
15 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:43.627 1:43.883 13
16 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:43.756 8
17 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1:44.014 6
18 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:44.728 9
19 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 1:45.059 9
20 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:45.570 6

Q1 107% Time - 1:49.150

Obviously the differences between the Ferrari customer cars (Sauber and Haas reflect both power and chassis differences, but the sleek fast Williams are visibly unsuited to the Marina circuit. Otherwise the mid-pack is as usual except for the advanced placement of the McLaren-Hondas, bearing out suspicions all year that they were the best-handling cars on the grid, if only someone would put an engine n them.

Passing is notoriously difficult at Singapore, and the walls are perilously close - expect high attrition from these causes. But otherwise the finishing ordder could be boringly close to the starting grid.
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Re: Singapore: a very different challenge

Postby meteorite » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:25 pm

Of course, we forgot our customary warning abut the weather. Practice was routine, the skies were routinely tropically dull, but Singapore was one of the few races that has never had a wet track,perhaps because night races seem to stay dry. Certainly faced with a fifth-place start, a fragile three-point lead n the championship, and four stronger competitors ahead, Lewis Hamiton (as he said later) went to bed strategizing damage limitation.

But in the morning, when the cars were brought t the grid, the skies opened in a classical tropiical downpour Plastic sheets and umbrellas were deployed, tires were taken off wheels and quick decisions were made as to whether to fit full rain tires or ntermediates. In their cockpis two drivers were quietly smiling, and saying to themselves suddenly "I can win this race" the two acknowedged Rainmasters - Hamilton with the best car overall (though not for this track, and Fernando Alonso wth the best rain chassis and a new ugrade for his engine. But they faced a fight. The rain did gentle a bit, but by that time the whole racecourse was as thoroughly slippery and treacherous as heavily travelled city streets can be. The countdown lights went out and the race was on.

Given the rain-soaked grid it's unsurprising the starts were erratic. Vettel bogged for a split-second with wheelspin, letting Max Verstappen pull up aside - the grid spots are sxxtaggered. Raikkonen, who did not bog, rocketed up inside Verstappen. With the first turn looming, Vettel cut left across the nose ov Verstappen's car to grab the apex, not knowing Kimi was on hisx other side. Kimi plouhed into an across Max, the tangle of wreckage going straight-on through the corner, bashing in the side of Vettel's car and collecting Alonso who had followed Hamilton up the outside lane. They emerged with Vettel leading through the next couple of corners till he spun on his own leaking radiator fluid, gathered it up while shedding his front wing somewhere, and limped along the track till a safe have appeared.

In one fell swoop Hamilton's top three contenders were out of the race and Daniel Ricciardo, who through blind luck or prudece had joined the melee just slowly enough to dodge his way through, emerged in second. But the Red Bull lacked its practice performace; unknown to the other racers the car had developed a major problem with its oil system and had to be driven in somewhat of a damage limitation mode to avoid running out of hydraulics long before the end of the race. Hamilton, finding the pressure from behind reduaced, settled into a careful cruise mode just enough to keep the gap and so ran to the end.

The fact that the track was drying and the rain tapered off meant the drivers were confronted with different traction conditions every time they drove over a given stretch of pavement. Even the dry line that developed was deceptive in spots and to venture off it was to court disaster. This did not stop the mid-field runners from developing hot battles among themselves as varying tire choices and strategies changed their relative performances. One battle between Lance Stroll and Stoffle Vandoorne allowed a new and flattering appraisal of both newcomers' skills. By the end the results fell out lke this


2017 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX - RACE RESULT

15 17 Sep 2017 Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore

Race result

Pos No Driver Car Laps Time/Retired Pts
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 58 2:03:23.544 25
2 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 58 +4.507s 18
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 58 +8.800s 15
4 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 58 +22.822s 12
5 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 58 +25.359s 10
6 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 58 +27.259s 8
7 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 58 +30.388s 6
8 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 58 +41.696s 4
9 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 58 +43.282s 2
10 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 58 +44.795s 1
11 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 58 +46.536s 0
12 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 56 +2 laps 0
NC 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 50 DNF 0
NC 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 48 DNF 0
NC 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 35 DNF 0
NC 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 10 DNF 0
NC 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 8 DNF 0
NC 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0 DNF 0
NC 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 0 DNF 0
NC 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 0 DNF

But importanly, the lopsided result is likely to prove decisive in the Driver and Constructor Championships. Among the Constructors, Ferrari scored zero points while Mercedes harvested 41, bringing the Silver Arrows edge to 102 points with only six races to go. Hamilton increased his points lead from 3 to 28, and the Mercedes is generally felt to be a faster car than the Ferrari
on he six circuits with races remaining. The vagaries of luck will produce swings over the rest of the season. But bet on Hamilton to take home the well-eaned Driver's Trophy from the banquet at season end.
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