F1: Singapore Grand Prix Preview
We have the great spectacle of the Singapore night race this weekend and time is running out for anyone to stop Vettel or clinch that vacant race seat for next season. I’ll recap Monza, take a look forward to Sunday and offer some predictions as well as touch on the big news from the paddock this week.
Monza F1 Recap
Another promising race ended without a huge amount of excitement with another Vettel victory leading from the first lap. Most of the excitement came on Saturday where Lewis Hamilton made an error on one lap and then was blocked (I’m going to say on purpose) by Sutil which meant that he didn’t get out of Q2. This ended both the remarkable run of pole positions this season and also a run of 66 consecutive qualifying sessions where Hamilton made it into Q3. If that wasn’t enough, an early collision for Raikkonen on Sunday meant a wing change and an unrelated slow puncture for Hamilton put them both at the back of the pack by some distance within the first 10 laps. Both drivers made some good passes through the field and Hamilton managed to grab 9th place and wouldn’t have needed many more corners to secure 7th.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Vettel up top as a flat spot in the first stint and a few technical problems meant that he had to nurse the car home but it isn’t often that Vettel will relinquish a lead and Monza was no different.
Singapore Grand Prix Preview
The big news heading into the race weekend is that Kimi Raikkonen will be Fernando Alonso’s team-mate at Ferrari next year which will give them arguably the best driver line-up on the grid with two former world champions. This move marks the end of Massa’s drive with Ferrari and it will be interesting to see if he gets another seat. When Raikkonen was asked about his decision to leave Lotus, he simply said that he hadn’t been paid and that was the reason.
There are many reasons why Singapore is a special venue for F1, not only does it have the glamour and wow factor of being a night race and street circuit but it is also a very challenging track with loads of corners so it’s really difficult to hook up that perfect lap. Doing all this isn’t easy on a normal day at Silverstone, add in the amazing heat and humidity of Singapore and it becomes one of the biggest challenges of the calendar.
There have only been three different winners of the Singapore Grand Prix; Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton. I can’t see anyone making themselves a fourth winner but Vettel could make it three wins in a row for both Singapore and the current season with another victory. You get the feeling that it might take some kind of mechanical issue or bad luck to stop Vettel as the Red Bull looks immense once again and Mark hasn’t touched Vettel all season.
The only person I can see stopping Vettel without some kind of intervention is Hamilton who also loves Singapore. He was heading for victory last season before a gearbox failure forced a retirement and was also heading for a win with the infamous Piquet deliberate crash. It was Singapore last year which started Vettel’s four race win streak which effectively won him the championship and someone really needs to beat him to prevent the season fizzing out with no title challenge.
- Sebastian Vettel
- Lewis Hamilton
- Fernando Alonso
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Mark Webber
I don’t think anyone is in the same league as Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso at the moment so they have featured in my top three for some time now. I fully expect Hamilton to give it a real go and potentially steal pole position from Vettel but seeing Sebastian maintaining a gap at the front after the first 10 laps or so on Sunday is the most likely situation.
The Singapore Grand Prix is live on Sky with highlights on the BBC, here are the times:
Qualifying – Green light – 14:00
Sky F1 – 13:00 – 15:35
BBC 1 – 17:15 – 18:30 (highlights)
Race – Lights out – 13:00
Sky F1 – 11:30 – 16:15
BBC 1 – 17:00 – 18:30 (highlights)
Agree, don’t agree? Let me know below!