Notebook – Singapore Grand Prix – Review

Features Notebook

Lewis Hamilton took a surprising dominate victory in the Singapore Grand Prix, despite his Mercedes team going into the race on the back foot.

The start

Hamilton was gifted the win after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and both Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel all crashed into each other at the first corner taking all three cars out.

Verstappen made a good start, getting in between both Vettel and Raikkonen. They all head for the inside line with the Red Bull driver being sandwiched between the two Ferrari’s, Verstappen hits the rear of Raikkonen. That also sees Verstappen hit Fernando Alonso.

That sends him into a spin, hits the front of Vettel then continues to spin. Crosses Turn One run ploughing into Verstappen sending him airborn and spinning into the run off. Then Raikkonen follows going into the Red Bull.

I agree with the stewards who decided that their was no one driver who was “wholly or predominantly to blame”. However, Verstappen says “I think mainly Sebastian started squeezing me. Maybe he didn’t see Kimi on the left but that’s not an excuse. If you are fighting for the world championship you shouldn’t take those risks squeezing someone that much”

Vettel said “I don’t think it was a racing incident. At the end of the day they take a total of three cars and I was in the middle without doing anything wrong. I was just trying to have a clean start but we’ll see what happens. At the end of the day, not only I retired, but all three of us have a bit of pain.”


Lewis Hamilton then was able to take control of the race following that collision between the Ferrari’s and Verstappen. Hamilton has since the summer break has been driving well, yesterday we were as well as him all expecting Mercedes to struggle.

After the race, he insisted he knew victory was possible as soon as the umbrellas started going up in the Marina Bay stands shortly before the start.

We know Hamilton got lucky with that crash, it not the race we expected but we may look back on this race in a decades time as the championship swung decisively towards Hamilton. “Obviously it was very fortunate with the Ferraris at the beginning, but I couldn’t be happier or more grateful.”

“And to come here today, with the idea of damage limitation, thinking I’m going to come out of here behind again in the championship – and actually I’m further ahead. So I definitely count my blessings and don’t take it for granted.”

Ricciardo biggest loser

Daniel Ricciardo you may say was the biggest loser following the first corner incident between the two Ferrari’s and his teammate Verstappen. He looked really strong throughout practice and after qualifying, we thought we would have seen Red Bull in that battle.

After the race Ricciardo said he felt his car was not set up perfectly for the wet-dry race, saying: “If we were to do race again and set up the car differently, something we did on car would have helped us if we went the other way to what the conditions were.”

Alonso podium “guaranteed”

Fernando Alonso says he believes that if it wasn’t for that first corner incident that a podium finish was “guaranteed”. Alonso was also a victim of that chaos of the first corner. Although Alonso managed to continue for several laps, he eventually retired as his car was too damaged to keep going.

The Spaniard said “The car was completely destroyed on the left side, and it was almost a miracle we could continue after that hit. In the end we had to retire which is shame because we had high hopes for this race.”

“We would even be leading because Hamilton was behind me in Turn 1, so if Hamilton is leading [when the race restarted after the safety car] it means we would be leading.”

Midfield shiners

Three drivers really stood out during that race Carlos Sainz who took his first fourth place, Sergio Perez and Jolyon Palmer. We saw a really good battle between the three of them. However, I feel that this was more important for Palmer as we know he doesn’t yet have a contract for next season.

Palmer needs to deliver we need to see performances like this if he is to gain a drive next year. Them eight points could swing the very close constructors championship. Sainz also showed that he is able to deliver strong performances when the chances come up, that will be good from the Renault point of view.

Sainz said “It was a result we really earned, doing the right thing every time. There were complicated moments, especially when I had people with new inters behind me and mine were used.

“Then when everybody was on ultras I was on the supersofts and I had to defend very hard from people who were a second quicker than us because of the tyres. Then things started to happen, we passed some people and we finished fourth, which is incredible, unthinkable.”


Esteban Ocon who finished tenth, “Tough week end, plenty to analyse and understand but at least 1point… One thing for sure is that we will come back stronger in Malaysia ?!”

Daniil Kvyat who retired “Unfortunately, I made a mistake and missed a great opportunity today. It is very frustrating for me, but it sometimes happens”

Kevin Magnussen, who retired, “Very frustrating not to finish the race. It was tough but we had some fun racing. I’ll continue working hard to get back into the points”



Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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