Nico Rosberg has held of the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo to retake the lead of the world championship after winning the Singapore Grand Prix. The German held of Ricciardo who tried late in the race to catch him getting within .4 of a second.
Lewis Hamilton held off the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen to finish third after he changed his strategy from a two to a three stop race. The race started in dramatic style after Nico Hulkenberg got hit spinning him into the pit wall losing his rear tyre bringing out the safety car.
Hulkenberg was caught between the two Toro Rosso’s and the circuit isn’t wide enough. That brought out the safety car which when it came in nearly caused a marshal who was clearing debris to leg it off the circuit as the race restarted.
Speaking about the crash Hulkenberg told Sky Deutschland “There was certainly no intent in the game by Carlos. I do not think Carlos into a hole trying to dive, because his start was not great. I think he had to go to Max. Max had a bad start and that was the cause of this massacre.”
Rosberg told Sky’s Martin Bundle on the podium “it’s been an awesome weekend in Singapore for me. Of course Daniel tried to pull one on me at the end but we managed to hold him off – I’m really, really happy.”
“I couldn’t come in at the same time as Daniel because I was in traffic. The whole car was on the edge, it always is in Singapore. It’s all the more satisfying with a race like that.”
Ricciardo said “We have come close on numerous occasions but I am not disappointed. We gave it a shot, we got with half a second. It was close.”
The crash on the first lap consequences for McLaren’s Jenson Button who suffered damage to his front wing with Valtteri Bottas who had a left rear puncher suggesting the two had made contact at the start.
Red Bull went into the race thinking they could challenge Mercedes so they tried to bring Ricciardo in with fifteen laps to go but he couldn’t uses the new rubber to get close enough to Rosberg. This challenge was set to Hamilton as well to get past Raikkonen which gave him third.
The charging Ricciardo prompted Hamilton to switch his strategy to undercut Raikkonen and then hold the fin off in the closing stages. Red Bull covered off both those drivers by bringing in Ricciardo for new super-softs, while Mercedes left Rosberg out on his softs.
After starting from the back Sebastian Vettel fought his way back to fifth place. It was a good drive after a long first stint to allow him to overtake.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso managed to use the crash of Hulkenberg to his advantage to hold off pressure through the pit stops of Carlos Sainz, Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen.
Kyvat’s ninth place gave him his best performance since the Chines Grand Prix in April.
Sergio Perez finished eight fastest giving his team enough points to take fourth from Williams in the championship after the team were forced to retire Bottas following the first lap drama. It was a great recovery drive from the Mexican who started seventeenth.
Any hope of putting his problems to bed after Romain Grosjean’s nightmare weekend which has been marked by two crashes and a gearbox-change penalty ended before the race had begun as a brake failure on his Haas that prevented him from even taking the start.
- Notebook – Singapore Qualifying
- SINGAPORE GP – Rosberg dominates qualifying after Hamilton struggles to respond after a mistake
- Qualifying Result
- Notebook – Friday Singapore
- SINGAPORE GP – Rosberg fastest by a quarter of a second from Raikkonen on ultrasofts
- SINGAPORE GP – Verstappen tops first practice as Red Bull look to be half a second ahead of Ferrari
- Preview – Singapore Grand Prix