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24/07/2016 Changing of the Guard: Hungary 2016

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03/07/2016 2016 Austrian Grand Prix - Sparks Fly in Spielberg

19/06/2016 Whitewash in Baku

12/06/2016 #LH45 in Montreal

29/05/2016 Hammertime in Monaco!

15/05/2016 Spain 2016 - Dazzling Debut

01/05/2016 2016 Russian GP Review - Rosberg Domination

17/04/2016 2016 Chinese Grand Prix - Rosberg Demonstration

03/04/2016 Bahrain 2016: Stunning Debut.

20/03/2016 2016 Australian Grand Prix Review

Older stories here

2013 Singapore Grand Prix Review

Singapore brings a unique challenge to F1, racing under the floodlights from lights to flag. The infamous Singapore Sling chicane has been replaced with a single left-hander and the first session with the new layout saw Mercedes topping the timesheets courtesy of Lewis Hamilton. Vettel took over the top spot in the afternoon, holding it into Saturday as well. Raikkonen came into qualifying with lower back pains, but was cleared fit to drive.

Massa found himself in the Q1 drop zone as the flag fell. The first driver confirmed as going no further was Van der Garde, who clouted the wall on his final lap to take 19th, demoted to 20th by teammate Pic. Bianchi finished 21st ahead of teammate Chilton. Di Resta and Maldonado were forced onto row 9.

McLaren failed to set a time before the flag fell in Q2 but ran a last-minute lap for each driver which got only one of them to safety. Sutil and Bottas were the first to fall, Raikkonen joining them behind Hulkenberg, Vergne and Raikkonen. Button scraped through while Perez fell 14th.

Button failed to set a time in Q3, while Gutierrez didn’t leave the pit lane in his first ever Q3 session. Vettel headed the pack without a second run, Massa the first to see the flag as he went 6th. Rosberg went 2nd, Webber slipping in behind him. Alonso and Ricciardo went 7th and 8th, Hamilton confirming 5th in the end with Grosjean splitting Rosberg and Webber.

The squeal of Pirelli rubber and the whine of V8s heralded the arrival of the field on the grid for the start. Rosberg took the lead briefly but Vettel hung on as Alonso sat 3rd. Webber, Grosjean, Massa, Hamilton, Button, Hulkenberg and Perez completed the top 10 at the end of lap 1.

Raikkonen pitted on lap 10, the first car to leave the track. Bianchi pitted on both of the next 2 laps for Marussia. Button, Webber and Hulkenberg all pitted on lap 13.

Perez and Alonso and made the move on lap 14, Alonso using Massa as a guinea pig. Both Mercedes cars pitted on lap 15, as did Grosjean which suggested Lotus were splitting their strategies. Hamilton managed to clear Massa in the stops.

Vettel didn’t’ pit until the end of lap 17, almost certainly running a 2-stopper. Di Resta came in even later, on lap 20, after holding up Alonso for a number of laps.

What looked like a parade suddenly came alive again as the Safety Car joined the track after Ricciardo mated his Toro Rosso with the wall. A lot of the field pitted before the Safety Car picked them up.

As the Safety Car prepared to leave the track, Rosberg reported a radio malfunction. Otherwise nothing much happened on the restart at the sharp end.

Grosjean pitted on lap 33 with an air intake problem, pulling him in for an unexpected stop and thus dropping him down the order to last. In the end they pulled the second Lotus in to retire.

Webber pitted for the final time with 20 laps to go, dropping back to 13th. Rosberg pitted a lap later, failing to keep the Red Bull behind him.

Vettel pitted another couple of laps later, keeping an easy lead to combine with his new super-soft tyres.

Webber took 7th from Gutierrez, leaving the Mercedes pair stranded briefly but Rosberg followed him almost immediately. Hamilton also followed about a sector after Webber made the move. The Sauber was left 10th ahead of Di Resta and Massa. The Force India made fairly short work of the Mexican, Massa following a corner later.

Webber managed to take 6th in the end from Hulkenberg, although the second of the Sauber pair was a lot harder to pass than his rookie teammate. Rosberg and Hamilton were again stuck behind a Swiss car. Further up the order Raikkonen took Button round the outside in a bold move that the McLaren had no answer for. Behind them, Webber was on the back of Perez who was tailing his teammate.

Di Resta tried to catch the lead Sauber but ended up stuck in the wall with a stalled engine and a missing front end. At the other end of the battle Di Resta was nearly a part of, Webber took 4th from Button. Rosberg cleared Perez, his teammate stuck between the McLaren and an optimistic Massa. Rosberg cleared the lead McLaren soon after, Hamilton still being held back by the car he vacated, although Perez’ defences fell shortly after Button’s. Hamilton and Massa also cleared Button in the end, McLaren eventually sitting 8th and 9th.

Webber’s engine gave up the competitive edge and he was forced to let both Mercedes’ through before

Vettel, somewhat predictably, won from Alonso, Raikkonen, Rosberg, Hamilton, Massa, Button, Perez, Hulkenberg and Sutil. Then came Gutierrez, Maldonado, Vergne, Bottas, Van Der Garde, Chilton, Bianchi and Pic. Di Resta, Grosjean and Ricciardo retired. Webber, though not completing the race, was classified 15th.

 

Tufty



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