Luckily for Formula 1 as a company, you don’t need the excitement of a close championship battle to have a fun race. That’s good because at this point in the season, Max Verstappen’s second straight championship is a drawn-out formality. In theory, Verstappen could have won with a win this weekend in Singapore, but unfortunately the other conditions made it unlikely, especially after a qualifying disaster that saw him abandon his last flying lap to save fuel and avoid a DQ. Thank goodness for a mistake by the Red Bull team – having to explain another Ferrari debacle would be the breaking point for anyone.
The nature of Formula 1 means that a poor performance by a front runner gives the underdogs an opportunity to shine. And that’s what caused Red Bull’s slip – Verstappen couldn’t win, so we can celebrate F1’s eternal hero: bad weather. Sure, the storm caused an hour-long delay and rain doesn’t always guarantee a good, clean race – quite the opposite – but a GC shake is a GC shake. As they all say, throwing a shower of gifts into the cloud is not enough.
The Singapore GP has been missed for the past two seasons despite being one of those cursed street circuits. It produced two qualifying laps good enough to make you believe in greatness, or if that’s too romantic for you, very impressive driving skills: Charles Leclerc’s in 2019 and Lewis Hamilton’s legend in 2018. The Marina Bay Street Circuit remains one of the Formula 1 circuits The most demanding circuits in dry conditions, much less wet. All of this is good to consider when the fences are an eyesore, and on this rainy weekend the collisions with the walls looked almost like deliberate dives aimed straight at the tire barriers.
Everyone wanted to play bumper cars. Here’s the laundry list of race mistakes for the boos gallery: Nicholas Latifi will serve a five-place grid penalty in Japan after ending both his and Zhou Guanyu’s races by pinning Zhou against the wall – “The guy just got me bruised,” Zhou aptly said on the radio (it was a fun weekend for radio calls); Alex Albon lost his front wing on the tire barriers and then retired from the pits; Lewis Hamilton finished P9 after starting P3 due to a failed pass by Carlos Saínz Jr in the first half of the race and a failed pass by Sebastian Vettel on the final laps; Not to be outdone, George Russell ended up outside of P5 for the first time this season, and he did it in style – he almost knocked out Valtteri Bottas (or, as Crofty will remind you, he almost knocked out Valtteri Bottas again), then he hit Mick Schumacher before following up with a complaint (another radio message!) about the existence of Schumacher’s defence.
Then there was Alpine, who didn’t participate in the bumper car action but increased the obscene number of yellow flags and safety cars. Both cars had engine failures, and of all things on Fernando Alonso’s 350th birthday. Reliability issues have cost Alpine big bucks this season – having finished mostly ahead of McLaren in the Constructors’ Championship largely thanks to Daniel Ricciardo, they are now four points behind McLaren.
And so the power scales balance each other out again. Alpine failed, so the McLarens were able to finish P4 and P5 and take 22 points, and the Aston Martins (the Aston Martins!) could both finish in the points. For two old master mistakes (Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton), two more were able to prevail (Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel).
Further up the ladder, Charles Leclerc’s tragic pole conversion rate opened up the opportunity for another great nighttime Sergio Pérez win, although it’s unfair to blame Leclerc for beating an in-form Sergio Pérez in a very fast red Bull started. Verstappen was also able to leave a large part of the field behind on his multiple recovery drives. Leclerc kept it tight for most of the race, but that was as good as it got. Pérez pulled away in the final laps as soon as he has received the order to build a gap in case of a penalty as if there was a GO FASTER button on the Red Bull to make it so easy.
It was a blessing that Singapore was good – at least fun-Racing, because otherwise the topic of conversation would relate to the same exhaustive peripheral discussions, such as B. the race director and why Five-second penalty from Sergio Pérez (which did not affect his victory) could not have been found out before the end of the race but was reserved for later. Or why George Russell didn’t get a penalty for rolling down the straight and hitting Mick Schumacher in an attempt to overtake, damaging both of them.
Or, worse, there would be room to reflect on the rumor that preceded the Singapore GP that accused two teams – Red Bull and Aston Martin – of violating Formula 1’s budget cap, which both Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and also Red Bull boss Christian had Horner at his best mud-slinging form and once again opened the can of worms, the team president being the most forgiving of the grid.
But hey, now you could almost forget all that because the race itself was action-packed and surprising enough! That’s how you get through these things. Hail F1 superstar: bad weather.
https://defector.com/a-little-rain-went-a-long-way-at-the-singapore-grand-prix/ A little rain went a long way at the Singapore Grand Prix