Singapore GP analysis: The secret of balancing risk and reward in F1
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Posted By: James Allen  |  19 Sep 2017   |  2:52 pm GMT  |  325 comments

The tenth anniversary event at the Singapore Grand Prix brought its first wet race and created a whole new set of unknowns into a what is traditionally viewed as the most difficult race of the season for the race strategists.

With a 100% likelihood of a Safety Car in dry conditions, Singapore is always about managing the risk/reward profile when making decisions that will affect the race result. But this year with rain pouring down before the start of the race and the Race Control committing to a standing start (rather than a rolling start) the risk of an accident at Turn 1 increased significantly.

Here we will examine the risk/reward decisions taken by some teams and drivers, look at what went right for some and wrong for others, such as the Perez vs. Bottas Vs. Sainz battle, which was decided on strategy.

And we will explain what tactic Mercedes was trying to use in the final third of the race, which Lewis Hamilton was uncomfortable with carrying out.

And of course the risk/reward profile also applies to driving tactics, with Sebastian Vettel getting his risk profile all wrong by trying to block against Max Verstappen, who was not in the title fight with him and who therefore had nothing to lose in trying to win the hole-shot at the start.

Likewise Kimi Raikkonen’s risk/reward profile was also wrong as he made a fast start, but ultimately his responsibility was to work for Ferrari to achieve maximum championship points for his teammate Vettel against Lewis Hamilton. The outcome was the opposite.


Pre race considerations

On the grid, as the rain fell, the main decision was whether to start on the wet or the intermediate tyre. The front runners all went for the intermediate, because it is more likely to be able to run through to the point at which you can switch to slicks, which the wet is less able to do. So there is no point to risk adding in another 26 second stop from wet to intermediates into your race.

Also the faster cars have higher downforce, so can generate heat in the intermediate tyre, whereas a Sauber, for example, couldn’t and that makes it more likely that they will crash.

So the risk/reward profile for the cars further back showed that it was safer to get a clean first lap on wets and see what the attrition rate is like further forward with accidents. A safety car – or several – is highly likely and that would give a chance to switch to intermediate tyres for the cost of around 15 seconds at Safety Car speeds (rather than 26 seconds).

So that is why the grid was split 50-50 wets and Inters.

For the midfield it was a more nuanced decision, but it favoured the intermediate; one of the most interesting races was between Carlos Sainz who started on Intermediates and Sergio Perez, who started on full wets.


Chance of a podium for Hulkenberg and Perez

On a day such as this, teams like Renault and Force India can score a podium, if the decisions fall right.

Sergio Perez had a shot at it. He battled with Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg, who had a good shot at a podium after a great start, but later retired.

Valtteri Bottas scored the final podium position however, because of the decision of Force India to start both cars on wet tyres. Starting 12th on the grid, Perez was in fourth place, ahead of Bottas after the chaos of the start and had he done the race that Sainz did, running the intermediate until the ideal crossover point for slicks on Lap 27, Perez could well have finished on the podium.

Starting on wets and needing to pit for intermediates at the second Safety Sar on Lap 12 also cost track position to Sainz, which Perez was unable to recover. Analysis of the laps around the stops to switch to slicks (L27/28) showed that there was nothing Perez could have done differently there to gain that place back.

It was one of those days when everything fell into place for Sainz and the strategy was pitch perfect. But he would have been racing for positions behind Perez and Bottas if Force India had gone with the Intermediate decision at the start.

As their championship battle is with Williams, they had been thinking on the grid of covering the Williams cars that were starting behind them. But when the start gave them a shot at a podium, they were on the wrong tyre to capitalise.

It’s all about risk and reward profiles.


Hamilton helped and not helped by Safety Cars

Another interesting cameo in this race was the way the Safety Car was used. Not only was it deployed in every instance, rather than a Virtual Safety Car, but also the lapped cars were not given the chance to un-lap themselves before the final restart, which is unusual.

Although Lewis Hamilton questioned why the VSC was not used in the final instance, when Marcus Ericson spun, he later retracted it, as the deployment of marshals onto the track in a combination of wet and dark conditions without light reflective clothing was too great a risk.

The last one wasn’t helpful to Hamilton as it allowed Ricciardo to close up to him, when the track was now in slick tyre conditions. The Red Bull had been notably faster in Friday practice in the dry and the Safety Car allowed Ricciardo a chance to challenge at the restart for the lead, which Hamilton would have struggled to take back off him.

It was for this reason that Mercedes didn’t pit Hamilton for new Intermediates at the Lap 12 Safety Car. Ricciardo would have done the opposite and taken the track position that Hamilton would not have been able to take back.

However more interesting was the avoidance of lost time for the lapped cars un-lapping themselves. This can be a long process in Singapore; a couple of years ago the whole process took 8 laps for a relatively simple incident. And with the lower race pace caused by the rain and the three Safety Cars, the race wasn’t going to go the distance anyway; the 2 hour limit was going to be invoked.

So the unlapping process didn’t happen on the final restart this time.

Hamilton was able to get on with his programme with minimal fuss at the end. However as he streaked away around Lap 41/42 Mercedes were fearful of a Safety Car giving Ricciardo a final chance to beat him.

They radioed him and asked him to slow down, because they were worried about the gap back from Ricciardo to Bottas in third place. Hamilton pulling away allowed Ricciardo to do the same and once the gap reached 14 or 15 seconds then Ricciardo would have a safety car pit window, in other words he would be able to pit for a new set of slicks and attack Hamilton in the final laps.

So they asked Hamilton to slow down to close that window; he didn’t initially understand the request but he did then manage the situation as requested.

You can see from this detail of the race history graph what Mercedes were concerned about. Look at how the gap starts to open quickly around Lap 42 and 43 (the blue trace takes a notch upwards). If Ricciardo had gone with him, there could have been trouble. In fact the Red Bull didn’t have the pace to do that. But Hamilton backs off in any case and manages the pace to the end.

The UBS Race Strategy Report is written by James Allen with input and data from several F1 team strategists and from Pirelli

Race History and Tyre Usage Charts – Kindly supplied by Williams Martini Racing – click to enlarge

Look at the period around Lap 27-29, Red Bull were waiting until Ricciardo had a 26 second gap back to Hulkenberg to be able to pit for slicks. Mercedes as leaders have no reason to be the first to move in this situation so will always do the same as Ricciardo +1 lap.

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325 comments

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1

Lewis is the grand master in the wet.
His start was great and he controlled the pace.
Toto Wolf also implied they had put the engine modes down to preserve the gearbox and engine on both cars.
Vandoorne,Sainz , JP , KMag all produced quality racing on a tight circuit.
Alonso if he hadn't been shunted may even have had a 4th (depending on whether his engine lasted)

2

Part of me thinks Alonso was unlucky but part of me isn't so sure. He was along side DR coming into the corner. DR braked early to duck under MV (and KR) - I'm not sure but I think he saw them and decided not to risk getting tangled with them. Alonso on his outside braked late and aggressively and tried to get around MV (as well as DR). The "balance of risk and reward" favoured DR in this case. Although Alonso had a slightly different decision to DR - as his safe option meant giving up the place to DR which in his current circumstances of challenging at the sharp end once in a blue moon would have been a tough pill to swallow. Hence I think he did the right thing and got unlucky.

3

Per a post on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/713j6x/list_of_f1_winners_podiums_in_the_wet_80s_onwards/)
most successful wet race drivers since the 1980s:

(# of Wins/Driver)
18 M. Schumacher
14 Senna
13 Hamilton
7 Button
4 D.Hill

4

Interesting list. It's impressive to see how high Hamilton is on that list but also interesting to see how many more of these races he could - and arguably - should have won. The following spring to mind:
- China 2007. Team and driver mistake in slippy conditions contribute to him throwing away race win (and ultimately title)
- Belgium 2008. First driver home and clearly the fastest driver on the track in the wet that day but victory stripped from him.
- Hungary 2011. Span in slippy conditions from lead position then panic pitted for intermediates while cooler-header teammate stayed out and ultimately prevailed.
- Brazil 2012. Mastered conditions better than everybody and was in lead position before being taken out.

A couple of wins thrown away, a couple taken away. He's likely inherited a couple as well through good fortune but interesting that he could have been closer to Schumi had a few things gone his way.

It's also interesting to consider that, while machinery is obviously important, driver prowess still shines through. Take the following:
- Rosberg, despite winning a lot of races for Merc, never won a wet race when Hamilton was his teammate.
- Webber never won a wet races when Vettel was his teammate
- None of Alonso teammates have ever got the better of him (a tie with Hamilton in 2007)
- Button won more wet races than Hamilton when they were teammates and it's not even close (5-1, although Brazil swang Button's way through no fault of Hamilton's but at his expense, so more accurate to say 4-2).

I thought that makes interesting reading. Hamilton is great in the wet but, personally, I underestimated how much better Button had performed in the wet.

5

I think Button was Hamilton's superior in wet-dry conditions, like most of the races he won, whereas Hamilton was better in full wet sodden conditions. I think Hamilton had more outright pace, but Button had real pace too and was better at timing his calls.

6

@Andrew M You're basing that on Montreal I guess. The race where he took Ham out of the race (and Alonso for that matter).

7

Reads like quite an accurate assessment. A few snippets would seem to back that up:
- Hamilton overtook Button at Brazil in the wet and wasn't challenged by him. Button made the better calls about if/when to pit, and thus was able to remain close.
- Hamilton seemed faster in Canada 2011, as demonstrated by how quickly he was catching Button. Wasn't able to pull off a proper move and binned it, though.
- Hungary 2011. Hamilton span and lost time/ground, but in wheel-to-wheel action in the wet, he emerged victorious with Button, then promptly and incorrectly pitted while JB stayed anticipated the conditions better, stayed out and won.

Quite an interesting mini study to support the view that Hamilton might have been able to drive faster in the wet, but made poorer decisions than Button.

8

Or his engineer made poorer decisions. Certainly in Oz 2010 it was the team who called him in and in China told him the rain would 'get more'. Canada 2011 we saw JB look in his left mirror, then look in his right mirror and move left, know he was slow, so it was more him than Hamilton really

9

A lot of "experts" have underestimated Button's abilities over the years. Being in the right place at the right time, aka "luck" has a lot to do with many outcomes by being in the right place at the right time.

10

Nice list! If only they could factor in how many wins came at the hands of the fastest car on the grid. Naturally the fastest car on the grid should win. Then wins by those without would demonstrate more pure ability.

11

Sounds logical Cheesy. If one were to use logic!

12

Lkfe, the problem with that logic is, who applies it? If you ask Cheesypoof to do the job for you, he will say that all of Lewis' don't count, because he has always managed to fluke his way into the fastest car, and all of Alonso's do count, as he has only ever been in slow plodders. See the problem?

13

Yep, true, but then conditions also have the potential to change the running order (e.g. wet means cooler which might change the order).

Perhaps a truer reflection of who does best in the wet is to look at what % of wet races a driver wins vs. dry. Or perhaps records between teammates over a period of time. Some interesting stats arise when looking at it from these perspectives:
- Button won half of all races during the period of his career when McLaren was competitive (5 out of 10 wet races between 2010 and 2013). A 50% win record is pretty unreal.
- Vettel won 44% of races between 2010 and 2013, yet only 1 of 10 wet races during that period.
- Webber won no wet races in 2010-2013 despite having dominant machinery. Was the RBR a different car in the wet or is it that it's drivers weren't good in the wet?
- No wins for Rosberg in 2014-2016 while Hamilton won 7 out of 8 wet races in that period.

14

Just looking at the names on the list I think you can surmise most of the wins were with pretty good cars. For example, I believe all of Buttons will be in the Brawn and McLaren-Mercedes years, since his prior F1 years were a drought (1 win in 2006 for Honda!!!).

15

Certainly wasn’t a drought at Hungary 2006. Notch that up as another wet win!

16

Interesting list, although it counts Spa 2015 as wet when I don't remember it being so at all? Maybe just some light drizzle or something.

17

Agreed Andrew, I cant recall Spa 2015 was wet either, not even shortly or even just a corner patch either. So don't know what that means to the rest of the data been provided in that wet-wins analytics??
JA didn't mention wet weather either in his race report back then regarding tire choices between the teams:
https://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2015/08/analysis-how-did-vettel-and-ferrari-get-into-a-risky-position-at-spa/

18

I assume a wet race is one where any portion of it is raced on wet tyres (intermediates or full)

19

Isn't he just.

Singapore 2017 will go down in history like the Nurburgring 1961, when Stirling Moss won at the Ring in treacherous wet conditions. A driver in a less competitive machine beating his opposition by sheer talent, grit and determination. A case of a driver's brilliance compensating for his machinery's deficiencies at that particular circuit. Moss the Master, driving a nimble but down on power Lotus humiliated his opposition due to his masterful wet weather can control. On this occasion, the powerful but cumbersome long wheelbase Merc ill suited to tight street circuits of Lewis defeated the agile, nimble Red Bull driven by Dan Ric by virtue of his aquatic genius.

What's truly remarkable, and a insight into the Hamilton genius is that Hammy qualified 3 tenths behind the RB's on Saturday bone dry qualifying, and yet at the end of the race when the track was virtually dry Lewis FL was three tenths 𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘳 than Ricciardo's fastest lap! Where did Hammy find that extra 6 tenths advantage overnight over his main challenger? Answer? Pure driving ability.

One of the great Hamilton wet weather performances, as good as Silverstone 2008 and Brazil 2016 I reckon.

20

I still haven't seen anything to explain why Ricciardo wasn't able to make any impression on Lewis. The Mercs were no where near the RB's all weekend and then even after the they switched to slicks in the race, Dan couldn't make any impression on 44. Why?

21

Danny Ric had a gearbox issue from around lap 15* that was losing him approx 0.5 secs a lap (according to RB, anyway, so make of that what you will!). Doesn’t account for all of the time, Hammy was still faster, but explains (to an extent) the big gap.

*all figures from memory. Actual numbers may vary. Stocks can go down as well as up, etc.!

22

Ricciardo had a gearbox issue from about lap 6. There was a real chance he wouldn't get to the finish. Surprised you haven't heard about it. Lots of lift and coast, changed brake balance etc. impossible to judge its real effect, but also impossible to make any judgements about the qualities of the respective drivers in the wet. Lewis is amazing, of course, but Danny's pretty handy too. Stuff that people are saying about humbling etc is just silly.

23

Dan couldn't make any impression on 44. Why?

Its fairly straightforward - he isn't as good in mixed conditions as Hamilton. None of them are, although Max is close.

24

Tire temperature. In cooler conditions the W08 is the best car in F1 on any compound. In the heat, however and on ultrasoft tires the car suddenly slides and loses tire performance. Based on Lewis and Toto's statements that its current issues are in the DNA of the car, I am guessing this is a problem with a design that Mercedes cannot replace due to FIA homologation rules and thus all they can do is try to work around it.

25

𝘿𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙚𝙡 𝙍𝙞𝙘𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙤 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙤𝙣 𝙖 𝙙𝙧𝙮 𝙨𝙚𝙩 𝙪𝙥

Er................everyone was on a dry weather set up. That's just a poor excuse. It was just a case of driving what was underneath you and finding grip and balance on a slippery, greasy track. Simples.

Face it, Ricciardo was given a humbling by Hammy on a wet track, despite Lewis having the disadvantage of driving a Merc F1 that had been comprehensively slower in practice and qualifying. It was like when Ayrton Senna gave Alain Prost a humbling at a slippery Donnington 1993, or Schumi destroying his opposition at a sodden Barcelona 1996.

26

Ricciardo was given a humbling by Hammy on a wet track

Schooled Gaz 🙂

27

C63

Keep your gloating in check until Lewis has the WDC in the bag!! Remember last year?

28

Adrian, I can assure you I'm taking absolutely nothing for granted. I have said several times on different threads [since the race] that it is far from all over and it will only take one DNF from Ham or a couple of bad races and it's all back on. Funnily enough it's the Vettel fans who appear to believe it's all done and dusted - personally I have suffered too many disappointments down the years with my driver losing out at the last minute to be over confident. It ain't over till it's over.

29

There is no gloating here... you and Kenny, AlanF1, cheesypoof, etc just don't like what happened on Sunday and so any positive comments on it are deemed as gloating. It WAS a great race by Lewis, Sure he got Lucky to be in the position he was in but even without that crash Lewis would've been on the podium with the performances he can pull in the wet. Im well aware this season isn't over... FAR from it.... theres more twists to come. It's a statement of fact that RIC cant touch HAM in the wet. In the dry he can challenge for sure... but in the wet he is fairly poor (To be expected from an aussie with weather there) . Maybe there have been one or 2 comments to remind certain people that there previous comments have been shown to be completely invalid but that's not gloating. Gloating is ugly and theres been very little as far as I can see.

30

Perth has the same annual rain fall as London.
Large displacement V8s are the order of the day, rear wheel drive, so plenty drift practice in the wet.
🙂

31

So RIC doesn't even have the excuse of not growing up and racing in wet conditions? I see. Why is he so average in the wet then? Does he just lack ability?

32

Deano

Don't take my "gloating" comment out of context will you!! My goodness. Go back and read C63's comment about Danny Ricc and then you might realise what I said was a bit of banter with no malice intended.

Next Job for you is to point me to a post (just one will do) where I said Lewis didn't deserve to win in Singapore. And then go and find one post where I've made an anti Hamilton comment. You do the research because I haven't got the time or interest.

For your information both Ricciardo and Lewis deserved their podiums. They didn't benefit from "luck" as you say (because DNFs are a part of F1) but both made the most of the opportunities presented to them.

Finally, the weather in Australia does not determine whether of not you are a good F1 driver. Nothing to do with it.

33

Adrian. I misunderstood the nature of your comment. There have been quite a few comments about supposed gloating over lewis victory so assumed this was just another.
You are correct that coming from Australia doesn't make you a bad driver.....it's just I cannot recall there ever being a particularly good wet weather driver from Australia. I'm sure you will correct me if I'm wrong.

34

Dean

Thanks for your message.

All is good.

35

Come on. This is a bit much Gaz Boy. I will give you that LH is great in the wet but he was gifted the lead when four cars ahead of him on track got taken out at turn one (SV, KR, MV and FA) and DR had a slow start and gearbox problems that prevented him from competing down the stretch.

And it wasn't that bloody wet. Yes Lewis drove a good race but one if his best? That is a stretch.

36

When was Alonso ahead of Hamilton in Singapore?

37

Polite correction - Fernando Alonso wasn't ahead of Hamilton at any point in the race. Sure he was fortunate that the first 3 in the race took each other out but he wasn't lucky to overtake Ric. What's lucky about getting off the line better than your opponent?
BTW all you Ric fans; according to Horner the alleged gearbox problem suffered by Ric didn't start until approx half way trough the race. Where was his pace in the first half of the race?

38

He was definitely higher. I am sure I saw him several feet of the ground flying thru' the air.

39

Don't you remember everyone saying Hamilton was unlucky when he lost the start to Vettel in Bahrain and lost the race? And also how unlucky he was in Spain that he got a worse start than Vettel and had to overtake him on track for P1?

40

Also in russia, strange never seen failure of head rest cost him victory with vettle down couple of positions . so basically this race paid him everything he lost in bad luck this season .

41

Lol - funnily enough Andrew I don't recall everyone saying Hamilton was unlucky. In fact IIRC the general consensus from the anti's was that he was a choker, had finally been found out and this was some kind or proof that he was just an average driver in a good car. But unlucky isn't one of my over riding memories of the instances the you mention.

42

Andrew, I don't remember anyone saying that, no.

43

Robert, Fernando wasn't ahead of Lewis at any point.

44

It's Gaz Boy. He's like another Clarkson in his rambling gibberish. Don't how he's rated 5 stars, people probably find him entertaining. Similar with Sebee except his regular off-tangent rants about V8s etc are dull as sin.

45

Stars are related to the number of posts successfully submitted, not the quality of the posts submitted Joe. You only need to post a "+1" reply and it counts towards your next star. You could potentially get to 5 stars with only "+1" replies.
Take username A*eli for example. Most, if not all of his/her posts are rubbish yet they still count towards stars. Quantity, not quality.

46

Captain Risky
Actually you are incorrect.
A year or so James Allen stated that posts are rated for quality more than the amount posted.
So the fact the GazBoy gets alot of 'likes' means he has validity.
It's only your taste that triggers your opinion. If you dislike GazBoy posts, then you can skip to something that is acceptable.
I'm not on anyone's side but I think GazBoy has been on this forum from the get go. As have a number of 4 star 5 star posters.
Any who chill pill all round.
Gong banging is so Base. 👎

47

Regarding Aveli
He/She is enthusiastic but quality over quantity always wins.

48

The stars aren't a rating of quality - they are accrued through time and quantity (I believe).

49

Let's get this right Joe S, V10s. V10s!

Although, as I've said before, V8s with KERS are an acceptable compromise for sound, cost, competitive reasons.

50

I love the fact that even after Ricciardo himself said that it made no difference people are still quoting it as the reason for him not being fast enough to win.

51

I imagine Ricciardo probably said it didn't make a difference because of how difficult it is to pass on this track.

Ultimately Hamilton won the race at the start and he deserves some credit. Ricciardo also isn't all that great in wet conditions, and Hamilton is. Additionally the conditions may have favored the Merc package more than the RB, but that is speculative. Hotter conditions have shown to be not as accommodating for the Mercedes.

52

Well if Ricciardo meant that, then why didn't he say that? He said in multiple interviews that it wasn't that big a deal, and didn't tie it to the difficulty of overtaking even once.

53

According to an interview I heard with Christian Horner the 'slight issue' with the gearbox did not manifest itself till around half way through the race. I don't recall Danny Ric hounding Ham in the first half of the race. So far as I recall his pace was pretty even relative to Ham throughout the race - he couldn't stay with him 🙂

54

Exactly.
Shows how:
- refreshing it is to have an honest, frank, driver in Ricciardo in the game.
- how dertermined so many people (media and fans) are to paint a certain picture, despite the facts and drivers saying otherwise.

55

I wonder about that. It also seems like Mercedes likes cooler tracks which doesn't make sense. I know the Mercedes has a longer wheel base but it seemed to have good pace after the track dried.

I think it's something to do with the very tall sidewalls of the tires relative to a wide tire especially the rear ones. Bottas even said the rear seemed planted more on a cool green track than a hot one rubbered in.

This even seems not right. Maybe it's software related. Who knows?

I know Hamilton had luck on his side but after the track dried both drivers had the speed so much so they could even slow down at the end.

56

"Other Answer": The Merc long wheelbase wasn't as much of a disadvantage as a leaking gear box or a set up based on grippy dry conditions. I watched the comparative sector times and Lewis and Danny where relatively evenly matched in S1 and 3 -Lewis was marginally faster in S1 and Danny in S3. In Sector 2 however-Lewis just blew Danny away with the PU on the straights.
I was hoping that Danny would be in a position to challenge after the 3rd safety car, but the rubber had gone from the track, and the pit wall were reminding him to short shift by then.
A superb start by Lewis, and a great drive, but it's just unfortunate that the dominance of his PU in this era will always place an asterisk next to his achievements.

57

Really?! PU advantage in Singapore sector 2 on a wet-dry track?

Lewis was faster than Ric in the race at Singapore dry or wet, gear problem or not. He said himself that the gear problem didn't make any difference. Besides Horner said that the gear issue started around lap 15, but Lewis was massively quicker than him before then.

You can put "asterisk" on any achievement by anyone if you are a hater.

58

or a set up based on grippy dry conditions.

Are you claiming that DR was the only driver that had a dry set up? Unless you are, then his set up is entirely irrelevant - it was the same for all of them.

59

In that case we should also put asterisks against Schumacher, Senna, Prost etc.

60

Yes, agreed Jim.
Just comes down to the size of the asterisk, doesn't it! The 90% pole rates and 82% win rate means a pretty big asterisk.

61

Lkfe, nothing like those numbers this year though....

62

Basically everyone ahead of Ricciardo in any race/standing needs an asterisk against them.

63

@ LKFE good post. i agree.

64

In an incredible turn of events kenneth agrees with LKFE when he finds an excuse for DR.

65

C63, hold the front page.....

66

The longest straights at Singapore (the run down to turn 7 especially) are in sector 1.

Nice try though 🙂

67

AM, i challenge you to go and look at the sector splits...S1 and 3 have much more down force requirement.

68

Quite apart from the fact I think it's a dubious claim that Sector 1 requires more downforce than Sector 2, that's not what you said. You said the only reason Hamilton won was because he "blew Danny away with the PU on the straights." There are more straights (including the only significant one with the massive DRS zone) in sector 1, therefore if the only speed differential between them was the straight Hamilton would have been faster in Sector 1, not 2. Your conclusion doesn't square with the information.

(Not to mention reducing a circuit to "straights" and "corners" is pretty reductive, how fast you take the corners will have an effect on how fast you are able to go down the straights).

69

😄😂LKFE
Sour Grapes
If your going that way then...
Schumacher Vettel all had the rub of the green. when they had their wins.
Say it however you want but Lewis is the modern day master in the Wet...followed by Max after his show in Brazil last year.
Vettel has always faltered I the wet.
Schumacher experience to moses to part the waters Gorgeous him only too be mating with Coultards car.

70

Interesting view but consider the following:

- Vettel only won 1 wet race in that 4-year period (2010-2013) when the RBR was the most dominant car in the field. Button won 5 in inferior machinery and Alonso won 3 during that time.
- Button won more wet races than Hamilton when they were teammates and it's not even close (5-1, although Brazil swang Button's way through no fault of Hamilton's but at his expense, so more accurate to say 4-2).

The stats suggest that Hamilton is probably the strongest current driver in the field in wet conditions, but he wasn't better than his recently retired teammate, Jenson Button, who outperformed him quite convincingly.

Vettel wins at a lower rate in the wet than he did in non-wet conditions while driving the fastest car in the field.

71

Button won 5 in inferior machinery

Those McLaren's were good in the wet, they weren't 'inferior machinery'.

72

True but I think how well McLaren went in the wet was also a function of their two drivers - both had exceptional wet weather results before 2010.

73

They did have good results before 2010, although again, Hamilton’s wins came in the 2007-2008 McLarens which were the class of the field those years in the wet. I can’t remember him winning in the wet in 2009. And why would that be if driver skill trumps all in wet conditions?

Raikkonen won wet races at McLaren. Because the cars he drove from 2003-2006 were all generally quite good in the wet.

Button won 1 rain effected race before he joined Brawn at Hungary 06. Both Raikkonen (who lead in the… McLaren) and Alonso were ahead of Button before they retired.

All I’m saying is yes the rain does even out the playing field to an extent but you still need a decent car underneath you.

74

f1 is about finding out who is the best driver, team and car.
so which of the drivers who have ever raced in f1 is the best at driving in the rain?
ignore this

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2hx0yZ1RXWQ

75

Absolutely, I'm by no means saying the the rain just nullifies any car advantage you may or may not have, but similarly I don't think it's fair to just count wins as a good wet race, plenty of drivers don't have winning cars but produce good results in the wet (Hulk, Sainz for example).

I don't know off the top of my head how Hamilton did in the 2009 wet races, but I know Jenson put in some good performances in the 2007-8 Hondas in the wet compared to the dry for example.

76

They were decent in the wet, of course. I guess we'll never really know, though, whether the car suddenly became better than the RBR because of the conditions or whether the conditions levelled the field, and thus allowed driver prowess to be evident.

I should clarify that, by 'inferior', I meant that the McLaren was generally inferior to the RBR for the majority of the period 2010-2013. There were spells when it looked like it might be the equal or could be getting closer but RBR were always there at the top during that time.

77

Kris, don't forget Canada 2011. Lewis was catching Jenson at an almighty rate of knots before they came to gether on the pit straight.

78

Button also basically t-boned Alonso out of the race at turn 3, but didn't get any kind of penalty for it. I think both incidents were his fault to be honest, quite apart from his skill he was lucky that day...

79

Andrew, he was also lucky that Seb showed his mental strength under pressure by spinning off with a couple of laps to go, and gifting the win to JB....

80

I considered that, but I don't they were even close to the lead at that point. And that incident was so early in the race that it's hard to say that he threw it away or should have won. That only applies to Vettel on that day.

81

Think you'll find that Dan Ric was nursing a gearbox issue and was upshifting easy for the majority of the race. Still a good effort by HAM to not make any mistakes in two hours of difficult conditions.
Would love to have seen him put under some serious pressure though, particularly towards the end on a drying track

82

According to Horner, Ric's gear box issue started around lap 15, but before then Lewis was still pulling away from him rapidly. I don't think Ric had an answer to Lewis' pace in the wet even without the gear box issue.

83

I caught an interview on C4 and Horner said halfway through the race! It's odd there was absolutely zero radio chatter throughout the race on the subject and not one of the pitlane reporters picked up on it. All this confusion over when the problem started and not a whiff of the problem during the race - a problem I might add that didn't affect Ric's pace in comparison to Bottas.
All sounds a bit like the dog ate his homework to me.....

84

C63

Perhaps you were down at the local for a quick ale when the gear box problem was mentioned by Teddy Bair Kravitz.

85

Did you hear any mention of a gearbox problem during the race? If you did - please tell me at one point and I will go back and listen.

86

C63

"Did you (me) hear any mention of a gearbox problem during the race?"

No I didn't.

Did you hear any mention of the gear box problem during?

No you didn't.

So is that evidence that there wasn't a gear box problem?

I don't think so because:

Absence of Evidence is Not Evidence of Absence - Carl Sagan

But I think we have to assume that there was a gear box problem because Danny Ricc mentioned it and why would we doubt him? More specifically do we have any evidence to doubt him?

Importantly he himself said that it wasn't a determining factor regarding his inability to find pace. So praise DR for being honest about it.

But as you have said and I have said it ain't a big deal.

87

C63, I believe Dan teported that his gearbox had misted up around lap 50....

88

Tim

Very funny!

You and your Tag Team Partner working the comments on JA's Forum.

89

Oh c'mon Ady - that comment from Tim was funny. Don't be a grumpy puppy and get all sulky like kenneth.

90

Brilliant Tim - just brilliant 🙂

91

C63

What, only one lousy +1 ? And probably from Tim too. How disappointing. 🙁

92

Well Ricciardo had a gear box issue which wouldn't have helped. Also the cooler conditions because of the rain might have helped the Mercs get the tryes into the correct operating temps.

93
Beentheredonethat

Can anyone pdove he had a gearbox problem, there were no radio messages aired too promote this notion. In the 2nd half of the race DR had a couple of fastest laps, not posible if your short-shifting or nursing a sick gearbox. Personally i believe CH just threw that out there because he felt a sense of humiliation from Hamys pace after their dominance in all free practices and Q3.

94

I'm inclined to agree with your view on this one. I'm finding it hard to believe the gear box problem (if there was one) wasn't discussed at any point during the race between the pit wall and car. Also CH has reported different stages of the race in different interviews as for when the problem started. It all seems a bit too convenient for me.

95

Well the graphs show just that. I know it's not logical.

96

Oh pulease.

97

Or it could have something to do with three main competitors for the win didn't make it out of the first turn plus Ricciardo having a gearbox problem all race that he had to nurse which definately slowed him down. Not saying that Hamilton didn't drive a good race (which he did) but he got a lot of help as well.

98

I support Hamilton, but even I would consider this as some serious propaganda lol.

99

I feel like some people on here are writing term papers for a college course on flattery.

100

Standing out head and shoulders beyond anything was Vettel's lack of self control at the start.
This was Ferraris race to lose, it was his Championship lead all but nailed on. Both went west.
What was he thinking? Verstappen was no title threat.
Vettel has long carried the mantle of being very quick but not the complete racer. I think he is a more rounded driver but I can think of at least two 'racers' I'd rather have in the car!
Race day was ruined by his poor decision making, he has many opportunities coming but now has to make them count.
It'll be interesting to see how he copes with the pressure he's put himself under.

101

"Verstappen was no ....threat"
F1ONA, you raise and an interesting point...
Have the paddock whispers that Verstappen already has a deal with Ferrari, gotten to Vettel?
He may have been thinking about his team No 1 status in 2019 when he threw that red car on to a full lock left!

102

He may have been thinking about his team No 1 status in 2019

Lol - seriously? He's locked in a close battle for the title and you think he's sitting on the start line worrying about something which may or may not happen in 2 years time. You don't think it's more likely he would have been thinking about the immediate threat that his main title rival represented given the conditions. Vettel was comfortably quicker than Ham in the dry but he's not daft, and would have known the rain had eroded his car advantage. And he would also have known that Singapore was a track that he needed to bank some big points - hence his somewhat desperate actions at the start.

103

C, have a look at the post qualy press conference, and tell me the RB boys weren't in his head when he dropped the clutch..

104

Are you talking about the interview that Will Buxton does on the grid with the top three straight after quali or do you mean official FIA sit down conference (indoors)? If it's the latter I don't know where to watch it as Sky doesn't show it unless there is something interesting that occurred . If you could tell me where to watch it I'd be grateful as it was always more interesting than these rather dismal 'live' interviews they've started doing. I dearsay if you are there they seem ok (a bit like a live concert) but at home they don't come across nearly so well.

105

I hadn't heard those rumours, but I can't see Verstappen going to Ferrari while Vettel is there.

Ferrari always run a number one driver and a supporting driver. Neither Vettel nor Verstappen would be happy in the supporting role.

106

What has Max proven or done to earn a Ferrari drive? A lucky win handed to him by two lead cars crashing out and his team moving his team mate out of the way?

I don't think Ferrari are looking at him seriously. If anything they will play with his head to make another team pay more for him.

107

Yes, i agree. I think they would be daft to take him. But if you saw the post qualy pressa....there's something going on with the body language between Vet and Ver.

108

L, sorry to hijack your comment - your reply didn't pass MOD for some reason. I've followed the link you sent and all I get are some still pictures and the transcript of the press conference. Is there a VT? In the still pictures Seb is laughing and looks very relaxed - Max looks like he's sat on a pine cone and Dan looks like he's trying to sneakily read a text on his phone. Can't really see any signs of Seb being spooked by the Red Bull boys. sorry.

109

"He may have been thinking about his team No 1 status in 2019"

Thinking "what is the best way to lose it?" you mean? 😉

110

Reminder: Max hit Kimi, who then collected Vettel. Those are the facts.

111

They are your facts Sebee, but you don't get to decide who hit whom. The argument for Kimi hitting Max because he didn't use all the space available to his left is rather more valid....

112

100% correct Sebee, no one can doubt it 🙂

Now for the bonus points, what (or who) started the chain of events that caused Max to hit Kimi and Kimi to hit Vettel and Max to take out Alonso?

Hint: The answer starts with a V 🙂

113

Hint: The answer starts with a V
Ok Random, so it aint Kimi... That leaves VER and VET. You're gunna need to gimme a little more mate 😉

114

Yep, I knew I should have made the clue "4x WDC whose name starts with Vettel" 😉

115

Starts with VE. Longer than 7 letters.

116

Very wet road?

117

I'll give you that one LKFE 🙂

118

Maybe it's me but as you say seb didn't hit max. Seb had every right to cover max. The only one of the 3 who could clearly see a Ferrari left and right was max, why did he choose to keep his foot in and drive between them? I think I'm in the minority but max could have, and should have prevented the crash.

119

max could have, and should have prevented the crash.

Have any of the ex F1 driver/pundits supported that theory? Every one I have heard has been very clear on this point and none have blamed or held Max responsible in any way.

120

I agree. I thought Vettel was aggressive yet within his right, Max clearly made first contact with his FRONT wheel hitting Kimi REAR wheel. He did not read what was going on around him very well.
Max may be a good driver in the future, currently he is over hyped and fiercly protected by a range of the F1 establishment. It may feel like minority because of the message constantly rammed diwn our throats but many fans do resent this kind of preferential treatment.

121

Vettel did the same thing any other driver would have done in the same situation. Just didn't work out this time. Raikkonen didnt have to hit him.

122

Jf, any other driver isn't in the championship battle, he shouldn't be putting himself in that kind of situation with so much at stake. Besides, I'm not sure they all would have squeezed Max as much as Seb did.

123

Seb must have taken leave of his senses to squeeze Max like he did at the start. It was an incredibly high risk move (in the circumstances) and was asking for trouble. And trouble with a capital T is what he got.

124

Maybe: but we want racers to race right. Have you ever tried to be nice and let someone in on a busy highway merge only to have three more take a run and barge through forcing you slam on the brakes? Remember that this whole crash took place in a matter of seconds on a knifes edge--A foot or even inches difference here or there, or a split second difference in timing could have had very different consequences, for better or worse.

125

Good point. It just happened to be a perfect storm.

Three different starts and drivers making split second instinctive decisions. Like you say all in a matter of seconds.

It was a perfect storm of starts.

126

You are correct that it all worked out for Seb about as badly as it could - maybe on another day it would have been ok. But do you not think, in the circumstances, he might have been better to be just a little more circumspect?

127

C63 and TimW- I get your point of view(s)- but I think the key thing is situational awareness in a span of a few seconds.
Seb made a poor start, went for the racing line as you do on pole.
Max made a decent start, figured he could get Seb and went for it.
Kimi made a great start, figured he could get them both and went for it.
They were all wrong!
Sebs mirrors were full of Red Bull, had no clue where Kimi was.
Max was focused on getting round Seb, didn't see Kimi.
Kimi was already ballistic and aiming for a hole that wasnt going to be there when he arrived (he was the only one of the three that could see the whole situation presumably).
Racing incident, I blame all three, as did the stewards. But done is done, on to the next one.

128

I agree it was a racing incident and I never expected (or wanted particularly) the stewards to punish any single driver. But Seb's movement in covering off Max was not going for the racing line - it was the opposite as the racing line is over to the right and he moved sharply left.

129

Jf, I take the point you are making, but Seb had a choice, it was by no means guaranteed that Max would get by him, and it wouldn't have mattered if Kimi did. He could have stayed on the racing line and concentrated on negotiating turn one safely, or swerve across the track. One would have been extremely unlikely to result in any contact, the other had a very high chance.

130

Hey TimW: see my response to C63. Seb was on the racing line, or at least he was aiming for it. Seb would have had his mirror vision (if he could see at all) with a RedBull, could not have seen Kimi. Seb was just too slow with respect to Kimi, who had gone ballistic with no where to go. Kimi was the only one who could have seen the other two cars ahead of him, and maybe he was compromised by spray. Again- racing incident as per the stewards decision, I dont think anyone can be fully at blame. And again, this whole thing happened in seconds. Most of us mere humans would have absolutely no recollection of events that happen so quickly at such high speed, would be effectively blind, heck many people in accidents say they didn't see a giant bus or transport truck approaching at 40 km/h. Fantastic drive by Hamilton though, races like this you can forget the machinery and appreciate the skill.

131

Sorry JF, but Seb was nowhere near the racing line! His grid box is on the racing line, he then swerved off it and all the way over to the left, before swerving all the way back to the right to rejoin the correct line for turn one, which is on the right hand side of the track.

132

JF, mate, you talk reason. Thx.
Glad to see that, so much BS about him has been written. Sickening.

133
Tornillo Amarillo

Yeah, example RICCIARDO cannot cope with the pressure he's put himself under, now he's going too far(t)...

134

I can't quite figure out where you are on the serious scale, where 1 is not at all serious and 10 is fully serious 😐

135
Tornillo Amarillo

Me neither.

136

Glad we cleared that up 🙂

137
Tornillo Amarillo

For Hamilton the championship fight is NOT over, but for Vettel it is.

138

@Tornillo: I wouldn't be so sure. Vettel is on the back foot but there are still some tracks that favour the Ferrari. A DNF or a couple of bad races for Lewis and Vettel is right back in there.

"Anything can happen in Formula One, and it usually does."

139

Or Vettel may have another DNF, it's not a "Law" that Lewis must have one DNF before Vettel can have another one?

140

@KingsZito: Er, yes. Well done you.

Perhaps you didn't understand the context. Tornillo said the WDC is over for Vettel, I was pointing out that anything could happen.

Your comment is true but irrelevant. Were you drunk?

141

He'll be fine, his bosses will look glum.

142

"It'll be interesting to see how he copes with the pressure he's put himself under"

We've already seen how well he copes with pressure, but it will be interesting to see if he can manage now to make up the points deficit to Hamilton.

143

tyre choose was correct for those who were on full wets because we heard on the radio that the rain would last 35 minutes but stopped after 10 minutes, 5 laps. had the rain continued for 35 minutes those on full wets would've led the race by a long way...
had ricciardo stayed out while hamilton pitted, hamilton would've easily overtaken him for victory. you could tell from how he pulled away at wash restart.
i don't understand why hamiltons wouldn't be able to reclaim his position back from ricciardo but ricciardo could've pitted for fresher tyres to pass hamilton. no wonder am not good at these ifs and could've theories..

144

...its because you have a default position and won't consider any other potentialities.

145

Lkfe, that must be a terrible affliction.....

146

I know Tim...my sympathies.
Do you prefer chocolates or flowers?

147

Lkfe, will you come and visit me on the "default position" ward? I'm hoping to get a bed near Martin Brundle, Mark Webber and Jacques Villeneuve.....

148

I can't imagine "medication time, gentlemen!"

149

I think Kimi fulfilled his role admirably by a blinding majestic start.

Surely he was not to know that after jumping Max, the Dutchman would decide to clip his rear tyre. Nor was he to know that Vettel would compound a bad start with a not too smart streak leftward to intimidate Max and Kimi both.

I know this has already been discussed, but it's worth repeating: Without the errors of Max and Seb, Kimi would have been in the lead out of p1, and would of course, have given up the lead to his title-contending team mate in due course.

150

I don't think Max made an error. He was watching Seb, who was initially in front of him, come sharply across his bow. He adjusted by starting to drift left as you'd expect, then got hammered by Kimi who'd made a blinder and was hurtling past.

As far as I'm aware, Max's eyes both point in the same direction. He can't watch Seb sweeping in from the right, AND look in his left mirror at the same time.

Not a huge fan of Max but he did nothing wrong here. Worth noting also that Kimi was not exactly hard against the pit lane wall. In fact he was heading slightly right - towards Max - as he want past. There was nothing Max could have done.

151

I think poor visibility was the problem. People often say Max is from the PlayStation era. Yet here they forget that Max is playing from the cockpit view. It is simply not possible for Max to have been paying attention to the racing line, engine modes, wet surface, tire spray and Vettel and Kimi simultaneously.

That, and Vettel wouldn't have squeezed any other drive like he did Max. Max got in his head, and not Ina good way..

152

That's one way of looking at it, or you could look at what actually happened... Vettel moved across to take the racing line into corner 1.
Max was intimidated by Seb and turned left into the car beside him.
Seb's move was not only what he should have done, he did it cleanly and successfully until he was caught up in Max's crash into Kimi.
Whose fault was it? The blame can only go to the driver that crashed into another car... that is, Max.
To say that Vettel should have backed off and let Max and Kimi go past just in case they crashed into each other is just silly.

153

Equally silly to say that Max should have backed off as he was overtaking Vettel

154

Vettel moved across to take the racing line into corner 1

The racing line was on the righthand side of the track - this would mean the corner was open. Moving to the left (as Vettel did) would have meant the corner would have been tighter. He was moving to the left to cover off Max - nothing to do with taking the racing line.

155

Axel, the racing line into T1 is where Seb started, he ended up about as far away from it as it's possible to get!

156

I think Vettel is haunted by "Alonso-Karma" since Baku. Schaden Freude? Ja!

157

Life is strange, you may be so right....
Poor VET, he is gonna have a miserable life for a while.

158

I wonder if strategists from all teams will take into consideration the fact Max is starting alongside their car in pre-race strategy discussions. You know, debate with both drivers if it's worthwhile getting into an accident when Max sees you pass and crashes into you...

Just like in the old days when everyone had to take into consideration if they were going to be ahead of the Trully train or behind it...

159

MV pulled an almost Kvyat( from last year) here in Singapore.

160

Can't remember the Ferrari's sandwiching Kvyat last year?

161

Given Vettel caused the Singapore pile up, doesn't make a lot of sense. Fact is that Verstappen's pace and ability causes worries, nothing else, and it was undoubtedly the prospect of him getting ahead that caused Vettel to panic and try to block him into the first corner.

Now, Vettel behind you when there's a safety car, that's a good reason to worry.

162

Talking strategically, Ferrari's move was pointless. Why risk what they did when they had 4 drivers between Vettel and Hamilton at the start? Who cares if Verstappen would have finished ahead?

Besides, if the past wet races have shown us one thing, it is that Hamilton ( and to lesser extent Verstappen) are much faster in the wet that the other drivers.

163

Senna once said, ‘if you do not go for a gap you are no longer a racing driver’ Max saw the Gap. What was he supposed to do… just back off? No point being an F1 driver if that’s the case.

All three of them had the right to consolidate their start. Vettel had the right to cover, Max saw the gap and the right to attack it, Kimi made a great start and had the right to go for the lead. No one should be at blame here, as how the stewards saw it. It was a pure racing incident and unfortunate event which sometimes happens, especially in the wet.

It’s just Vettel made a very bad decision, he shouldn’t have taken the risk, when his title rival was 5th. If Max won the race, Seb would’ve at worst finished 2nd which still would be been a great result for him.

164

Vettel didn't panic or make a wrong decision... he did exactly what he should have done. He didn't crash into anyone... Max saw him coming and panicked, then turned left into a car that he didn't see beside him. How can you say that was Seb's or Kimi's fault, when Max crashed into a car he didn't see. The Ferraris were collateral damage from Max's left turn.

165

Vettel didn't panic or make a wrong decision...

I've no idea whether he panicked, but he certainly made the wrong decision. His actions in trying to cut off Max set the whole process in motion. Why do you think Vettel said sorry to his team on the radio straight afterwards? Kimi didn't, he just mumbled something about what were people doing/thinking and neither did Max apologise. Only Vettel said sorry.....

166

@ Axel...exactly so. What is causing such great anti Vettel fever is that according to the stewards he was not 'at fault'. All the people who have blamed vettel look rather silly as a result. Vettel's move may have been 'inopportune' but Vettel hit no one. He was fully entitled to make his one move as James has already said. I don't always agree with the stewards but i usually defer to their collective knowledge and the data that they have to support their decisions. I simply look back at Verstappen's forecast of 'doing something in turn one' or words to that effect. That is exactly what happened.

167

If you dont try to cover a gap are you still a racing driver? Should Vettel have said " Go on through boys, its OK-- I'll try to catch up later, maybe I'll go get a coffee and sit for a spell"

168

No... but I bet he wishes he did now!! 🙂

169

That wasn't a gap!

That was Kimi...and Max hit him.

170

Here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2T1_VrTcoo

Go frame by frame on Max's on board footage. (Pause and use "," "."). You can see Max is going left, then you can see he straightens out, then you can see right when Kimi's front wheel passes him he turns left again for Kimi's side pod. In fact, Max makes two steering inputs toward Kimi after Kimi's front passes by, toward left, towards Kimi's side pod. This after he saw Kimi's front wheel go by as a car width reference point, in case Max forgot. A reference point (Kimi's wheel) he avoids by straightening out. Why? What does Max think will happen by doing this? He has lots of room on his right at this point Vettel. If Max doesn't steer into Kimi toward the gentle contact with Kimi's floor and in path of Kimi's rear wheel, which he should know is coming, none of this happens.

171

come on sebee....none of that happened frame by frame. you are looking at millimetre movement instead of the big sweeping move vettel made across the entire racetrack.....why are you ignoring vettel in this?

172

Because he's so so far away. Like a meter away.
Max has a meter to Vettel, yet finds the need to drive toward Kimi, twice, after Kimi's wheel passes Max for width clearance reference.

173

Sebee, and Kimi had a metre to the edge of the track, why didn't he use this space? The steering movements you mention were tiny, lasted for a fraction of a second and resulted in no meaningful difference to his line.

174

For once I agree! By the way, how many stars have I got? Can I have an extra one because of my age?

175

Pic4. After impact, Max is turningvright now as Seb's car has gone, but it is too late. Seb has continued his swerve to the right. If Max hadnt lifted off the throttle there would have been contact between them.

176

Oh well, stuff braking, I am going to try and run the gauntlet again at turn one.

So you think Max attempted to run into the rear wheels of two cars instead of braking 🙂

177

Pic3. Steering wheel straight now, probably due to the proximity of Seb's left rear to his right front. Shift lights still off.

178

Oh crap, maybe I should try using the brakes next time.

179

Pic2. Steering wheel angled further to the right, shift lights have gone off indicating he has lifted off the throttle.

180

You were supposed to back off Kimi, now I have to turn back toward where I just was to try to stop running into you. I could brake, nah.

181

Could you believe that Max is drifting toward Kimi and after these inputs gets closer to Kimi's wheels?

Could you also imagine that after this point passes Max makes TWO left steering inputs, one right after Kimi's wheel passes, and one more after he's next to Kimi's side pod.

I mean, talk about intent!

182

...then finally in picture above when he sees Kimi's wheel he appears to potentially lift and applied the right steering input you see. Too little too late Max.

183

Dseber, Max lifted when Kimi's wheels were parallel with his, and it became clear that Seb had no intention of stopping his swerve.

184

Sebee, look at the angle of Max's steering wheel in your pic, and then tell me again that he is "drifting towards Kimi"....

185

Pic1. Max'steering wheel is angled slightly to the right. His shift lights are illuminated indicating he is on the throttle.

186

I can do this and don't brake for anyone.

187

Bryce, so your point is Max should have stamped on the brakes to avoid the Ferraris? Why don't they have to brake to avoid him? Why doesnt Kimi have to use the space available to his left to avoid hitting Max? Why doesn't Seb have to stop his mad swerve before he runs into Max?

188

He has no point(s), just farming his stars by replying to all of your attempts to bring some proofs into a discussion fueled by blind conviction.

189

They will in the future.

Crash Verstappen or Max Vercrashen, take your pick, is undoubtedly a very talented driver.

However, he has a self entitled persona only comparable to Lewis Hamilton. That attitude does not do it for me. That is a shame since i believe he is an outstanding talent as is Lewis.

In the grand scheme of things, i guess he is trying to establish himself as
someone who doesn't back down from anyone specially Sebastian Vettel. He seems to have a gripe with him.

All is well because it is Sebastian and specially the British media might find it funny, even cute when he offends and insults others when he perceives them as the culprits of his impetuosity, calling them stupid and idiots.

One wonders how his "cuteness" will be judged when the offended is one Lewis Hamilton.

190

A vettel fan complaining about a sense of entitlement in other drivers. LMAO - You couldn't make it up!

191

I know you are a Vettel fan and I wasn't expecting anything else from you but defending him, but that dirt throwing at Hamilton, which had no business whatsoever in the crash, was a surprise - at least in this discussion.

I guess take whichever chance you can, after all, you have to blow the steam from that cataclysmic weekend Ferrari had somehow - it looks over, doesn't it?

192

Ionut, people shoehorning an anti Hamilton rant into a comment thread that has nothing to do with him surprises you? You mist be new here, you will get used to it after a while....
P.S, it does look over!

193

verstappen has already convinced all teams of how good he is and now has the option to choose which team he'd like to drive for in future. i wonder how large that word "regret" appears in marccioni's dreams..

194
Tornillo Amarillo

Kid Lance was the only one to do the perfect combination of Inters and just one-stop for NEW Ultra Softs, well done.

The others had Wets, or used US or 2 or more pitstops.

195

He could have stopped many times for new Ultra's due to his SHAMBLES of a qualifying performance so I don't quite see your point! He's just fortunate he won the coin toss or whatever method Williams use to determine who started on wets and who on the inters. If you discount the 7 drivers who left the track ahead of him and his teammate on wets he gained two places and one of those also started on the wets. Not knocking the kid but I wouldn't go commissioning a screenplay anytime soon!

196

It seems Lance chose his inters and Massa his wets, and Massa said it was his mistake.

197

For me Lance is a bit of a wierd anomaly as driver . In dry conditions he seems still a bit inconsistent. Let's not forget in the dry qualy he was 0.7 down on Massa.
However in the changeable race he turned the tables well and truly on Massa both in terms of strategy and driver performance. His wet weather performances are pretty strong based on what i've seen this 2017 season. I really can't explain why he seems so much more comfortable in wet/changeable conditions than fully dry conditions- can you James? Stroll lacks consistency which is why his results are patchy but there is talent to work with.

198

They are separate skill sets perhaps.

199

Maybe Stroll still has trouble processing everything at full speed in the dry, sometimes in sports overthinking can slow instinct and reaction. Perhaps at lower speeds in the wet he can cope better and follow his instincts more easily. It would be a big jump in speed from lower formula into this years car, compared to previous years.

200

On the topic of Lance, has anyone else noticed from his onboards that there seems to be way more 'kickback' through his steering wheel??

Don't know if this is to do with suspension set up or just how strong his wrists are.

201

that kickback is imagined. there is noway he'd be under a second off massa's pace with considerable relative kickback as you claim. secondly if he did experience so much kickback surely his engineers would've noticed and corrected it by now. the guy is a great driver to have made it into f1 aged 18 in a time after the rules regulating entry into f1 has been tightened so much..

202

that kickback is imagined.

If it's imagined why did Martin Brundle bring it up at Monza.

Don't know if you have misunderstood, I am not having a dig at Lance.

There is definitely more kickback compared to every other car/driver in the field, why is this? Maybe let someone else answer as you clearly don't know.

203

there isn't any kickback in that williams car..if there was, he would've complained about it. he's been racing for over 12 years so he should know whether he experiences kickback or not. he says he's enjoying driving the car.....
no kickback..

204

It's fascinating that Stroll can perform so much better in wet conditions than dry.

If anything it shows he certainly has the talent and skill to drive an F1 car. I can't remember where I read it but it was highlighted that Stroll struggles with focus and consistency which is what dry qualifying and races are all about, wet races are much more about feel and confidence in the car and less about precision.

205

Like I said this race was bizarre for many reasons and Stroll doing better in wet than dry conditions is strange too.

206

I have a theory that Massa and Bottas are just not great in the wet - which is why everyone thought that the Williams was poor in the wet the last few seasons. Now, Bottas and Massa are nowhere near their respective teammates in the wet because they are simply better in the wet. In other words - Stroll is looking good against a poor benchmark. Also, Stoll's extra practice sessions are probably paying off and he is getting to terms with an F1 car generally and hence we are seeing a general improvement becoming more apparent in the wet.

207

Huh? The only reason the front-runners didn't have new US's is because they made Q3, plus have to give a set back afterwards.

I don't see why Stroll should get credit for that.

208

A longstanding bugbear of mine going back year, that going out at the high end of Q1/Q2 (e.g. 11th) is very often better than getting through to Q3. I can't think of an easy solution given the tyre allocations at the moment though without much increased complexity or cost.

209

So, pretty much guaranteed it'll be VET, VER & RAI in the Thursday press conference (Part 1) at Sepang, right? 😃

210

Do you think they'll sit Max in between Seb and Kimi? 🙂

211

C63, it would be amusing if the put the chairs too close together....

212

put the chairs too close together....

Max will need to be careful that Seb and Kimi don't scooch over and crowd him out of the press conference....especially if Kimi gets there first and Seb arrives slightly after Max 🙂

213

C63, if that does happen, it will be all Max's fault for not disappearing into thin air!

214

@KRB
Forgot about that😄
Now that's gonna be interesting 👍

215

Hopefully!

216

"Sebastian Vettel getting his risk profile all wrong by trying to block against Max Verstappen, who was not in the title fight with him and who therefore had nothing to lose in trying to win the hole-shot at the start."

The funny thing is that was exactly the advice that Horner -who knows Sebastian well- gave to Seb: "Our drivers have nothing to lose, while Seb has a championship at stake."

It seems that instead of heeding the warning it made Seb even more determined to cut off his young friend Max.

I must say that I find this surprising. One would think that an experienced four- time WDC from Germany, would be more calculating and collected. Also you would think that there is a team meeting beforehand where all possible scenario's are discussed, like a military operation, including the possibility that VER goes into the first corner first. But obviously not.

217

I would say Max had something to lose. He had yet another DNF, while Dan had yet another podium, and lose even more points to his team mate.

218

@ Eager Bob....'Verstappen, who was not in the title fight with him and who therefore had nothing to lose in trying to win the hole-shot at the start'. He had everything to lose and he lost out big time. He got 10secs of drive time. He failed. Now, if not only losing a chance to drive for a podium, but ruining other driver's races and costing the team valuable CC points is nothing to lose then we are talking at cross purposes. I think that RB loss would be considerable.

219

I wonder about the Ferrari pre-race meeting. Ferrari in these situations where they're P1 and P3 or P4 on the grid and there's a lot at stake - think Brazil 2007 - have been known to use the front driver to block off P2 and get the second driver through. Just maybe they had a plan of Vettel blocking Verstappen and Raikkonen getting past into second or even first (to switch later obviously). Only Vettel's relatively poor getaway meant he wasn't able to block effectively and he should have focused instead on just getting to the corner first. Only he continued with the plan with the results we saw. There was just something that seemed concerted about the two Ferraris. Like they were following a plan but messed up.

220

Interesting post - in all the replays I watched of the crash, I had the feeling Raikkonen was trying too much to block Verstappen instead of focusing on getting clean in front of him.
Raikkonen turning to the right, towards the racing line, was to be expected, but it somehow surprised me how soon he started the move, he had a lot of space in front of him and better speed (due to the better launch), but instead of using them to get first to the corner, cleanly overtaking Verstappen, he chose to somehow box him.
This pinching manoeuvre from Ferrari's cars was (in my eyes) the determining factor of everything that followed.

221

Also if Riccardo would have stayed out and then Hamilton came in he had a good chance of winning. It wasn't just the wreck but also strategy that allowed Hamilton to win.

222

Shame for Alonso as he wasn't even one of the fun boy three.
Guess you cant project his theoretical result as there are no statistics.
I think they need to abolish the lapped cars unlapping themselves it seems like a pointless waste of time that impacts the leaders with the danger of cooling tyres.

223

Mem, agree about the lapped cars. Even if they are in the middle of the leaders, why not just let them drop back rather than having to wait for them to go all the way around?

224

because that actually puts them 2 laps down rather than unwinding most of the lap that they're down.

225

why not just let them drop back rather than having to wait for them to go all the way around?

Ha that would just be far too simple and logical for the FIA to adopt.

226

If they're a lap down then why bother rejoining the race?

227

Allowing the lapped car to fall back instead of actually doing the lap would disadvantage the cars in front of him. He would have a slight tyre advantage and a fuel advantage having done one fewer laps.
I say leave them where they are.

228

@ JTS...I think that it would be better if once anyone goes a lap down then they should be blackflagged. They are simply a waste of space and get in the way of faster cars so what's the point ? haha

229

James,

There wasn't enough water on track for the wet tyres to work propperly. How come Alonso did mange to do such a mega start on a tyre which happened to be the worse tyre? Could he potentially have an even better start had he opted for intermediates?

230

the strategy report is soooo good!

points along the way:
1. [para 2] Totally agree with Race Control about a standing start in the conditions; it was correct call in this case; at race time, it was standing start conditions.
2. [para 6] totally disagree with "..Kimi Raikkonen’s risk/reward profile was also wrong..."; under those circumstances, assuming no extreme "wild-assed antics" (whether that is a good assumption or not is another story, but it is a pragmatic approach, one way or the other), in that split second, complex strategic direction is not practical at the elite reflex capability of the top ten drivers on the F1 grid; the objective in the situation that Kimi was in, getting the best start, taking the lead, and therefore establishing the line is to consolidate first place! Any other expectation is just not realistic; it is THE primary job of the race car driver! Any tactics/activities to support Vettel would be most appropriately handled from the position of a consolidated Ferrari lead, regardless of which car.
3. [Chance of a podium for Hulkenberg and Perez] It looks like you contradict yourself (and the graph), saying that Sainz started on wets, "...Starting on wets and needing to pit for intermediates at the second Safety Sar on Lap 12 also cost track position to Sainz,..." .
4. I'm still not really clear on the advantages of Lewis backing off a bit after the final safety car

One thing I don't understand is the decision to run Sainz on the super softs, (as opposed to everybody else on the ultrasofts) and how this played into his success?
Also, I can't reconcile Sainz' tyre history and race history as depicted on the graphs? The safety car periods are difficult to distinguish from pit stops (race history), on the tyre history is shows one change from inters to supersofts.

Jimmy?
Anybody?

231

Point number two stood out for me, i simply couldnt reconcile why Kimi should not make the most of a cracking run up the inside.

232

4: The big concern was that if there was another safety car, Ricardo could bolt on a new set of Ultras and chase down Lewis. Dan could only do that if he built up at least 15 secs lead over Bottas. By slowing down, Lewis would back Ricciardo into Bottas and keep the gap below that 15 secs. Very smart thinking!

233

Re Point 4
I suppose Mercedes didn't want to happen what happened after the first safety car. i.e.. In the event of another safety car give Red Bull a free pit stop for fresh tyres, so Daniel could attack with fresh tyres on a dry track.
By restricting the pace the gap back to Bottas would mean he would lose track position if he dived for the pits.

234

No mention of Renault's mistake by not pitting both drivers and switching tyres immediately after the safety car? They waited a lap and that dropped Hulkenburg out of the podium positions. The pneumatic/pressure failure saved their strategists from being criticized. If the car hadn't broken and Renault had pitted first, he could well have gotten his maiden f1 podium.

235
Clarks4WheelDrift

Looking at the race history graph, something is wrong, firstly I think the red has gone on my monitor and secondly there are way too many lines still on the graph at the end of the race in this Merc PU era...

236

Just a small point that irritates me.. there WASN'T a 100% probability of a SC. I wish people would stop with this bunkum logic. Yes sure, the probability of a SC was high, but just because there has been a 100% SC incidence in the past it doesn't GUARANTEE a SC will be deployed with be deployed this time.

237

I guess the point is that there has always been a SC at Singapore, but never rain, so the track + rain makes it pretty much 100% certain. Which it was!

238

No but 99.999999% chance. It has happened every single time so far.

239

The criticism of Kimi's risk/reward decision making is harsh - even as #2, surely his role is to get into the best position possible at the start. If he was starting alongside Vettel, then fair enough, he needs to be careful. But by going down the left side of the track he should have been well clear of Vettel - he can hardly have expected Vettel to swoop all the way across the track and spook Ver into the fatal wobble.

I'd be interested to know whether Vettel had predetermined the chop, or whether it was a spur of the moment thing when he saw VER get a good start. James, do the teams discuss start strategies and coordinate between their drivers?

240

That's another valid point that has been overlooked in all this.

People keep slamming Vettel, but all he was doing is going from Pole starting box on the RIGHT side of the track to the inside line for the first turn, a left hander. And that was his dorect straight path to it the ideal line. Nothing unusual about it. It wasn't a chop, it was going for the inside line from pole.

241

Sebee, you might want to look again at the racing line into turn one....

242

It's a lovely line.

100% legal.

Didn't hit anyone either, unlike Max.

243

Sebee, you may like his line, but it is nowhere near the racing line as you claimed. The inly reason Seb didn't hit anyone is because Max lifted.

244

Yes, it is frustrating when people say it was Vettel's fault when it was just a racing incident with a lot edge case scenarios coming true.

i. Kimi's blinding start
ii. Max's better than Vettel but worse than Kimi's start
iii. Vettel's worse than Kimi and Max's start

If either of the above had some variation, then all three would've made the first turn in some order. Instead it put them 3 abreast for a brief moment and contact was inevitable. On a dry track maybe things pan out a bit differently, even with Max and Kimi touching but it was all down to circumstances and luck.

And Lewis was lucky not to have gotten tangled like Alonso. He also was so close behind Vettel after the 1st sequence but didn't get into the coolant leak of Vettel which took the latter out. Unbelievable bad luck for Ferrari and the opposite for Merc.

Clearly Lewis is very very good in the wet, so I don't know what Ferrari should hope for in Malaysia. They're not fast enough in the dry on a power circuit and Lewis is just too fast in the wet

245

Seabee, that was a chop all day long. Go and look at Vettels start from the 2015 Singapore he actually moves to the right first before swinging in at the last minute to take turn 1.
Nothing unusual.!! 🙂
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsecU-hNkmA

247

Looks like lady luck favored Merc.

248

SAI started 10th and 5 cars ahead of him dropped out. VET, VES, RAI, ALO, HUL, so he made up one place over a Honda with a rookie driving.

249

Nico Hulkenberg, who had a good shot at a podium after a great start,

Just for being in P4?
I think realistically he could never have overtook Bottas or Ric and got the podium...

250

Palmer passed Bottas........
Never say never
🙂

251

Interesting learning regarding the wet tires on the crappier cars... surprised to hear that at this level.

Also interesting to read more about Hamilton backing off to thwart any plan for Ricciardo to change strategy.

My last thought in reading this article, and I don't know why I just thought of it today: does anyone else feel that Raikkonen was the one who got the blame by the time they debriefed in the Ferrari motor home? I just can't help but feel that the corporate view of his maneuver would be anything but a dim one... even though racing people almost universally wouldn't pin the blame on him for the incident.

252

This may be pedantic, but I do wish James and other F1 commentators would stop saying things like "There is a 100% chance of a safety car at this circuit". No there isn't, there has been a safety car in 100% of previous races, which is not the same thing. It certainly indicates it is very likely that there will be a safety car, but you can't just use take the percentage of previous of races to be the chance of a car this time round.

253

this sounds a bit pedantic...

254

They said this on Sky as well, but they did correct themselves and clarify that it was a historic fact.

255

Off topic but can someone tell me why Williams are considering DeResta? Nothing against the guy but he's not been in F1 for a number of years now

256

who did william call when they needed a driver to replace their sick massa?

257

He’s their reserve driver though. He’s never lit the grid on fire. They should use Pascal and use him as leverage to negotiate cheaper engines

258

Too young for their Martini sponsorship deal.

259

wow I love this website because of reports like this, without this I wouldnt understand things like this "Hamilton slow down" to hold Ric to help Bot to Help Him situations, its fascinating... thank you....

and this:

Ultimately his responsibility was to work for Ferrari to achieve maximum championship

that's a really important point, because Kimi lose in what he suppose to be, sadly 2nd driver as he is, he fail to protect his teamate, and as was mention in other article in your site, the WDC would be decide by 2nd drivers...

although I still think the maneuver btwn VET and RAI that ultimately end in the VER crash, was planned, they though Kimi being 2nd will be able to hold the RBR's and with that keep HAM away... and VET wouldn't need to fight with VER all the race since that will be RAI job while VET will be able to open a gap... of course that went terribly wrong.

260

James, maybe I missed it in the reading but I think its worth mentioning that in F1 the cars are considered to be in parc ferme from the start of qualifying until the start of the race. When we have a situation like Singapore where it's dry, fine and hot on Saturday and supposed to the same Sunday, but it's cold, wet and overcast instead, the parc ferme limitations can have a quite dramatic effect. Plainly the RedBulls had a close to perfect dry set up for the Saturday conditions and the Mercedes were not so perfect. With the cold, wet and overcast conditions on Sunday this seems to have turned around and the RedBull's (at least one of them anyway) dry set up just didn't suit the conditions. In contrast it fell into Mercedes set up window, not perfect but for sure closer than if it had been dry and hot as expected.

I can't recall another racing series where there is such drastic parc ferme limitations. There is discretion allowed for a change in conditions where the FIA Stewards can give the teams permission to make appropriate changes on their cars. So the question is, given the uncertainty of the conditions, was that permission given in Singapore? If so, then what teams took advantage of it? To what extent?

To have not done so in this case really rewards good luck (with the weather) rather than good set up (on the car). Secondly there was undoubtedly increased danger when the cars are far from ideal in its set up. Particularly relevant to F1 were the set up windows are very small and the cars very fast.

261

They all would've had a dry setup.

262

changes are often made after qualifying because drivers often mention how much work they have to do to improve their cars for the race the next day after qualifying.

263

Lewis tell you this?

264

'we'll see if we can improve the car overnight but it looks like it'll be a 10th or within a 10th'
this was said during a post qualifying interview.

265

changes are often made after qualifying

That's not correct. This is what the sporting regulations say:
The cars are deemed to be under parc ferme conditions from the time they first exit the pits during qualifying until the start of the formation lap immediately prior to the race.
Under these conditions, the work teams may carry out on their cars is limited to strictly-specified routine procedures, which can only be performed under the watchful eye of the FIA Technical Delegate and race scrutineers. Fuel may be added to the cars, tyres changed and brakes bled. Minor front wing adjustments are also allowed, but little else. These controls mean that teams cannot make significant alterations to the set-up of a car between qualifying and the race.
The only exception to this is when there is a "change in climatic conditions", for example a dry qualifying session followed by a wet race, or vice versa. In this case the FIA will give the teams permission to make further appropriate changes to their cars.

267

Sorry Aveli - you've sort of lost me here. The link you have chosen is for an interview with Hamilton after first practice for the Canadian GP - first practice is on Friday, the day before qualification and when Parc Ferme conditions start.
Re-read the article and while you're at it read the sporting regulations.
They are both quite clear.

268

so it is. will find another..

269

@ Gary...A very good point and one which i feel is due for change. Given that the weather is taken into account by way of specifying tyre changes surely the same re set up could also be allowed.

270

one which i feel is due for change

No need for change, there is already provision for this in the sporting regulations. I don't know whether the FIA granted the teams permission to make changes due to the weather on this occasion but the regulations certainly allow for this. Whatever the ruling it would have been the same for everyone.

271

The question I was asking James was whether or not the FIA Stewards gave permission, it is rather important and I haven't seen it mentioned.

Whilst it may be the same decision for everyone, it has not necessarily the same effect. For example, a team may well have done a good job in setting up for the dry (RedBull in this case) which by its very nature is not a very good set up for the wet. Compared to another team (say Mercedes) whose dry set up was not optimal but closer in nature to their wet set up.

If in the above case the FA Stewards didn't relax the parc ferme requirements then it would disadvantage RedBull and advantage Mercedes. Whereas if they did relax the parc ferme requirements then all teams would have the same opportunity to change their cars' set up.

As a result the question as to whether they did or didn't is important in the context of the race. It may also have had some effect on the "urgency" expressed by 3 drivers off the start.

272

Having given the matter a little thought I think the FIA must have declared a wet race as none of the teams started the race on the same tyres which they set their fastest lap in Q2 - they would only be allowed to do so if the race was wet. However, as it didn't start raining until the cars were on the grid (as I understand it none of them had been able to complete even a single lap in the wet conditions) I doubt there was sufficient time to make any significant changes to the set up's - a bit more front wing maybe but not much else.
As for which teams benefitted - surely that's just the way the cookie crumbles. I'm not sure that the Merc dry set up is closer to their wet set up than the Red Bulls but if it is ,then that's just a sign of a well designed car - if it has a wider operating window. However, there was nothing to stop Red Bull from gambling and going for a compromise set up if they felt so inclined - if they chose to go for 100% dry set up and it stayed dry their gamble would have paid off. It didn't stay dry and they lost out. You often hear of teams setting their car up for the race rather than quali - they take a hit in quali hoping to benefit in the race. I don't see this situation as any different.

273

Singapore was a race Vettel needed to win (or score heavily) to pull some of the momentum back from Hamilton. He wasn’t fighting Verstappen or Ricciardo or Raikkonen for the WDC and Lewis was down in P5. He’s a 4 x time WDC and should know the inherent dangers emanating from drivers jockeying for position at race starts. We can show and dissect, until the cows come home, all the different camera angles but the inescapable fact is that he contributed massively to his own demise. And he knew it given his profuse apologies to his Pit Wall. IMO he got spooked by the possibility of Verstappen taking the lead of the race and was far too aggressive in covering him off.

As Singapore was a track that heavily favoured Ferrari over Mercedes there would have been an expectation that he should/would win it especially after the euphoria of getting pole. On the back of this there would have been expectation to bounce back from his subpar performance in Monza and Marchionne’s comments. But once again Vettel has shown that he doesn’t react well to pressure. When a more considered and circumspect response was required in Singapore he failed. It would have been far more productive to concede a place (or two) than bomb out completely. As JA said: “Sebastian Vettel [got] his risk profile all wrong by trying to block against Max Verstappen….”.

274

Some good points Adrian - in general I agree with your assessment of the start.

275

I have a feeling something is about to "happen" that will bring Vettel back into it as well as Bottas maybe. F1 wants a showdown, at some of the best tracks coming up and season wraps up. I'm thinking Bottas will win Malaysia, Vettel P2, Lewis DNFs. That would bunch it up a bit more and achieve that goal.

Otherwise, Lewis will walk to the goal and people will tune out. Not good for F1, not good for Mercedes on their "glorious" 50th anniversary. They want as many people watching their victory as possible. And that requires a close contest. Everyone knows that.

276

i have a very different feeling. when hamilton launched that project one car, he didn't only say he helped develop the engine and chassis of that car, he also said he's going for wins at all the remaining races...the guy stood next to him with the curly moustache questioned him and he affirmed that was what he's aiming for...the guy is in a class all by himself!

277

@ Adrian...you may well be right but after watching the opening sequences a myriad of times i would suggest this. In the first few seconds, from a 45deg overhead frontal view Verstappen veers right momentarily. This may have been the point at which Vettel veered left, if he'd seen that in his mirrors. If so then he was provoked into a reaction. I simply don't believe that Vettel was the devil incarnate as he's being characterised by so many. Yes, he was aggressive and that is fine by me but surely there is an onus on those behind to exercise some caution when attempting to overtake in conditions such as these.

278

you may be right kenneth but there is no way vettel meant to crash into any one or have anyone crash into him. so those who characterise him as overly aggressive are not being serious..

279

Ken

Like you I believe that it was a racing incident. The context of my posts regarding this matter relate more specifically to Vettel’s role in relation to his fight with Hamilton for the WDC not to apportion blame to any one driver. Vettel’s first priority was to drive safely in the run-down to and negotiation of the first corner and secure track position. To do everything possible to stay out of trouble even if it meant losing a place)s) because he needed maximum points to get the lead back off Lewis. Did he do everything he needed to do to achieve this?

I think there is a danger of over analysing what occurred. We can cherry pick images to substantiate a particular interpretation of what occurred and that’s fine as we all have our own opinions but it’s only when we watch the whole sequence of events in real time that we get a picture of what actually happened. For me two things stand out. Firstly, the amount of room Vettel had to his right and secondly the overly aggressive manner in which he moved to his left and the ensuing contact with Verstappen. I’m still of the opinion that he was spooked by the presence of Verstappen and the possibility of being overtaken for the lead of the race. So the pressure was on. If he was “provoked” into a reaction as you say then I would say he overreacted in response to that provocation.

Usually Vettel is pretty vocal and animated on the team radio when he believes he was unfairly/illegally taken out by another driver. However on his occasion there was no hint of blaming Verstappen or another driver just the words in a depressed tone: “ Sorry guys, sorry, I’m so sorry.” Was this an admission of guilt? Probably not because F1 drivers don’t like to admit to anything that might damage their reputation but for me it was a window into his thinking that he did something that could have been avoided. He had options, for example not moving so aggressively to his left or using the space to his right. He may have lost a place(s) but he may have also survived and that’s all that he needed to do at that stage of the race.

So instead of being a points plus on Lewis he’s a massive 28 points in deficit from which he may not recover considering that the remaining circuits, to my knowledge, favour Mercedes.

280

very well summarised adrian. vettel didnt break any rules but had his tail firmly between his legs because he knew who caused what.

281

Thanks aveli. We agree on something.

282

there must agree on a lot more than one.

283

Does the fact that so many ex F1 drivers disagree with your view on this give you any cause for doubt? Brundle, Webber (particularly clear on who was at fault) Coulthard all say Max did nothing wrong.

284

@ C63...Not in the slightest. What appears to be irking all you 'experts' is that the stewards, you know, the people with the knowledge and all the relevants facts/data at their disposal have ruled it a 'racing incident'. Now you and a lot of others don't like it...that's tough. Suck it up. At the end of the day only Vettel knows why his did [legally] what he did and why. If he messed up then he'll have to live with it. End of story. I just happen to think that it is not as simplistic as you maintain. That's my opinion...right or wrong.

285

What's that expression you like? Ah, yes, that's it; no cigar for you I'm afraid. I have never once said that I thought Vettel deserved a penalty and it doesn't worry me that he didn't. The stewards have tended to shy away from penalising drivers for first corner incidents of late and Vettel has taken far more punishment than they would likely dish out.

On a different note - I see you are back to referring to the stewards as experts with all the info etc . Do you not see the contradiction in your position on this matter? One minute you claim the stewards are the experts and therefore should be listened too and the next you are saying they don't always get to it right - generally when you think Hamilton got off lightly. Do you not feel any discomfort at the duality of your argument? Even just a little bit of awkwardness?

Finally - if Vettel could wind the clock back and take the start again. Do you think he would do things differently? I think he would. That being the case - if he would do it differently - it's difficult to make the case that he got it right the first time. Or put more simply, if he didn't get it right - he must have got it wrong.....

286

Some days, maybe for a moment, I think it would be nice to live in kenneth's world, free of any restrictions like logic, facts, and cognitive harmony. Then I run it through to its inevitable conclusion - ending up as an emotional weathervane shell of a person with zero credibility - and I quickly snap out of it.

You have it spot on C63 ... it's a start line incident, but Vettel's move over is the one that allows it all to happen, and was a serious misjudgement.

287

I can't decide whether kenneth is aware of his contradictory stance on the stewards and just doesn't care. Or if he genuinely doesn't see it.

288

C63

"if Vettel could wind the clock back and take the start again. Do you think he would do things differently?"

Vettel has admitted that he could have done things differently.

289

You don't need to convince me Adrian - perhaps you could send the link to kenneth. He might find it interesting, but I doubt it.....

290

If he knew the post race facts he would tell Kimi to hold his line and doing the same driving to the left himself. Kimi would still have been in front of Max without driving to the right.

BTW: Lewis supports environment terrorists by driving a Mercedes. I think the word of a 3 time WDC should have a bit weight in the public to stop it.

291

environment terrorists

Seriously ? I appreciate english is not your first language, but I can't help but think you might have chosen your words more carefully.
However, if you want to play Top Trumps on who's sponsor is the worst I'll be happy to accommodate you. How many millions (maybe evens tens of millions) of people has the delightful product that Philip Morris peddle to the masses killed? Don't you think it immoral that Vettel doesn't speak out against the tobacco industry and that he is happy to get rich off the back of others misery? You'd think a 4 xWDC would take a stand on something as serious as tobacco advertising - yet he stays strangely quiet and just banks the cash.

292

Smoking or not, drinking or not, no one forces you. But none of the people in South Sudan who have their water poisoned has much of a choice, or?
But you are right, the tobacco industry is a close second and we all know about the dangers and if it should be allowed in F1 was discussed a lot. But the ways oil is pressed out of the ground in areas people live is ignored. And Mercedes has house rules which would normally not allow to work with companies which bring illness to people by the thousands.

293

I'm no apologist for the oil industry seifenkistler, but I would say you are on mighty shaky ground trying to make a claim that it is more immoral than the tobacco industry. Since you started this conversation just yesterday, I wonder how many people have died or if they were 'lucky' maybe they only had their foot amputated or their larynx removed as a consequence of their addiction to tobacco?
It may be a free choice, but they try to get them hooked when they are young and too naive to make sensible choices - also what about the people who are affected by second hand smoke - is it their free choice to suck that in? All in all it sounds pretty immoral to me - selling a product which is proven to be highly addictive and incredibly harmful to it's consumers. It raises the question; just how immoral is a person who wears that company logo and who is paid by that same industry to do so? Paid handsomely I might add. Do you think Vettel gives any thought to that when he pulls on his overalls and then banks his £25million (or whatever it is)?

We have a saying here in the UK - people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones and I think it might have been wise for you to have done a little research before you started throwing accusations around. . Take a quick look at Shells record and you will see they are very far from squeaky clean - bribing officials and widespread pollution in Nigeria for starters - pollution taking place over decades - court action ongoing right now. I've no doubt Petronas are no angels but Shell sure as heck aren't either.
Want to keep going - or would you rather quietly drop the subject?

One final thought. Do you drive a car or use any product that is made in the petrochemical industry ? If you do then you don't get to complain about the pollution caused by the oil companies - you're part of it.

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C63

You're right tobacco is highly addictive and causes thousands of deaths and sickness and yet it would be a brave government to try and ban it. The manufacture and !supply would only go underground and millions of dollars would have to spent trying to police it. As you said so many diseases (not just lung cancer) result from this dirty habit. Governments here and in the UK (because we both have national health systems) will just have to live with the enormous cost of treatment for people's poor choices which could have been avoided. In reality it's the tax payer that pays.

Every year organized criminals try to smuggle millions of dollars worth of cigarettes through Australia's borders. Even people returning from holiday get caught by not declaring hundreds of packets of cigarettes concealed in their unaccompanied baggage. They don't care. It's worth the try. Why not risk paying a couple of hundred bucks in fines and forfeiture of the stuff when you can make thousands on the black market. Risk V Reward!

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causes thousands of deaths....

Try millions - estimates put it around 6 million deaths per year and that is set to rise to something like 8 million a year in the next 15 years or so. I bet seifenkistler is glad he started this debate !

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Common trait of world champion. They are master in wet.

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vettel eaikkonen alonso are all champions.

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Great analysis as always James. I can't help but feel though that the first corner incident robbed us from a far more interesting race. If an accident wipes out RAI, VET, VER and ALO in one go, 20% of the field in fast cars, it's a shame. Add in RIC with car trouble and well that's that. It was good to see the midfield was very racy because we saw some very good scraps there (Sainz/Perez but also Magnussen was awesome).

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the race was made more interesting because of vettel's actions. i anticipated a procession until then.
the entire internet lit up because of it.