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Payback time? Ferrari seeking to right the wrongs of Singapore F1 GP 2017
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Posted By: Editor   |  12 Sep 2018   |  5:32 pm GMT  |  309 comments

As Ferrari attempt to move on from their failure to land a victory from a front-row lockout at their home Grand Prix, they return to a venue that last year hosted one of their most disastrous races in their recent history; the Singapore Grand Prix.

Last year’s race marked one of the key turning points of a season that went against them. Instead of giving Ferrari – who started first and fourth – a platform to challenge struggling championship leaders Mercedes, overzealous defending eliminated both Ferrari drivers (as well as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso) on the opening lap of the race. The incident effectively gifted Mercedes a one-three finish, and the championship leads of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes extended to 28 and 102 points respectively.

Although their attempts to overhaul Mercedes were always going to be tough, that race began the unravelling of their 2017 season.

This year, Ferrari are hoping that their season hasn’t already been damaged beyond repair. Vettel’s opening lap attempts at defending against Hamilton in Monza was another example of how prime point-scoring opportunities haven’t been taken, and how Mercedes have recently been capitalising on chances that have fallen their way. Hamilton’s win extended his championship lead to thirty points, the biggest championship lead of the 2018 season so far.

Recent history suggests that Ferrari will be favourites on the Marina Bay Street Circuit and it is Vettel’s strongest track, the one where he makes the biggest difference. They’ve taken pole position in two of the last three races and, despite only winning once, they were favourites in two of those three races.

Hamilton had already downplayed Mercedes’ chances in Singapore a couple of weeks ago, but team principal Toto Wolff was also spreading pessimism about their capabilities this weekend.

“Singapore has features that we’ve struggled with in the past. The short straights, the slow, tight corners and the bumpy surface all make the Marina Bay Street Circuit one of the trickiest tracks of the season for us,” said Wolff.

“In 2015, we endured one of our most painful experiences in recent years there. Last year, we started the race from the third row – and came home with a win and a third place. On paper, the track should favour the Ferraris, but the championship fight is so close that predictions are almost meaningless.

Whilst the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix have been showdowns between Ferrari and Mercedes, Red Bull are expecting to be more competitive around the tighter street circuit of Singapore.

Despite Max Verstappen’s win at the Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull haven’t shown many glimpses of front-running pace since their win at the Monaco Grand Prix, but the Dutchman is confident a genuine challenge for the podium can be made in Singapore.

“I think the whole team is looking forward to Singapore because we know we have a real chance to have a good result there. The race has been a strong one for us in the past and I think we should be able to challenge for a podium this year.

A coup for Sauber? Raikkonen’s form peaking despite Ferrari snub

Last time out at Monza, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen claimed his first pole position since the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix, and – at 38 years and 334 days old – he became the oldest driver to start on pole position since a 41-year-old Nigel Mansell back at the 1994 Australian Grand Prix.

In claiming pole position, he also set a new record for the longest amount of time between a drivers first and last pole positions. The time between his first pole (2003 European GP) and his last pole (2018 Italian GP) is 15 years and 65 days, beating the record held by Rubens Barrichello (1994 Belgian GP – 2009 Brazilian GP) by just 14 days. Obviously. Raikkonen will break his own record if he takes pole position in any future races.

The Finn’s has compared well to Vettel in the European leg of the 2018 season. Although Vettel has the edge in qualifying overall, Raikkonen has only scored nine less points than his championship-challenging colleague since the Canadian Grand Prix. The tallies would’ve been closer, but Raikkonen was taken out on the opening lap of the Belgian GP.

Although some of the comparisons will partly be down to the errors created by Vettel, the consistency demonstrated by Raikkonen will no doubt be useful to the Sauber team, who will likely be in a battle with more than one team for constructors’ championship places next year.

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

Who do you think will be victorious in Singapore? Leave your comments in the section below.

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1

So Ferrari have a huge advantage, not to mention dominating car at the moment, hmmm. As I said, I would put serious Money on Ham after..even after Spa

2

I am quite puzzled by a lot of the posts on this forum. I wonder what people wamt to see in this sport. Would be a very clinical thing about as excitkng as watching the grass grow.

This whole debate about the crash at the start last year: VET tries to block VER, VER tries to get ahead, RAI has the best start and tries to overtake VER, VET was unaware of RAI. Three cars end up in a space where there is room for only two. So inevitably one of them will hit another. All three did what racers do, end of story.

VER blocking BOT at Monza. On or over the edge. Similar incidents in previous years went unpunished, this one lead to a penalty and ‘VER threw away the podium’ . Nonsense, there was no chance of a podium anyway if he would not have defended with full force. Perhaps over the edge. But at least he tries to defend a position. With the podium gone what does it matter if he becomes 4th or 5th? He does not care and RB does not care. With the car RB has this year he can only score podiums by delivering more than the car can offer. That means driving on or over the edge. Something he and RIC can do on occasions and makes them some of the best drivers to watch.

HAM is in a league of his own. VET makes mistakes, perhaps too many, but at least something happens when he drives. VER makes mistakes and drives aggressively, but also delivers podiums and wins. RIC Master overtaker if he has his day, MAG warrior, something is happening when he drives.GAS and LEC showing some good things. Will be interesting to see what they do next year when the pressure is on.

Those are my drivers the rest is not in a position to compete or just not good enough. Just an opinion, but hey, that’s what this forum is about.

RAI: 4 years in a Ferrari, zero remarkable moments or stellar drives. Was a sensation in the past, but past his shelf life. Why have him in a Sauber, blocking a new talent?

BOT: in the fastest car for years, but as exciting to watch as drying paint.

The other drivers either have no chance with the cars they are in, or are not good enough or afraid to be spectacular.

Would be a shame if Ocon has no seat next year, but Toto complaining about that is hypocritical, he does everything he can to let Mercedes stay on as a dominant force. Why should RB help him out to offer Ocon a TR seat? What obligation does Renault have to him? No criticism of Mercedes, RBR would do the same if they were in their shoes.

There are only 20 seats, too many political alliances and constructions.

The sport needs more new entrants, a change in regulations to have less difference in the engines so more teams can compete for podiums and more young drivers who are allowed to drive. But I am very afraid that it will not happen and that we will see teams leaving and the grid becoming smaller and smaller,

3

Perhaps if there were any consistency from the stewards decisions, then maybe we wouldn’t have these discussions.

4

Red Bull should be in the mix as well. Maybe a Max and Seb battle, that could end badly

5
Tin foil hat et al

It will be interesting to see if Ericksson is retained

6

If it continues like this with wing-man and all. Would’t we need to also have a wing-man of the year award?

Seriously it starts to be an integral part of the sport, that makes such impact on who wins

7

The Kid is ready for Ferrari??????

He’s already losing his way in the Sauber.

8

Do you think he would have beaten Weehrlein? Or Nasr? Not trying to provoke anyone, but seriously asking who thinks what in this matter. It’s of course highly hypotetical and now they’re older Pascal And Felipe.

9

Well, he’s been losing his way for a few races now. But that didn’t fit the story. The red car comes too soon. And that’s a crying shame, because he could have been great. If only Ferrari had applied common sense.

10

Wrooap, you really think Ferrari just decided to hire him on a whim? They would have analysed a huge amount of data on both drivers before deciding. Not sure about this ‘losing his way’ thing either, he outqualified Marcus in Belgium and was blameless in the crash that took him out at the start, and then finished well ahead of Ericsson and just out of the points in Monza, all looks good to me.

11

“And this year’s Nelsinho goes to….”

How appropriate! And on the 10th anniversary and on the same place when the ultimate wingman act in the sport’s history was performed.

Surely, the award should be handed out by none other than departing driver, Fernando Alonso, whose wingman, Nelson Piquet Jr, who the award is named after, made the ultimate sacrifice, crashing his car to give his team leader the win.

12

They could use that bit of concrete where jr chrashed and make it a throphy. With Words of wisdome from Alonso

13

They should both be on the hall of fame in that department

14

Brundle: “Are you the greatest driver ever to drive a F1 car?”

Alonso: “One of the greatest, heh heh heh. I score 9.5 in all areas. “

True!

Planning 9.5 Singapore 2008

Execution 9.5. Singapore 2008

Strategy 9.5. Singapore 2008

Timing 9.5. Singapore 2008

15

Just have a small criticism regards your numbers. Timing should be 10, Alonso is far to humble when it comes to that.

But on the other hand the execution was 9.5, but one can argue there was a not perfect cover up but that was very much compensated by the shift of view, and then it should have been a 11+ onall accounts;)

16

Brilliant Phil, explains it all in a lucid way!

17

Just wondering how would you rate Senna and Schumacher for barging into WDC competitors to win championship? 10?

18

I don’t have a hot spot for Schumi in general. He was brilliantly fast, but Mika was faster. And all this one guy shenanigans put a precedent to all this that is now going on now.

For me it was one of the most boring parts of F1 I’ve watched, even compared to when Merc was as most superiour, but they did not use that game, now they do,

The Mika Schumi battle was Epic though, especially considering the way Ferrari operated. Ans also Kimi would have won if not the McLaren had let him down

19

I don’t understand posters here who think Kimi will be “driving for himself” in the remaining races. To me, it seems almost certain that agreeing to support Seb for the rest of the season was part of the deal that got Kimi the Sauber drive.

20

I agree, yet don’t forget that we’re talking about Kimi here. He’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.

I think we’re gonna see some fireworks.

21

Agree with you 100%. But I’m also sure it’s foolish to believe that It would be because of this Sauber deal. Kimi could have pulled that one out of his a!s or rear if censure hits. If Kimi protects Seb it’s for other reasons.

22

Ferrari claim to have had no knowledge that Kimi was joining Sauber, only that they were getting rid of him.

Of course that doesn’t mean they won’t hold him back from the pit wall if necessary.

23

The exigency, I read an article elsewhere that says Ferrari get to choose one of Sauber’s drivers, and that Sauber get to choose the other one, hence Leclerc being there this season. Apparently Ferrari are still trying to decide if Giovinazzi gets to drive there next season as Kimi was Sauber’s choice and not the Maranello nominee. This is interesting as I kind of assumed that Ferrari would be paying Kimi’s wages as Sauber wouldn’t be able to afford him, but it appears that not only can they pay Raikkonen’s retainer, but they can also live without the cash Ericsson brings now.

24

I dont believe K7mi would do it for a Sauber contract, get real. However if he does help him there would be other factors, probably many, for him to do so.

25

Fairly off-topic, but the stats about oldest pole and longest time between first/last poles are a bit false: Michael’s penalty at Spain 2012 has nothing to do with him putting on pole at the next race in Monaco and if that were probably recognised you’d have a 43 year-old pole man who went 18 years between first and last poles. I know it’s not technically counted, but expunging that pole from the record books seems particularly unfair how mammoth that achievement was in retrospect, and how history now overlooks it.

26

The fastest car will be on pole of course so expect Hamilton to be in the no 1 slot. Good chance for a red bull or a Ferrari in 2 as the “wingman” compromises his lap whilst helping Hamilton to pole.

27

@david

But will Lewis’s “wingman” throw his career out the window just so his master could win?

Alonso had the most obedient wingman in the history of F1. Not even Barrichello would crash on cue. Nelsinho was ready to give his life for an Alonso win in Singapore. Now that’s an effing “wingman”!

“Nelsinho, Fernando’s life is worth more than yours. I repeat. Fernando’s life is worth more than yours.”

“Copy. Copy.”

Hahaha.

Oh the pain, the pain!

28

Alonsos firs season in F1 was a disaster. He met Briatore and he made him look very good with the wingmen.

29

@david

The best part about your theory is that it still doesn’t ease the pain for you guys when Hamilton qualifies on pole or wins regardless of who has the faster car.

Last year, Hamilton would not have won Singapore without the rain and the incident on turn 1. It wasn’t quite a gift because he passed Ricciardo at the start but an unexpected event that led to an unexpected result still dished out the same pain. Ouch!

You must be a glutton for punishment wishing for a Hamilton pole and win. Fingers crossed.

30

Yeah only 1.5s behind in FP1. Please bet the farm on a Hamilton pole in Singapore. Barring some rain, it looks very unlikely.

31

David, you know simply repeating that the Merc is the fastest car over and over and over again isn’t enough to make it true. If you want us all to disregard the expert opinion, you might have to actually come up with some reasons why you think they’re all wrong and you’re right.

32

ferrari made a mistake when they paid raikkonen to sit out of f1 while alonso was hired to try to win them championships and they won nothing. ferrari has yet again payed raikkonen to step aside for leclerc. i wonder how long it’d be before leclerc is return to sauber to mater a little more.

33

I know. RAI has been doing so much winning. ALO just came close to winning in 2010 and 2012 and then demolished RAI in 2014. Ferrari should have been more intelligent.

34

Alo didn’t demolish Rai. He just had a clause to protect himself aganst Massa or who else came to Maranello.he never leaves home without it.

Tha’s the bitterness he feels against Ferrari amd Kimi. It’s was all about to change. And now it has, Ferrari are back again after the dreadfull years. And Kimi pushing 40 can still beat anyone

35

I’m hoping just one race weekend, but maybe that’s over optimistic

36

What are you hoping for?

37

If it really is payback time, surely Kimi will run wide and cause Max to take Seb out at the first chicane (racing incident – no penalty!) and then go on to win the race by passing HAM with much better tyres on the penultimate lap!

To add some spice and REALLY display some serious payback … a cheeky Sauber fan slips through the fence, runs onto the track at the first chicane and hands Kimi an Alfa Romeo – Sauber flag which he flies all the way around the cool down lap and waves defiantly while standing on the nose of the Ferrari after he stops on the finish line to chat to Coulthard or Webber in front of the hysterical crowd!

Karma laden payback – delivered in truckloads!

38

You must have been watching a different race [most common JAonF1 quotation]

Payback time? You call that payback? OK, let’s go for some REAL payback.

Biggest outrageous motorsport payback incident this week was of course Romano Fenati grabbing his opponent’s brakes in Moto2. Fenati was blackflagged, punished and sacked by his team.

Made me wonder: what if this were possible in F1? Imagine every driver could choose just one opponent and press a button to engage his brakes? Also just once a race, and everybody would know who’d got who beforehand. Would spice up things wouldn’t it?

In fact, I’m not so sure we haven’t been witnessing some beta testing already of late. With hindsight, a whole bunch of funny inexplicable incidents make a lot more sense all of a sudden. Let’s just replay the start of the Monza GP with the following knowledge:

HAM and VET got each other

BOT and RAI got each other

Now the first thing we see is some apparently unnecessarily fierce braking by leader Kimi into T1. Smoke from his tyres, but he manages to stay ahead. What in fact happened: Bottas got passed by Max, lost sight of Kimi up front and in desperation pressed Kimi’s brake button. Alas. Next, in T2, Vettel – jittery as ever when defending – felt HAM threatening to come alongside and unwisely hit the button for a microsecond. Hamilton, startled, pulled out of his move. For this action he was later credited by distinguished members of the LHFC with praise like “that’s the difference between Ham and Seb, he knows when to pull out”. Yeah, sure. Seb, expecting tit for tat by Lewis any moment now, went for his infamous move on the merc which cost him the race, fully expecting Hamilton to hit HIS brakes in turn – but nothing happened! Hamilton just let things happen. Not so stupid after all, Vettel’s move, but he was outsmarted by Hamilton. HAM never even needed to button VET. For that matter, Kimi of course still had to get even with his beloved compatriot. In lap 26 we see him frantically pushing buttons. To no avail, Bottas happened to box just right then…

By the way, I suspect the first (disastrous) test was in Spa. When did you ever see Hulkenberg mess up so blatantly? He drove into Alonso and never appeared to brake – until it was too late. Now actually I think they did the first button test here with Hulk and KMag, not the greatest of friends. Hulk made up so many places at the start that he mistakenly thought he’d passed KMag  as well. So, knowing their antics, he expected to get buttonned by Kevin and didn’t brake himself in time. There you go. It all makes sense now. A whole new experience, watching races like this!

39

Haha, this really would have the scuderia choking on their ravioli lol.

40
HornershaftedWebber

I would love Kimi to just go balls out from now until end of season.

And then make it blatantly obvious when he’s instructed to move over!!!

41

ArrivabeneShaftedKimi

42

If your hero wasn’t going balls out in the last 4 years then why not?

Kimi is the Emperor’s new clothes to his fans. Always a reason for his lack of speed and wins, this is such bad luck over 4 years clearly.

43

So the the sites self-appointed critic has made another fantastic contribution, as soon as your darling is not mentioned peoperly or at all

Make an analysis not yet another one-liner please. I start to believe you’re the one and only “aveli” on this site. At least he has his own ideas, not just trying to trash anyone not agreeing on whatever you happen to concoct at any moment

44

Watch Kubica here in Singapore from 1’58”

Pure class, watch the overtake, 1-handed until he’s completed it. Williams (as if we didn’t know it) made a grave error!

https://youtu.be/Nv5PHoR2-lo

45

Do u no what I can honestly see merc winning in Singapore.

They have had a whole year to make sure this is close. With that in mind and Lewis being the best driver I think they could do it.

The fastest driver should win the WDC and this year that man is Lewis.

46

Multiple Singapore GP Winner’s club.

47

I can only drive one car..” – Kimi Raikkonen, 2018.

48

If only he could drive both of them:)

49

Okay…

Yes Ferrari seem to have a car, in 2018, that, over the season so far, as a whole, can compete anywhere, especially this latest version, with all the do-dads and engine capability.

The more fact-based analyses of Spa and Monza, however, far from showing a large deficit in the Mercedes machinery, indicated approximate parity (with what was shown) by the Merc with the Ferrari.

I will agree that Singapore is a track which will minimize the handicap of the RB power deficit, so we should have the top three teams being close from a mechanical perspective.

This is bad news for Ferrari.

If you really believe that their car has been close to, or in fact the benchmark in 2018, then one must wonder about the stark points deficit to Lewis-Merc?!

And regardless of the Ferrari mechanical capability, is the deficiency that has resulted in a Lewis-Merc 30 point advantage gone away?!

I think not.

Ferrari have clearly been behind on strategy (if the car has in fact been on par with the Merc – which we can not be certain of).

Vettel has NOT been able to covert all his opportunities to points, which is the true and telling characteristic of a world champion, ultimately.

I am very much interested to see the remainder of the races with Kimi driving for himself and not supporting an ill-advised support role for Vettel, who in my opinion, will NOT win the championship his year 2018!

RB still in play, and could be on the podium, even on the top step.

This also is bad for Ferrari, as Merc can afford to lose a few points to RB, as long as they keep Ferrari down the points-gathering potential.

Monza is a good analogy to the Ferrari 2018 season, Kimi performed well, and could have won it, but was compromised by a Seb-first intrinsic policy at Ferrari, a very bad call brining Kimi in from the lead (no matter who tries to explain this away, the potential for the undercut was very, very poor, and Ferrari should have already known about the tire degradation issues with the softs by then; they really f#(k@d up!)

Go Kimi, win it!

50

Indeed they did. Merc was also a faster var 7n race trim. That seems to be the conclution, even Toto thinks so, si I guess we have to believe him. That makes Kimis achievement even greater in Monza

51

Chris D, Toto also pointed out that we didn’t get to see what Vettel could have done in an undamaged car at Monza, even with the damage Seb set the 2nd fastest lap of the race and finished 16 seconds behind Lewis.

52

And by the way, forget about Vettel. He made the race he did, of no fault of no no one else, so just let it go. He screwed his own race. End of story

53

That’s what happens every time almost in this formula now and the speed difference we got now between tems and DRS. Then don’t forget, maybe I’m wrong here but they probaby gave Seb a faster tyre after his second pit stop. But even it I’m wrong henwould have had fresher tires at one point with a three stop strat. No?

54

Chris, not really a true three stopper for Seb as he only did one lap before pitting, the main point is he had a damaged car, lost a lot of time with that extra stop for the new wing, and still finished 16 seconds behind the winner. If he hadn’t made his error at the start he could easily have won.

55

On Kimi there are many theories on why Ferrari lost the win for Kimi.

On Vettel, the Tifosi will not forget the disastrous weekend that Seb treated them to

Wed: crashes car in downtown Milan Ferrari event

Sat: out qualified by Kimi

Sun: bit of a @*&^ing disaster

56

Like last year Merc may struggle to qualify high up the order therefore an absolute must win for Vettel to halt Lewis’ momentum. But Dan and Max will fancy themselves in Singapore for which its chassis is ideally suited.

57

Mercedes will probably win this race too. Seb will keep screwing up and Kimi will not be allowed to race for his full potential because he has to support teammate who cannot be helped.

58

Lol a team mate that can’t be helped. Well he needs to start helping himself first. Maybe there’s hope though, it’s Kimis then to give hon a two. Nothing else than a pole is expected

59

I believe they want to show they are a team and working together like a happy family. I believe it will depend on how this weekend starts to begin with. Often Kimi is faster on Friday, then Seb finds a tenth (his special paddle).

I hope we get to a point like, was it Hungary? Or else it’s pit, fule, startglitch or whatever. K7mi should do his own strategy. I know it’s a disadvantage but can it get any worse? Then he will just make hos den Fortums and…. win

60
Chinthaka priyasad

Where is Mr. James Allen..?

I miss those articles..

61

moored in monaco after he was caught red handed disrespecting the halo.

62

Mr. James Allen is over at his other site.

On that site, there is a ‘concept car’ picture of a 2021 F1 Ferrari, which is quite interesting. It is showing a more refined halo design. Whole car and airbox more aero and flowing, . . just ideas, however, I have always maintained the halo could be improved in many ways – any item that was designed in isolation, serving a single purpose, is always susceptible to improvement. Now if they just added glass to that new concept, it would really look good !

63

glass would ruin it.

64

Weather and accident (safety cars) plays an important part in Singapore.

I think in qualifying it will be between Ferrari and Mercedes- but who knows what will happen.

65

This could get interesting.

We have Seb desperate to make good after Italy and Max who believes this is his best chance for a win this year.

None of them will give an inch… expect lots of carbon flying around. Best to be on row 3 where the Mercs probably will end up…

66

Exactly !!! Although Hamilton being on the front row could prove very interesting, particularly if MV is lined up behind Vettel on pole. LOL!!!

67

You know he’s won already this year? Not his best, but a potential chance to win, yes. In any case if they both start on the front row, l hope for no contact between them but a clean battle on my end. Marc

68

Fair cop…

Should have been, Best chance for another win in the remaining races.

69

Vettel will crush all the comers at Singapore where pole is concerned. I think he will be more measured and start thinking long game as he can’t afford to have Ham finish ahead of him for any of the remaining races. Winning the race is a different matter and I think whoever comes out ahead here will go on to win the championship (ham or vet of course).

70

there was an italian f1 street demonstration before the italian grand prix and guess what? vettel crashed in that too.

71

Atleast he bothered to show up to it unlike your boy in London last year.

72

Sars. You’re struggling a bit aren’t you, having to dredge up a fourteen month old story to get your fix? Maybe Lewis will help you out and say something after the race that you can get all outraged about….

73

Fanf1, at least if Lewis wins we get a break from his special brand of ‘insight’. I believe he is too busy sobbing in a darkened room to comment when that happens….

74

@TimW

Sars, hurtin’ since ’07? What you reckon?

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