Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene defends Raikkonen’s strategy
Ferrari Formula 1 team principal Maurizio Arrivabene insists bringing Kimi Raikkonen in for a third pitstop in the Singapore Grand Prix was correct, even though the Finn lost a podium finish.
Raikkonen ran third after a mid-race overtaking move on Lewis Hamilton when Mercedes switched strategy and pitted the world champion for fresh ultra-soft tyres.
Ferrari had the choice of leaving Raikkonen out on his soft tyres for the final 16 laps and hoping Hamilton did not make up the deficit his stop had created, or immediately pitting in response.
Raikkonen was called in but Hamilton’s out-lap was quick enough that he was ahead by the time the Ferrari left the pitlane, and he stayed ahead to the finish.
Asked by Autosport if he felt Ferrari had made the right choice, Arrivabene replied: "To be 100% sure, you have to look at the data.
"It was the right decision to take.
"If we were having huge degradation [on the soft tyres] and Mercedes were taking us, we would have been crazy.
"We took a decision looking at our data. The thing to do afterwards is verify if our data was right."
Raikkonen believes there were things Ferrari could learn from in the race, but was unsure whether staying out would have paid off or not.
"We could have got to the end," he said when asked by Autosport how his softs would have held up had he stuck with a two-stop.
"But would they have caught us or been able to pass us? I don’t know yet.
"There are certain things we could have done but obviously afterwards it’s very easy to say.
"Obviously, they managed to get in front of us again so we lost the place.
"There was not much we could do anymore by that point."
“A good and solid race”
Kimi praises speed ‘but we could have done better’
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a good and solid race, the car was behaving well and we had a pretty good speed. Obviously it was very difficult to overtake, but at one point Hamilton made a mistake and I managed to pass him, then after the pit stop he got the position back. We lost the place there, I don’t know how and why they managed to jump us, and I don’t know what would have happened if we would have stayed out. Now we have to go through everything, see what happened and what we could have done better. Today we gained one place from the starting position, but of course this is not the result we are looking for, we are trying to be in position to win, but we need to make the car a bit faster.”
Singapore GP: Nico Rosberg resists Daniel Ricciardo for victory
Nico Rosberg held off a charging Daniel Ricciardo to win the Singapore Grand Prix and reclaim the Formula 1 world championship lead.
In his 200th F1 race start, Rosberg resisted Ricciardo by just 0.4 seconds to take a third successive victory.
With Rosberg’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton only third, the German has now leapfrogged the Briton at the top of the drivers’ standings to lead by eight points with six grands prix remaining.
Despite both Mercedes drivers being warned about brake management from the early laps, Rosberg controlled most of the race.
After a safety car for a startline crash and a hair-raising moment as a marshal had to scamper off the track with the leaders approaching at the restart, Rosberg established a comfortable gap over Ricciardo and Hamilton.
Mercedes’ choice of softs for its second stint, when Ricciardo stayed on super-softs, left Hamilton moaning at his team over the radio.
Hamilton then found himself under pressure from Kimi Raikkonen’s super-soft-shod Ferrari, which got past just after half-distance after a lock-up from the Mercedes.
The second round of stops followed soon after, with the gap between Rosberg and Hamilton in fourth out to 18.9 seconds.
Mercedes then switched Hamilton to "plan B", and he charged up behind Raikkonen and then made an unexpected third stop for a set of ultra-softs with 16 laps to go.
Ferrari was left in two minds on whether to react, and though it hauled Raikkonen in, a superb lap from Hamilton allowed him to pull off the undercut and reclaim third. He then held off Raikkonen to the flag.
Red Bull covered off both those drivers by bringing in Ricciardo for new super-softs, while Mercedes left Rosberg out on his softs.
The Australian started hunting down Rosberg, a 24s gap becoming 5s within seven laps.
But some traffic, fading tyres and Mercedes giving Rosberg the green light to push his brakes harder stymied Ricciardo’s charge and he ran out of time to pass.
The dramatic finish matched the start, when Max Verstappen’s slow getaway from fourth triggered chaos.
Carlos Sainz Jr and Nico Hulkenberg tangled as they tried to dodge around the Red Bull, sending Hulkenberg spinning into the pitwall and triggering the safety car.
That proved to be the only caution period, but Sebastian Vettel did not need too much help to make it through the field from the back of the grid.
Rapid overtaking in the midfield and a long first stint on softs were the foundation for him to make it through to fifth place.
Verstappen ended up sixth via a late move on Fernando Alonso’s McLaren, having had a big battle with his Red Bull predecessor Daniil Kvyat along the way.
Sergio Perez’s eighth nudged Force India a point ahead of Williams in their battle for fourth in the constructors’ championship as the latter failed to score.
Felipe Massa was only 12th, while Valtteri Bottas picked up damage in the first-lap incident, had to pit with a seatbelt problem and eventually retired.
Kvyat claimed ninth, with Kevin Magnussen 10th for only Renault’s second points-scoring finish of the season.
Romain Grosjean’s nightmare weekend, which already included two crashes and a gearbox-change penalty, culminated in a brake failure on his Haas that prevented him from even taking the start.
RESULTS – 61 LAPS:
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||0.488s|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.197s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m51.062s|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m51.557s|
|11||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|12||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|13||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|15||Jolyon Palmer||Renault||1 Lap|
|16||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|17||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|18||Esteban Ocon||Manor/Mercedes||2 Laps|
|–||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||Not started|
|–||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||Collision|
“Pretty pleased until the last run”
Kimi admits he ‘had to push a bit over the limit’
“Today we got more or less what we could from our car. Obviously it’s a bit disappointing given where we finished, but this is a tricky place. The fifth position is not ideal, but I was pretty pleased with my first lap in Q3 and the car was handling well. In the last run I knew I had to push a bit over the limit, trying to improve, but it didn’t pay out. I made some mistakes, I went wide in turn 1 and got sideways. There’s no issue with the car, we are just lacking overall grip and in Singapore that makes a big difference. Tomorrow we have to make a good start and then go from there, there will be different ways of using the tires between the teams. The race is going to be very long, and usually there’s a lot happening, so we have to get the timings right and try to go forward.”
Nico Rosberg claims Singapore GP pole ahead of Daniel Ricciardo
Nico Rosberg claimed a comfortable pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix, while his Mercedes team-mate and Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton could only qualify third.
Hopes of a tight, multi-team battle for pole position were obliterated in Q2, as Red Bull and Ferrari – down to one car already after early problems for Sebastian Vettel – struggled to get within a second of Rosberg’s benchmark.
Rosberg was the only driver to make it below 1m43s around the Marina Bay F1 circuit in Q3, and his first run proved enough to get the job done as he lapped in 1m42.584s to claim top spot by over half a second.
Hamilton lost track time to a hydraulic valve problem on Friday and has struggled under braking all weekend so far, and he endured a difficult time again in qualifying.
He trailed Rosberg by more than seven tenths of a second after his first run in Q3 and failed to improve on his second run.
That allowed Daniel Ricciardo to steal a front row start for Red Bull, as he leapt to second with a superb 1m43.115s effort at the end.
His team-mate Max Verstappen was fourth fastest, just 0.040s down on Hamilton.
Kimi Raikkonen qualified his Ferrari fifth fastest, over six tenths down on Verstappen, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel dropped out in Q1 after his Ferrari appeared to suffer a suspension failure.
Vettel initially tried to press on and drag a time out of the car anyway, before pitting for repairs Ferrari had no time to complete.
Carlos Sainz Jr claimed a superb sixth for Toro Rosso, ahead of team-mate Daniil Kvyat (who only made one run in Q3) and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.
Fernando Alonso qualified his McLaren-Honda ninth fastest, fractionally ahead of the second Force India of Sergio Perez.
Perez may yet face sanction for overtaking Esteban Gutierrez under yellow flags in Q2.
Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were 11th and 12th, Bottas missing the Q3 cut by just 0.003s, and both affected badly by those yellow flags after Romain Grosjean crashed his Haas at the Turn 10 left-hander.
Jenson Button damaged his McLaren-Honda’s left-rear wheel against the wall at Turn 14 on his final flying lap, so failed to improve and ended up 13th fastest.
Esteban Gutierrez was 14th, just ahead of Haas team-mate Grosjean, whose crash also hindered Hulkenberg and Gutierrez at the end of Q2.
Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber rounded out the top 16, electing to save tyres knowing he could do no better after Vettel’s misfortune allowed him passage to Q2.
Ericsson made it through to Q2 with what he described as a "nice lap" at the end of Q1.
That put him almost four tenths clear of the Q1 dropouts, headed by Kevin Magnussen’s Renault, Ericsson’s Sauber team-mate Felipe Nasr, and the second Renault of Jolyon Palmer, these three all covered by just 0.135s.
Pascal Wehrlein was 20th fastest for Manor, over six tenths up on team-mate Esteban Ocon, while Vettel’s broken Ferrari trailed the entire field, almost a second further back.
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.115s||0.531s|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.328s||0.744s|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m44.197s||1.613s|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m44.469s||1.885s|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m44.479s||1.895s|
|18||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m44.582s||–|
Singapore GP F1 practice: Rosberg fastest as Hamilton struggles
Nico Rosberg edged out Max Verstappen in final practice for the Singapore Grand Prix, while Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton failed to complete a qualifying simulation.
Rosberg clocked a 1m44.352s on ultra-soft Pirelli tyres to finish just 0.059s clear of Red Bull driver Verstappen, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen third.
Hamilton was two-tenths up on Rosberg’s fastest time in the first sector on his first flying lap on ultra-softs, but locked up the left-front wheel and had to release the brakes and take to the escape road.
This was the second time in the session that Hamilton had locked up at Turn 7 and followed a scruffy second practice session, during which he failed to complete a clean low-fuel run.
The reigning world champion, who ended the session eighth based on his earlier lap on super-soft Pirellis, also complained about heat coming through the right-hand side of the seat and around the right elbow.
Rosberg led the way early in the session with a 1m45.544s on the super-softs, 0.25s ahead of Hamilton on the same rubber, and improved by 1.2s when he swapped to the ultra-softs.
Verstappen, who was amused to see a giant lizard waiting next to the track as he passed before it crossed the road early in the session, set the fastest middle sector as he slotted into second.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest, half a second slower than his team-mate, with Sebastian Vettel having a difficult session in fifth and complaining of a lack of rear-end grip.
Force India continued its good form this weekend with Nico Hulkenberg sixth, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Hamilton, whose best lap was on the super-softs.
Carlos Sainz Jr and Valtteri Bottas completed the top 10.
Pascal Wehrlein brought out the red flag early in the session when he lost the rear in the Turn 11 right-hander and backed into the barrier.
The German damaged the rear wing and dropped debris on the track as he returned to the pits, causing a five-minute stoppage.
He spent much of the session in the garage but after a rear wing and floor change, Manor got him back out for the final few minutes and he was able to post 21st fastest time ahead of team-mate Esteban Ocon.
Esteban Gutierrez outperformed his Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean, finishing more than a second quicker in 13th.
PRACTICE THREE TIMES
|1||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||1m44.352s||–||15|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1m44.411s||0.059s||15|
|3||Kimi Raikkonen||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||1m44.860s||0.508s||15|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1m44.903s||0.551s||12|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||1m45.104s||0.752s||13|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.316s||0.964s||13|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m45.503s||1.151s||19|
|8||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||1m45.806s||1.454s||9|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m45.879s||1.527s||17|
|10||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1m45.947s||1.595s||16|
|11||Sergio Perez||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m46.112s||1.760s||15|
|12||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1m46.164s||1.812s||13|
|13||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1m46.316s||1.964s||16|
|14||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1m46.529s||2.177s||17|
|15||Kevin Magnussen||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1m47.116s||2.764s||11|
|16||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1m47.277s||2.925s||16|
|17||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||1m47.293s||2.941s||18|
|18||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1m47.411s||3.059s||20|
|19||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||1m47.956s||3.604s||20|
|20||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1m48.689s||4.337s||13|
|21||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor Racing MRT||Manor/Mercedes||1m49.201s||4.849s||10|
|22||Esteban Ocon||Manor Racing MRT||Manor/Mercedes||1m49.|
Singapore GP: Ferrari’s Raikkonen tipping three-team fight for pole
Kimi Raikkonen is hopeful Ferrari will be in a three-way fight with Formula 1 rivals Mercedes and Red Bull for the Singapore Grand Prix pole.
Raikkonen finished Friday 0.275 seconds behind pacesetter Nico Rosberg as the top four, which included the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, were separated by just 0.4s.
"This morning was a bit tricky but the afternoon was quite decent," said Raikkonen, who was unusually upbeat after the two sessions.
"If you have a good feeling with the car, it makes all the difference around here.
"The afternoon was nice, it was quite easy and the lap time came. So far, so good."
Only at Monaco has a Mercedes driver not claimed pole position this year, but the Finn believes it could all be up for grabs on Saturday.
When asked whether Ferrari would be fighting with Mercedes and Red Bull, Raikkonen said: "Hopefully yes.
"We had a good feeling and it feels like we can do something this weekend but we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
"We’ll see. Hopefully we’ll be there."
Raikkonen’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel, polesitter and winner in Singapore last year, finished the day in fifth.
The German accepted the blame for simply not putting a good lap together but echoed Raikkonen’s positivity ahead of qualifying.
"My lap wasn’t good enough," he said. "Kimi had a very good lap.
"I wasn’t entirely happy, I was struggling a bit with the car balance and therefore not really finding the rhythm, but all in all it’s been a good day.
"Tomorrow is important – it’s very difficult to pass here so we try to trim everything towards qualifying.
"If we get everything right, it will be very tight but we have a good chance to position the car well."
Speaking about the pace of rivals Mercedes and Red Bull, Vettel said: "Both looked very strong.
"Mercedes is the favourite and we are in the same boat as Red Bull."
Kimi pleased with handling “but it’s only Friday”
“The first practice session was tricky, I struggled a little bit, but the second practice was good: everything worked and the car was handling pretty well. Here in Singapore, if you get the car right, it’s a lot easier to go faster. Today we had quite a good feeling, but for sure there is still something to improve. It’s hard to say if we can be strong, it’s only Friday, but the feeling was positive. So far so good, but tomorrow is another day, we’ll see where everybody is and then we’ll go from there. We’ll give our best and hopefully we have the speed to challenge our rivals.”
Singapore GP F1 practice: Rosberg fastest, problems for Hamilton
Nico Rosberg set the pace in second Singapore Grand Prix practice as his Mercedes team-mate and Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton’s session was cut short by a hydraulic issue.
Rosberg clocked a 1m44.152s on the ultra-soft tyres to finish 0.245 seconds clear of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen a tenth further adrift in third.
Hamilton led the way in the early stages with a 1m45.275s on the super-softs, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen.
But he locked up heavily into Turn 1 on his qualifying simulation, skating into the run-off before rejoining and switching his focus to gathering long-run data.
The Briton, who ended up seventh, then pitted and climbed out of his car with just under half an hour to go.
Mercedes confirmed Hamilton’s car had a "small hydraulic issue" and after investigating the problem, the team said it could not be resolved in time to get the car back together and called an end to his session.
Rosberg raised concerns over brake problems in the final few minutes, but continued until the end of the session.
Ricciardo spent a chunk of the session in the garage after he clipped the wall and spun at Turn 11 before rejoining and setting the quickest middle sector to finish fourth.
Sebastian Vettel ended up fifth, 1.009s off the pace and seven tenths slower than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was sixth and nearly a second clear of his team-mate Sergio Perez in 11th.
Carlos Sainz Jr and Fernando Alonso both clipped the wall but continued to finish eighth and ninth respectively with Daniil Kvyat completing the top 10.
Williams had a low-key session, with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas 14th and 15th respectively.
Romain Grosjean, who early in the session complained about the brakes being inconsistent, spun into the wall at the final corner, causing significant damage to his rear wing.
The Frenchman failed to complete a qualifying simulation and managed just 12 laps as he finished 19th.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m44.532s||0.380s||29|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m44.557s||0.405s||26|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.182s||1.030s||35|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m45.507s||1.355s||33|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m46.029s||1.877s||35|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m46.063s||1.911s||26|
Max Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two in Singapore GP practice
Max Verstappen led a Red Bull one-two in first Singapore Grand Prix practice, while Formula 1 world championship contender Nico Rosberg crashed.
The Marina Bay street circuit is tipped by Red Bull’s rivals to suit the RB12 and Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo lived up to the team’s ‘favourite’ status.
Verstappen ultimately finished quickest with a 1m45.823s lap, 0.049 seconds ahead of his team-mate, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel third but almost half a second down. All three drivers used Pirelli’s ultra-soft tyre.
Mercedes struggled at this circuit last year, failing to get the tyres working. Lewis Hamilton – who began the session by trialling the halo for the first time – and Nico Rosberg ended 2016’s opening practice down in fourth and fifth.
But their times – 0.603s and 0.690s respectively off the pace – were on soft tyres, the hardest of the three compounds available this weekend.
When all the drivers were running on ultra-softs, and on high fuel, earlier in the session, there was little too choose between Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.
Within three minutes of the session starting, Jenson Button’s McLaren ground to a halt on track with a fuel system fault, stopping within sight of the pit entry and prompting a virtual safety car.
After being given the green light by race control, two marshals then pushed Button’s car back into the pits.
Button eventually returned to the track at the midpoint of the session, but finished 16th and 3.792s adrift of Verstappen, with team-mate Fernando Alonso 11th and 1.4s down.
Once the track cleared for Button’s incident, Rosberg set the initial benchmark time with a lap of 1m47.936s on the ultra-soft that was soon bettered by Hamilton by half a second.
A marginal improvement followed from Hamilton just prior to the half-hour mark before he was deposed from top spot by Verstappen by 0.034s.
Midway through the session Rosberg then produced a superb lap on the softs to lead the way by 0.822s from Verstappen.
The lead then quickly changed hands three further times, as Vettel, Verstappen and Ricciardo posted the best times, but unlike Rosberg, all were on ultra-softs.
On his soft tyre run, Hamilton managed to get the edge over his team-mate by 0.054s, with a lap of 1m46.426s for an eventual fourth place.
It was then Verstappen who had the final say to leapfrog Ricciardo into top spot just past the hour-mark.
Late drama followed with 13 minutes to go when Rosberg locked up into Turn 18 on the approach to Anderson Bridge, breaking the front wing as he hit the wall before reversing and cruising back to the pits.
Romain Grosjean finished bottom of the standings and without a time to his name due to the Haas suffering low intake pressure due to a suspected leak.
PRACTICE ONE TIMES:
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.823s||–||25|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.872s||0.049s||27|
|7||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m46.936s||1.113s||28|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m47.683s||1.860s||29|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m48.214s||2.391s||28|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m48.359s||2.536s||28|
“Circuits can make the difference”
Kimi: “So far we took the best out of the car in most cases”
The race here in Singapore is quite tough, it’s a tricky circuit and quite a long one and the weather is very hot and humid. To go fast here the car has to be right, like any circuit of course, but in a street circuit it’s even more important. It’s not an easy place, but you get exciting moments of racing and overtakes. It’s hard to know what to expect, our approach is the same as in any other race weekend. Last year we did well but this doesn’t mean that automatically it will go the same way this year. From tomorrow we’ll be on track and then we’ll have some ideas of where we are. So far I think we took the best out of the car most of the times, in some circuits and conditions we struggle more, and this can make a big difference. Overall I think we just need to improve the car in all areas, to be faster. Many times this year we have seen that the circuit layout plus the conditions make a big difference. Our aim is to be up there and win in whatever conditions, unfortunately this year it did not happen. For sure we are better than last year but obviously the others have improved more. I’m sure we are doing the right things, we have great people but the speed is missing a bit.