At the start I had a very good jump, then I got hit; that was the end of our race. I don’t think I could have really done anything differently to avoid it, apart from doing a bad start and not being there. It’s a pity, one of those things you pay a big price for. Whatever the cause or the issue, it doesn’t change the end result unfortunately. We go to the next races ready to fight and do our best.
Lewis Hamilton wins Singapore GP as Sebastian Vettel crashes out
Lewis Hamilton took victory in a dramatic Singapore Grand Prix as Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel crashed out at the start.
Hamilton crossed the line 4.5 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, with Valtteri Bottas completing the podium.
Hamilton extended his championship lead to 28 points over Vettel, with Bottas 23 points further back in third.
Rain was falling ahead of the start, with the top six drivers – Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Bottas – starting on the intermediates while others, including Nico Hulkenberg and the McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne opted for the full wets.
Kimi Raikkonen made a strong getaway from fourth to go three abreast with polesitter Vettel and Verstappen on the approach to Turn 1.
Vettel moved across to cover the inside line, squeezing Verstappen who then made contact with Raikkonen, spearing the Finn across the track into Vettel.
Raikkonen’s out of control car then collected Verstappen and Alonso at Turn 1, putting Raikkonen and Verstappen out of the race immediately.
The stewards said they would investigate the incident after the race.
Vettel continued in the lead with his damaged car, but then lost control out of Turn 3 and after he’d hit the barriers hard, his Ferrari team instructed him to retire.
Alonso managed to continue but his McLaren team lost telemetry and though it came back, it ultimately called him in to retire as well.
Hamilton inherited the lead, but the race was neutralised when the safety car was sent out so the debris could be cleared.
At the restart, Hamilton bolted away at the front, pulling out a lead of 3.5s over Ricciardo after just one lap with Hulkenberg running third.
The rain stopped on lap six with conditions rapidly favouring those running intermediates.
The safety car was called out again when Daniil Kvyat crashed after locking up at the end of the back straight and understeering into the wall.
Several drivers, including Ricciardo, took the opportunity to pit for fresh intermediates but Mercedes kept Hamilton and Bottas out.
By the time the safety car came back in at the end of lap 14, everyone was on intermediates apart from Felipe Massa and Pascal Wehrlein.
As the track began to dry, Kevin Magnussen was the first driver to switch to slicks, taking the ultra-softs, while Massa followed suit.
It quickly became clear that was the tyre to be on, sparking a flurry of pitstops, with Ricciardo pitting on lap 29 in a bid to undercut Hamilton.
Mercedes responded the next lap and Hamilton rejoined in the lead.
He set about pulling away from the Red Bull, building an 18.7s lead over Ricciardo before the safety car came out for third time when Marcus Ericsson crashed on the Anderson Bridge.
Several drivers pitted for fresh tyres, including Hulkenberg who also needed an air line plugged into his car which delayed the stop and dropped him from fourth to 10th before he retired in the closing stages.
Hamilton pulled clear at the restart with the Mercedes driver quickly building a lead of four seconds.
Mercedes told him to hold that gap to keep the field compressed and avoid giving anyone else a free stop but after a discussion, it told Hamilton he could dictate the pace and ultimately secure his seventh win of the season.
Carlos Sainz Jr finished a career-best fourth for Toro Rosso, ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez, with Jolyon Palmer scoring his first points of the season in sixth.
Stoffel Vandoorne was seventh with Lance Stroll eighth as Romain Grosjean and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.
The race became time-limited due to the safety car interruptions meaning only 58 of the 61 laps could be completed within the two-hour limit.
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||58||4.507s|
|4||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||58||22.822s|
|5||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||58||25.359s|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||58||44.795s|
|12||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber/Ferrari||56||2 Laps|
|–||Kevin Magnussen||Haas/Ferrari||50||Power Unit|
|–||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||48||Oil leak|
|–||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||35||Spun off|
|–||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||10||Spun off|
|–||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||0||Collision|
Kimi Raikkonen: Red Bull’s Friday Singapore GP pace was misleading
Kimi Raikkonen says it is "pointless" to study Friday Formula 1 lap times as "it’s so easy to make somebody look good", after Ferrari overhauled Red Bull in Singapore qualifying.
Daniel Ricciardo lapped seven tenths clear of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in Friday practice at Marina Bay, while Raikkonen was nearly two seconds adrift in the best of the Ferraris.
But Raikkonen’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel closed to within a tenth of the pace set by Max Verstappen in final practice on Saturday, before beating the Red Bulls to pole by more than three tenths in qualifying.
Raikkonen would likely have joined Vettel on the front row without a mistake on his final Q3 lap, and suggested Vettel’s result indicates how misleading Friday practice form can be in F1.
"It all seemed to change for qualifying, but we have seen that in other weekends," Raikkonen said.
"Some teams can be quick very early in the weekend and then everyone closes up and bunches up a bit.
"Different fuel loads, or runs, it’s so easy to make somebody look good.
"It’s a bit pointless to look at the Friday times and say ‘this team will be ahead of others’.
"More often than not, everyone bunches up. The top three teams are usually closer to each other.
"Since yesterday, we – well at least myself – was nowhere near to the Red Bull; today, without some mistakes, we could have [both] been ahead of them."
Raikkonen said Ferrari was struggling to improve the car without making it worse in other aspects as it battled to turn things around after a difficult Friday.
He said he did not feel comfortable with his Ferrari’s handling as he ended up fourth, two tenths adrift of Ricciardo’s Red Bull.
"It’s been a difficult weekend, all the way through," Raikkonen added. "Qualifying was the best that it has been so far but it still definitely didn’t feel easy.
"It just didn’t feel like I would expect. I was fighting and trying to get a good lap, but [it was] easy to make mistakes and easy to lose lap time.
"It’s a tricky circuit, a lot of corners, a lot of places where it is easy to make a mistake. You take it to the limit, sometimes you get away with it, sometimes not.
"OK, it is never going to be easy anywhere, but you expect things to be making sense.
"It’s fighting with different issues, and improving one but creating another one. It’s small things.
"I’d take the fourth place because if you look until before qualifying, it could have been awfully more worse."
Vettel beats Red Bulls to Singapore Grand Prix pole, Hamilton fifth
Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position for Singapore Grand Prix, with Formula 1 world championship rival Lewis Hamilton down in fifth.
Ferrari driver Vettel set a time quick enough for pole position on his first run in Q3, during which all drivers used ultra-soft rubber, with a 1m39.669s.
He then survived a light brush of the wall at the right-hander coming out from under the grandstand on his second run to improve to a 1m39.491s to take pole from Red Bull driver Max Verstappen by 0.323 seconds.
Verstappen had set the pace in Q2, but after going second fastest on his first run in Q3 he was unable to improve on his second.
Daniel Ricciardo was third in the second Red Bull, but could only improve by 0.022s on his second run.
That left Kimi Raikkonen in fourth place, unable to carry his impressive first-sector pace into the second and third sectors of his final lap.
Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both qualified on the third row, with the gap between the two Mercedes team-mates almost seven tenths of a second.
Nico Hulkenberg was best-of-the rest in seventh for Renault, just ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.
The second McLaren-Honda of Stoffel Vandoorne was ninth, well ahead of 10th-placed Carlos Sainz Jr.
Renault driver Jolyon Palmer missed out on Q3 after being relegated to 11th by Alonso on the second runs in the second segment of qualifying.
Palmer failed to improve on his second set of tyres in Q2 thanks to a moment at the final corner, which the team suggested over the radio cost him 10th place.
Sergio Perez complained about having "no grip at all" on his second Q2 run and ended up 12th after being unable to improve on his first-run time.
Daniil Kvyat did improve on his second run, but only by enough to take 13th ahead of the second Force India of Esteban Ocon.
Romain Grosjean, who paid two visits to the Turn 7 escape road at the end of the back straight in Q1, didn’t post a time on his first run in Q2 and was unable to do better than 15th when he made his second attempt.
Kevin Magnussen was the fastest of those eliminated in Q1, having been relegated to 16th by Hulkenberg’s leap up the order.
Williams driver Felipe Massa was also knocked out in 17th after a difficult session.
He didn’t set a serious lap time on his first run because he clipped the wall at the exit of the Turn 20/21 right-left and suffered a right-rear puncture.
Massa then had a big moment in the fast left-hander at the end of his final flying lap, which ensured any faint hope he had of making Q2 was lost.
His team-mate Lance Stroll was 18th ahead of Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein, who also had a minor brush with the wall at the penultimate complex of corners.
Marcus Ericsson was last in the second Sauber, and will be given a five-place grid penalty thanks to a gearbox change triggered by damage suffered when he hit the wall during free practice three.
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.814s||0.323s|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.840s||0.349s|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m42.056s||2.565s|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.246s||–|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m42.338s||–|
|14||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.760s||–|
Singapore GP FP3: Max Verstappen tops close final F1 practice
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen pipped Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to the fastest time in third and final Formula 1 practice for the Singapore Grand Prix.
Verstappen posted a 1m41.829s on the ultra-soft Pirelli tyres to finish 0.072 seconds clear of Vettel with Lewis Hamilton 0.142s off the pace in third.
But Verstappen was told to return to the pits slowly after reporting that the car was "shifting by itself" while Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo clipped the wall, forcing him to back out of his final attempt at a low-fuel run.
Both Red Bulls returned to the track in the final seconds of the session, suggesting that neither situation caused any lasting problems.
McLaren continued its strong pace at Marina Bay with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne fourth and fifth respectively.
As the sun set, Vettel was the first driver to post a representative time, the Ferrari driver going quickest with 1m43.237s, but he clipped the wall on the exit of the penultimate corner in the process.
The Red Bulls hung back and didn’t head out for their timed laps until midway through the session with Verstappen going fastest and Ricciardo second, 0.268s adrift of his team-mate.
The session was red-flagged after Marcus Ericsson had a low-speed spin, sending his Sauber into the wall backwards just after he had driven under the grandstand towards the end of the lap.
Ericsson recovered to the pits with a damaged rear end, but the marshals needed just under 10 minutes to sweep away the debris from the accident.
There was a flurry of activity when the session was restarted, with Vettel setting the fastest first and second sectors to go quickest with a 1m41.901s, 0.348s quicker than Verstappen.
The Red Bulls headed out in a bid to respond, with Verstappen reclaiming top spot by just a fraction of a second.
Ricciardo, who topped both Friday practice sessions, had to back out of his effort when he clipped the wall, and he ended up sixth quickest.
Hamilton’s lap to go third left the top three split by just 0.142s.
Nico Hulkenberg was best of the rest in seventh for Renault, with Valtteri Bottas failing to improve on his final run and ending up six tenths adrift of Mercedes team-mate Hamilton.
Kimi Raikkonen, who said "not a lot of things made sense" for Ferrari in Friday practice, continued to struggle as he posted the ninth best time, eight tenths behind team-mate Vettel.
Force India’s Sergio Perez closed out the top 10, a tenth clear of team-mate Esteban Ocon.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.829s||12|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||0.688s||11|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1.181s||14|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1.280s||15|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.527s||17|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.745s||17|
Raikkonen: Not a lot made sense for Ferrari in Singapore GP practice
Kimi Raikkonen said "not a lot of things made sense" for Ferrari as the Formula 1 team struggled for pace in Friday practice for the Singapore Grand Prix.
Ahead of the weekend, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said Singapore’s Marina Bay street circuit would favour rivals Ferrari and Red Bull.
Red Bull lived up to that billing, with Daniel Ricciardo leading the way in both practice sessions, but Ferrari struggled and Raikkonen was the fastest of its two drivers in FP2 in ninth, 1.983 seconds off the pace.
Team-mate Sebastian Vettel was 11th, although the German failed to complete a representative low-fuel lap.
"Overall, it was a difficult day and not a lot of things made sense," said Raikkonen. "There is a lot to work on.
"It’s not exactly where we expected it to start but we work forward.
"I’m sure we can improve. It’s not the first time and it’s only Friday."
Vettel struggled to find a good balance in either of the 90-minute sessions and ruined his second attempt at a low-fuel lap in FP2 on ultra-soft tyres when he clipped the wall on the exit of Turn 10.
"It was not ideal, I didn’t mean to go off," he said.
"I was very lucky I could continue.
"It was a tricky session for us. The balance wasn’t quite there. But I think it’s in the car.
"I’m not yet happy, missing a bit the balance, then you miss a bit the confidence."
Vettel admitted Ferrari mades a few changes to the car that did not work and was hopeful the team could turn things around in time for Saturday’s qualifying session.
"We tried a couple of things," he said.
"I’m not sure they are the right things to do. Now we see what we can do tomorrow.
"It’s not the first Friday we’ve struggled. I’m pretty sure we’ll be close tomorrow.
"It’s clear both of us weren’t that happy today and we need to improve but I’m sure we have enough time to look at it and find a solution."
Singapore GP FP2: Ricciardo leads Verstappen in Red Bull 1-2
Daniel Ricciardo completed a Friday sweep for the Singapore Grand Prix, leading Red Bull Formula 1 team-mate Max Verstappen in second practice.
Ricciardo, who edged out Sebastian Vettel in Friday’s first session, clocked a 1m40.852s on his second flying lap on the ultra-soft tyres to finish 0.556s quicker than Verstappen.
Championship leader Lewis Hamilton was third, seven tenths off the pace, with title rival Vettel failing to complete a representative qualifying simulation in his Ferrari.
Ricciardo and Verstappen traded fastest laps in the early part of the 90-minute session when running the super-softs, with Ricciardo coming out on top.
Hamilton and Vettel were third and fourth during that phase, 0.428s and 1.027s off the pace respectively, but they were running the soft Pirelli tyres.
Valtteri Bottas was the first to switch to ultra-softs, but he could only slot into second, 0.027s off the pace, before team-mate Hamilton went quickest.
Ricciardo then reclaimed top spot with a 1m41.228s, 0.327s quicker than Hamilton, and then improved by nearly fourth tenths on his next lap.
Verstappen tried to respond by attempting a second flying lap, but he told the team on team radio that his tyres had gone and he backed off.
Vettel set the quickest first sector on his ultra-soft run, but he backed out of the lap when he was baulked by a Sauber.
He tried a second flier, but lost the rear end at Turn 10 and clobbered the wall, detaching an advertising hoarding which temporarily required the virtual safety car to be deployed.
Vettel did not attempt another low-fuel lap, instead turning his attention to long runs, and ended up 11th quickest with his best lap set on the soft tyres.
Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was only ninth quickest after his ultra-soft run, 1.983s off the pace.
Bottas was fourth quickest, ahead of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, with Stoffel Vandoorne the leading McLaren in sixth, 1.649s off the pace.
His team-mate Fernando Alonso was on course to improve his time, but had to back out of it when the virtual safety car was deployed for the Vettel incident, and he ended up seventh.
Sergio Perez was eighth, just over two tenths quicker than Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon in 10th.
Renault-bound Carlo Sainz Jr, who struggled with understeer on his long runs, was the leading Toro Rosso, nearly fourth tenths quicker than team-mate Daniil Kvyat, in 12th.
Sainz then went off down an escape road on his final lap, and had a near-miss with Vettel as he reversed back onto the track.
Romain Grosjean had a frustrating day, which included several off-track excursions, a spin and a telemetry issue, and ended up 18th, half a second and one place behind Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen.
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m40.852s||–||33|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.408s||0.556s||28|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.826s||1.974s||35|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.054s||2.202s||34|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.236s||2.384s||38|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.608s||2.756s||32|
Singapore GP FP1: Daniel Ricciardo fastest for Red Bull
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo pipped Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to top spot in the opening Formula 1 free practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix.
Ricciardo posted a 1m42.489s on the second flying lap on his second set of ultra-soft tyres to secure the fastest time with 26 minutes remaining of the one-and-a-half hour session.
Vettel, also on his second flier on ultra-softs, posted a time 0.109s slower to take second five minutes later to deny Red Bull a one-two by relegating Max Verstappen to third place.
Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton set the pace during the early stages of the session using super-soft Pirelli rubber, when there were a few damp patches on the circuit, before they were shuffled back by Verstappen and Ricciardo’s first runs.
Bottas then capitalised on a near-empty track on fresh ultra-softs to climb to second briefly, but he was eventually pushed down to sixth, half-a-second slower than Hamilton and behind Force India driver Sergio Perez, who set his time with 15 minutes to go.
During the long runs, Bottas complained of a lack of rear grip, while Hamilton had a brief off at the slow Turn 14 right-hander.
Kimi Raikkonen ended up seventh, lapping 1.245s slower than pacesetter Ricciardo.
Fernando Alonso was eighth for McLaren ahead of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, with Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat rounding out the top 10 after Stoffel Vandoorne failed to improve by enough with his late-session pace to get ahead of the Russian.
Felipe Massa was the best-placed of the Williams drivers in 14th, while Lance Stroll completed only 10 laps before pitting with a gearbox problem and ended up 17th.
Massa was ahead of the two Haas drivers, who were the only ones not to use ultra-soft Pirellis and concentrated on super-softs.
Romain Grosjean set his best time with five minutes remaining, although suffered three off-track moments during the session – taking to the run-off at Turn 1 early on before a spin at Turn 16 shortly after and then going off at Turn 18 late on.
He was just over three-tenths faster than Antonio Giovinazzi, the latter sitting in for race driver Kevin Magnussen during FP1.
Formula 2 driver Sean Gelael made his grand prix weekend debut in place of Carlos Sainz Jr at Toro Rosso for the first free practice session.
The 20-year-old Indonesian, who is currently 15th in the F2 standings, was 18th fastest with a 1m45.570s – complaining of a possible problem with the front left that caused "no grip" in the final 20 minutes.
He outpaced the two Saubers, with Marcus Ericsson – who suffered a spin in the Turn 18 left-hander early in the session – 0.187s ahead of team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.489s||–||21|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.610s||0.121s||23|
|5||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.423s||0.934s||25|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m44.220s||1.731s||25|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.053s||2.564s||25|
|18||Sean Gelael||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m47.570s||5.081s||26|
For the whole race I kept struggling with the balance of the car. It never felt like it should have done. On some laps it was getting better, but most of the time we were lacking the grip and the pace. It was not an easy weekend, we were fighting in all conditions, in the dry and even more in the wet. This is something that we have to fix for these kinds of circuit. I’m disappointed as the result is not what we wanted. For sure if you take the pure layout of the track it’s not an easy one for us, which is unfortunate at our home grand prix. I would be surprised if it’s the same story at the next race, because on paper the race in Singapore should be better for us. Now we have to go there and do our best.