The Formula 1 Grand Prix has it all, the adrenaline of speeding cars as they attempt to go past each other to claim victory, the drama on and off the racetrack as teams struggle together to reach the checkered flag, all that and more in one race of a lifetime. And with the event being currently housed in Singapore, the event promised to be one to watch.
Now that it’s over, there are some things that have to be addressed, which we’re all going to discuss here at the Top 10 Things we Learned From the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix.
1. Sebastian Vettel’s win
Now Sebastian Vettel’s odds of winning is +1200. Overall he’s the 6th of the 10 racers that are expected to win the whole thing, but against the odds he actually won it all and got to the checkered flag first, ending a losing streak that went all the way back from the Belgian Grand Prix last August. The four time World Champion’s driving allowed him to pass his way from the competition and claim the victory.
However, there are still some doubters saying that the win is a fluke, on account that he was 3/10th’s slower than his own teammate Charles Leclerc, making it the 9th time in a row that he’s been out-qualified by his own teammate. Also, the way he won the race might make some of his doubters question the validity of his victory, which we’ll discuss on the 2nd thing we’re talking about in this article. Nevertheless, Vettel will now have to prove that his victory this Grand Prix, was no one off.
2. Leclerc’s anger and whether he’s in the right to be so
Charles Leclerc was understandably annoyed at the fact that he lost the race, having maneuvered his way into pole position the third time in as many races, and stayed in control the whole way until Vettel leapfrogged his way over him out of the pit stops, taking advantage of the fact that he stopped one lap earlier then Leclerc and using the rubber to get the jump on the younger teammate.
Some suggested that Ferrari had strategically favoured Vettel in order to get him back on top step, but evidence has shown otherwise. Ferrari only reacted to Max Verstappen making his own pit stop, and put Vettel in to ensure that Red Bull didn’t execute their own leapfrog on the German. Just so happened that the early pit stop gave Vettel the lead. So is there a conspiracy against Charles Leclerc? Well… No. As evidence handidly pointed out.
3. Did Mercedes screw up in their strategy?
Let’s talk about Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton shall we?
They won the opening 8 races, true enough. But ever since Hamilton’s victory at the French Grand Prix last June, he’s only succeeded twice in the following seven rounds. Valtteri Botas hasn’t won ever since April’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and for the 2nd time in 27 races, a Mercedes driver did not feature in the podium on Sunday. However, Mercedes ain’t gonna panic just yet. However, the fact that they aren’t in good form and the strategic blunder that caused Vettel’s victory should give them something to think about come the next race.
4. This Singapore Grand Prix could’ve been Hamilton’s 5th win in this arena
In thanks to the above point, it could be said that Lewis Hamilton could’ve won this Singapore Grand Prix if it wasn’t for poor decision making. Hamilton stated that he wanted to undercut current Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel in order to take the win but as stated, Mercedes bummed up their strategy and allowed the Ferrari racer to claim the victory.
Hamilton is understandably frustrated at this but stated that they’ll just have to try better at the next Grand Prix.
5. No Beef in this F1 Generation. No Sir.
As Vettel made a TV interview with Sky Sports, he was approached by Hamilton. The British driver tapped him on the back before offering his hand. “Congrats, man, great job,” said Hamilton. “I’m really happy for you.” The pair shared an embrace and Hamilton walked off. The exchange following Sunday’s race amplified the friendly relations shared, not just by Vettel and Hamilton, but by most of the grid, too. Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo giggled their way through the pre-race press conference, while George Russell gave friend Albon a pat on the back before the anthem ahead of Sunday’s race.
6. Bottas: Challenger and Team Player
Valtteri Bottas is one of Mercedes’ racers in the Singapore Grand Prix and one of the favorites to win at it as well. However, he’s not only a formidable challenger; he’s also someone who’s willing to take one for the team as well.
When James Vowles decided to tell Bottas to drive 3 seconds slower to keep Red Bull’s Alex Albon behind, Bottas immediately obliged so that Hamilton, Bottas’ teammate doesn’t drop to a probable sixth place following his pit stop.
Can you imagine any other racer taking one for the team? I doubt it.
7. Haas keeping Grosjean
Now this is something of a surprise. Haas has been making moves to acquire Nico Hulkenberg for their F1 team. However, they decided to opt against it. The reasons for this might be weird but there are reasons.
This has been a chastening season for Haas. The American team had high hopes for this campaign after a best-ever fifth-place finish last year. But their 2019 creation, the VF-19, has been like an unruly pet that they can’t seem to get a handle on.
For brief moments, in certain windows, the car looks like it could be the class of the midfield. For the rest of the time, it’s unpredictable and slow – and the team just don’t know why. It is for this reason, chiefly, Haas opted not to take a punt on a new driver.
8. Nico channeled his inner Hulk
Nico Hulkenberg might not be one of the shoe ins in the recent Grand Prix, but he still made a decent showing in the event. Part of it might be due to him losing his Renault seat for 2020 and with Haas sticking with Romain Grosjean.
The frustration must have been high, but he didn’t let that get him down as he outperformed his own teammate Daniel Ricciardo in respective sessions, coming in 6th and 8th place in them.
9. What team is Nico going to join next?
Nico Hulkenberg is now a free agent after Esteban Ocon set to replace him as Renault’s driver next year, and Haas retaining Romain Grosjean as stated above.
Currently, there are 4 teams that Nico can go this 2020: Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Alfa Romeo, and Williams as they’re the only teams that have yet to confirm their lineups for next year. However, only Williams expressed interest in having Nico on the team with the deputy team principal Clair Williams stating that someone of Nico’s competence is always going to appeal to a team.
10. A reignited F1 World Championship fight
With 6 races left, Ferrari’s 3 clutch wins have the possibility to enflame the fight for the F1 World Championship again.
Lewis Hamilton may hold a 102 point lead to current winner Sebastian Vettel with his 296 to Vettel’s 194, but there’s now a legitimate chance that him, Leclerc, or Verstappen can take the 1st place in standings. There’s still 6 races after all, and anything can happen in the racetrack.
Of course, somehow winning all 6 races is a tough thing to do, with stiff competition all around. But that’s something to be seen later on in the next race.