Sebastian Vettel has won the Singapore Grand Prix 2015 after dominating from start to finish. This is his fourth win in Singapore making him the driver with the most F1 wins at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Daniel Ricciardo claimed P2 for Red Bull while Raikkonen gave Ferrari a double podium victory after finishing third.
Rosberg was the only Mercedes driver on the field after Hamilton retired with an unknown technical issue in his car. The German finished in P4 ahead of Williams’ Bottas, Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat, Force India’s Sergio Perez, Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz and Nasr in tenth place.
The fourth place finish for Rosberg now trims the gap between him and Hamilton’s lead in the championship to 41 points. Vettel is third with 203 points away from Raikkonen on 107 points.
Singapore Grand Prix 2015 Top Ten
- Sebastian Vettel
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Nico Rosberg
- Valtteri Bottas
- Daniil Kvyat
- Sergio Perez
- Max Verstappen
- Carlos Sainz
- Felipe Nasr
The Singapore Grand Prix 2015 has been challenging for the Silver Arrows so far, Rosberg faced technical problems while Hamilton failed to match the speed of his rivals before qualifying fifth. Today, Rosberg stalled at the pit lanes before the race started after his engine went off.
Vettel was looking for his fourth Singapore Grand Prix win having won it three times in a row from 2011 to 2013. He shared the front row start with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, the second row was filled by Raikkonen and Daniil Kvyat. There are two DRS zones – one after Turn 5 and another on the main pit straight.
All drivers started on the super soft tire, the stands were carrying nearly 90,000 fans who were there to witness the 8th edition of the FIA Singapore Grand Prix. The formation lap got underway smoothly aside from Verstappen who stalled on the grid. Vettel was leading by 3 seconds after the first lap.
The leading Ferrari widened the gap to 4.4s after lap 3, behind Vettel was Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Kvyat, Hamilton and Rosberg. The German was under constant pressure from the Williams of Valtteri Bottas who was only half a second away.
Meanwhile, Verstappen was back in the grid after that earlier glitch.
Max is now racing, go, go!! Meanwhile Carlos is in P12 chasing Alonso… We know how much he enjoys this battle! 😉 pic.twitter.com/xUWG0lDxOy
— Toro Rosso (@ToroRossoSpy) September 20, 2015
At the bottom of the field, American newcomer Alexander Rossi was running 18th in his Marussia leading Stevens and Verstappen who was 1 lap away from the top leaders. Vettel meanwhile had extended his lead over Ricciardo to 5.3s but the Red Bull slashed it to 4.7s after lap 10. Grosjean was the first to box his Lotus followed by Alonso in the McLaren and Sainz. The latter pitted at the wrong time as he then had to wait for the others to come in – losing valuable time in the process.
The virtual safety car came out after an incident involving Hulkenberg and Massa. The Williams was exiting the pit lanes and collided with the Force India near Turn 3 sending Hulkenberg to the barriers. Meanwhile, the top leaders pitted under the virtual safety car. Both Mercedes picked up soft tires while Vettel, Ricciardo and Raikkonen got new super softs. “I don’t understand why he did that, I was inside”, Massa said over the radio.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 20, 2015
The real safety car was then brought out to allow the clearance of debris at Turn 3. Hulkenberg was out of the race after that incident. All the 8 F1 races at the Marina Bay Street Circuit have featured a safety car since the first race was held there in 2008.
The race was restarted on lap 19, Vettel reclaimed the lead again and the order didn’t change much either. Ricciardo was only a second away while Raikkonen defended his third place from Hamilton who was in fourth. Mercedes then radioed Hamilton asking his to eke out the current tire set in what appeared to be a two-stopper for the Silver Arrows.
After the stewards finished investigating Hulkenberg’s incident, he was given a 3-place grid drop for the next race in Japan.
“These guys ahead are driving really slow – or at least Sebastian is,” said Hamilton over the radio. The Briton was 3.5s away from Vettel, his statement was confirmed by Red Bull who radioed Ricciardo asking him to look after his tires as Vettel wasn’t pushing hard. Meanwhile, Kvyat and Rosberg were in a tussle behind Hamilton. The Russian’s Red Bull which was on super softs could not find a way past Rosberg.
Suddenly, Hamilton’s car lost power and started slowing down. The field behind overtook him easily and with no time the Briton was running in P10. The engineers tried to assist him over the radio but nothing seemed to work out. Vettel had now extended his lead over Ricciardo to 4s, Ferrari and Red Bull were having a time of their life in Singapore.
Hamilton was not the only one having issues, Massa was told to box his car for retirement. “I’m falling further back – we might as well save this engine,” said Hamilton who was now in 18th place. A few minutes later the Briton was asked to box in for retirement, his first one of the season. Alonso was also asked to retire his McLaren, he had been running 9th.
“It’s a real shame. I think I had the pace today to win”, said Hamilton after retiring.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 20, 2015
Weird things were happening all over, Vettel radioed in shouting “There is a man on the track, man on the track,” – that actually brought out the safety car. The man then jumped back over the barriers. Lapped cars were then allowed to overtake the safety car.
There was contact again on lap 41 between Button’s McLaren and Maldonado’s Lotus. The McLaren’s wing flew off after hitting the Lotus. An unhappy Button then radioed in saying, “I should have known really, that he’s mental.”
Vettel was still leading the field comfortably with a 3s gap between him and Ricciardo. Raikkonen was third followed by Rosberg, Bottas, Kvyat, Perez, Grosjean and Verstappen. The Dutchman was flying in hot despite suffering a bad start at the beginning of the race where he dropped to the bottom.
Ricciardo set a new fastest lap of the race narrowing down Vettel’s lead to 2.9s but two laps later the Ferrari set a new fastest lap to regain back the 3s lead. At this point it was clear that there was going to be a sprint to the finish between the drivers. Nonetheless, tire degradation was still an issue.
Just when things were getting exciting for the Button, his team asked him to box in the car for retirement as his gearbox was at risk. That was the fourth time McLaren has had a double retirement this season. Button joined Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Massa, and Alonso in today’s retirement list.