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Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix 2017

Vettel, Verstappen, Raikkonen Crash, Singapore GP 2017

I’ve taken an extended break away from F1, the last race I wrote about was before the mid-season break. And, the Singapore Grand Prix really wasn’t anything to write home about with the exception of the first lap carnage which, in my opinion, ended Ferrari’s challenge for the constructors and drivers titles.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen made an amazing start, getting half a car length ahead of Max Verstappen on the outside in the run to turn 1, while teammate, Sebastian Vettel moved aggressively to the left, causing Verstappen to ‘jink’ left making contact with Raikkonen, who in turn t-boned Vettel before colliding with Verstappen again at turn 1, also, ultimately taking out the super fast starting McLaren of Fernando Alonso.

I’m neutral, I don’t have a horse in the race, I’m not a fan of any of the three drivers, nor race winner, Lewis Hamilton. I believe Vettel made a bad judgment call, which I believe has cost him a chance of the 2017 drivers title, barring any disasters at Mercedes. In my opinion, Vettel did not need to move so aggressively towards Verstappen, title rival Hamilton was well behind with plenty of room to Vettel’s right.

It was judged to be a racing incident by the stewards, which I believe to be fair, but my personal view is that Vettel caused the chain reaction that ended four drivers’ races. Raikkonen was clearly the innocent party, he was out there next to the wall, Vettel moved left and Verstappen found himself in a fast disappearing gap. Go watch the replay from onboard Verstappen’s car, the Dutchman can’t just vanish!

I really wonder what Fernando Alonso could have done in the tricky conditions as by turn 1, he was up to third place from eighth place on the grid before getting caught up in the first corner carnage. I really wonder if the Spaniard could have claimed a podium for himself and McLaren Honda. The first lap incident really killed off the race; after the first 15 seconds, the race was effectively over.

Lewis Hamilton got incredibly lucky as Mercedes were a definite second, or maybe even third best team in qualifying trim. The Briton avoided the carnage, along with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and it paid off big time for both, if they started a little further forward, both drivers could have gotten caught up in the first lap incident. Hamilton, in race trim, was clearly faster than Ricciardo, a gift of a win for Hamilton!

Special mention to, and driver of the race, in my opinion, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz who finished in a career-best fourth place. I don’t really remember anything specific he did, he just kept out of trouble, made the right choices and it paid off. Same goes for Jolyon Palmer, who recently found out his services are no longer required by Renault, being replaced by the aforementioned Sainz, finished strongly in sixth.

The only other thing of note was the three safety car periods, first due to the first corner incident on lap 1, second due to Toro Rosso’s Daniel Kyvat crashing into the barrier all by himself and the third was due to Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson spinning all by himself on the bridge. All three restarts resulted in absolutely zero overtaking. So to sum up the race, apart from the crashes, it was a real snooze fest… ZZZzzz

Singapore Grand Prix 2017 Results

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 2:03:23.543
2. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +4.507
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +8.800
4. Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) +22.822
5. Sergio Perez (Force India) +25.359
6. Jolyon Palmer (Renault) +26.371
7. Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) +30.388
8. Lance Stroll (Williams) +41.696
9. Romain Grosjean (HAAS) +43.282
10. Esteban Ocon (Force India) +44.795

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