Singapore GP race progress analysis

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Ferrari were looking good for a one-two finish until this happened

I’ve produced a chart showing the position of each driver on every lap of the Singapore Grand Prix, compared to the race leader.

Here’s an analysis of some of the key points in the race base on the chart.

Singapore Grand Prix race progress chart

2008 Singapore Grand Prix race progress (click to enlarge)

A few things stand out on the chart:

  • How tightly bunched the field was behind Jarno Trulli at the start of the race. Trulli had a heavy fuel load on board but the cars immediately behind him – Nico Rosberg, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso – were fuelled shorter.
  • On lap 17 the three dots at the 70s mark are the three cars that benefited most from the first safety car period: Fernando Alonso, who had already pitted, and the Red Bull duo, whose quick-thinking pit team got them into the pits before they were closed.
  • Felipe Massa is the big spike on lap 18.
  • After the restart Giancarlo Fisichella played he role Trulli had before of backing the pack up. He was able to keep the faster cars behind him because he only had 10-11 laps of fuel left after the safety car period while his pursuers had all recently pitted.
  • The length of time it took to get Nico Rosberg in for his penalty meant, because of Fisichella, Rosberg only lost track position to Alonso.
  • Looking at David Coulthard, Nick Heidfeld and Sebastian Vettel’s lines, it seems Coulthard would have been fifth if he hadn’t been delayed in his second pit stop.

Singapore Grand Prix race progress chart – leaders

Here’s the same chart but zoomed in to show only cars within 20 seconds of the leader at any time:

2008 Singapore Grand Prix race progress - nearest 20s (click to enlarge)

It’s clear from looking at this chart Ferrari had a good chance of scoring a one-two before the first safety car period, unless Hamilton was very heavy with fuel.

Download the data from these charts here: Singapore race history (PDF)

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “Singapore GP race progress analysis”

  1. Fantastic Job Keith !
    I must admit though, that after the quali i had a feeling that it was going to be a rather boring race. I’m quite pleased it didn’t, in my opinion at least.

  2. Keith, as much as no-one here would want to see you go anywhere. How the hell are you not working for one of the major F1 publications or editing Autosport?
    Probably one of the most, if not the most committed and enthusiastic fans of any category. Awesome stuff, many thanks.

  3. michael counsell
    29th September 2008, 20:52

    A reason Alonso won? Fisichella’s in lap.

    Fisichella pulled away dramatically from Coulthard with Alonso on his tail and then pitted giving Alonso a chance to set a comapratively blistering lap. If Fisichella had stayed out a lap or two later Rosberg could have won.

  4. Thanks Keith.

    For those Interested Check
    This provides good race simulation. There used to be another enthusiast who had developed nice Java based Lap-Viewer..I wonder whatever happened of it :(


  5. Great job, Keith. Look how badly Kimi was held by slower cars from lap 18 to the very end of his race. I sort of disagree with M. Counsell, I’d rather say that Rosberg lost the race in laps 34 to 40 and 43 to 51, when he had a golden chance to trim Alonso’s lead down but couldn’t keep his pace at all. Nakajima – Rosberg gap also shows that the japanese was as quick as his teammate yesterday.

  6. Most interesting laps on the first graph are 44 to 50.
    You can see 4 drivers were in there own league in terms of speed: Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton and (surprisingly) Glock.

    Also funny how Heidfelds line in on top of Vettel for every single lap, I wonder how much faster he could have been…

  7. Dude (Yes I’m American),

    Can’t imagine the time and effort it took you to put this chart together. Makes me realize the difference between a fan (me) and an enthusiast (you). Well done indeed!

    One question. Does the analysis give any insight as to the performances of the competitors over the last three races? Curious as to whatever guesses can be extrapolated from the data.

  8. @GeorgeK – I am expat in America ;)
    To answer you, F1 has long moved from sports of “racing” enthusiast to Engineers and Super-Computers Game. Yes All these charts and simulations are used by Pitwalls continuosly, Strategists just don’t sit on Pitwall for bigger team like McLaren, Ferrari and BMW , they sit back in the war room in factories and feed pitwall with strategies real-time. Its reason why so many races have become game of strategya and Engineering Wizardry.

    Its only on time like Safety car, rains and untoward events that cat is thrown among the pigeons and racing fans like me get to see smaller teams thinking on their feet are able to out wit the Big3. Recent case was Monza ,The top teams relied too much on data and forgot to apply common sense, while STR drivers went around understanding the track 33 times Ferrari drivers for eg. ran 10 laps result STR driver got correct setup knew the wet patches on circuit accurately something Likes of Prost did in Good Ol’ days :D.

    Like wise even in recent Valencia race, Simulators of Williams and McLaren hooked upto GPS and Ultramodern software fell short of simulating the lap times by about 0.3 seconds.

    All said If they have resources the Giants are going to use them and nobody can stop them from using them and we will see the graphs and Monte carlo simulations and what nots …

  9. Great work, you are truly a fanatic and I follow your blog with great interest. To me the most informative resource on the ‘net and I mean it. I’ve bookmarked ITV, PlanetF1 & F1 live as well as participate in the D’Arcy F1 blog down under. Yours come up with some interesting background while the others are usually coming up with hard news in the same format.


  10. Great work Keith!!! Hats off!!!!

  11. pSynrg – You’re very kind! I do work as a journalist already for Auto Trader where I also write a weekly motor racing column on Mondays (although not this week!)

    When we hit the off-season I may find time to go back and compile these charts for the rest of the year.

    Derek Smith & Nirupam – you’re welcome :-)

  12. superb..i read all of your blogs..keep up the good work..

    p.s feel so sorry for massa..

  13. Keith, great work with your website!
    I have a question for you: I’ve noticed you work as a journalist so you must have access to full historical and recent F1 results on the websites (I mean the officially published .pdf files from every GP, archives of which currently require a login). Would you mind sharing? I would much appreciate it. Would be happy to provide with anything I can with respect to F1, I’ve been following it for many years now and have an extensive information if you need anything. Thanks

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