“He got lucky, didn’t he?” Safety Car ends Ricciardo’s victory hopes

2015 Singapore GP lap times and fastest laps

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“He got lucky, didn’t he?” Daniel Ricciardo knew exactly what it meant when a Virtual Safety Car period was declared after Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India struck the turn three barrier on lap 13 in Singapore.

Daniil Kvyat had even worse luck with the timing of the Safety Car periods
“Yes, mate,” answered race engineer Simon Rennie. Ricciardo had been gaining on race leader Sebastian Vettel but the VSC let the Ferrari driver off the hook and kept Red Bull from using the advantage of their long-run pace which they had demonstrated on Friday.

Vettel had shot off at the start of the race, pulling out a three second lead in the first lap which was over five seconds by the fourth tour. But just two laps later Ricciardo began reeling him back in, and on the lap before Hulkenberg tripped over Felipe Massa’s Williams it had fallen to less than four. As the graph below shows, Ricciardo was consistently quicker than Vettel in the second half of the first stint.

The first Safety Car period killed off this developing strategic battle, and the second one – caused by a member of the public wandering onto the circuit – saved Vettel from having to make any pit stops under green flag conditions which Ricciardo could have turned to his advantage.

But if Ricciardo was unfortunate, his team mate was even more unlucky. Daniil Kvyat pitted under green flag conditions just before both of the Safety Car periods, losing places each time to those who were able to save time by pitting under caution.

“That worked against us and it wasn’t a good race for me but we couldn’t have done anything else,” he rued. “I lost two places to Mercedes after the first stop and a place to Bottas after the second one.”

2015 Singapore Grand Prix lap times

All the lap times by the drivers (in seconds, very slow laps excluded):


Sebastian Vettel112.569111.623112.242112.092112.354112.664112.639113.132112.729112.636112.711112.969128.101168.222149.147172.733167.639161.692112.265112.463112.414112.734112.592112.967112.943113.193110.52110.904110.799110.916110.641110.875111.524111.587111.793111.899128.617187.834162.18166.351111.473111.51111.063110.787110.733110.352110.186110.304110.32110.271110.075110.319110.069110.267110.393110.989110.939111.053111.273111.278112.559
Daniel Ricciardo115.603112.906112.641112.658112.435112.574112.656112.835112.446112.299112.507112.48129.718169.226148.994168.35166.976161.262112.479112.477112.393112.497112.868112.964112.881113.209112.524111.56111.346110.861110.857110.966111.395111.631111.586111.948130.595182.566162.264166.49112.696111.816111.111111.152110.591110.558110.304110.3110.118110.258110.174110.041110.24110.498110.694110.879111.414110.632111.824110.75110.623
Kimi Raikkonen116.737112.845112.752112.698112.643112.477112.963112.702112.75112.72112.761112.924132.457167.644148.374165.834167.086160.961112.496112.469112.571112.362112.824113.199112.714113.266112.705112.128111.949111.474111.631111.475112.158112.404112.283112.9133.435174.682161.7166.6112.132111.738111.542111.251111.048110.999110.962110.341110.8110.568110.944110.857111.156111.068111.27111.163111.746111.847111.875112.598114.614
Daniil Kvyat117.605113.266112.82112.869113.122112.546113.146113.001113.17113.256113.307120.332155.216149.742149.081153.305165.995159.407113.775112.903113.24113.153113.018112.871113.041113.65114.21112.835113.027112.6112.943112.923119.845135.296111.633111.109139.102150.278143.505165.209113.355112.022111.657112.079111.699111.967111.547112.132111.485111.517111.974112.41111.801112.499112.791111.904112.387112.903112.705112.59112.85
Lewis Hamilton118.378114.26113.404113.268112.589112.637113.131113.213113.116113.269113.049112.935132.183166.03149.815161.967165.956160.874113.34112.685112.951112.735112.701112.505112.804115.172123.58124.969124.627125.04126.266139.201
Nico Rosberg119.448113.927114.137113.538113.533113.337113.6113.392113.17113.499113.562113.471135.119167.491150.009153.426166.131159.939113.754112.731113.298113.117113.021112.807113.012113.359113.944112.215112.46112.638112.845112.353112.809112.669112.88112.982135.675166.542157.431165.988112.774111.76111.45111.419111.544111.492111.755111.549111.255110.934111.176111.153111.34111.792111.822112.215112.249111.925112.43112.885112.66
Valtteri Bottas120.008114.039114.123113.847113.705113.758113.692113.885113.532113.769113.699113.794136.399165.638149.719152.915166.033159.148114.33113.009113.008113.217113.274113.048113.264113.325114.093113.233112.934113.143113.091113.599113.454112.897113.165113.611139.016166.058148.58165.713112.947112.005111.572111.579111.746111.48111.763111.662111.342111.735112.017112.282112.031112.191112.743112.468111.979112.001112.532112.944114.538
Max Verstappen257.359112.573113.365114.083113.226113.331113.239113.384113.763113.854114.147143.07168.055148.801148.928118.155112.258111.751111.911112.199111.948111.953112.161113.409113.402112.439112.843112.622112.828113.643112.97112.98113.635113.612113.58121.8168.5148.204116.579147.724118.33113.551110.298111.385113.325112.686110.692110.645110.897111.163111.546112.848113.165112.831113.463113.337113.326113.47113.815114.042114.469
Felipe Massa121.049114.206114.009114.238113.86113.824113.986113.918113.745113.75114.022121.237165.371155.737165.574150.458132.198157.735113.666114.082113.885114.503114.338114.15114.318114.181114.22122.303128.568166.686
Romain Grosjean124.072115.008114.865114.475114.304114.362114.175115.733121.706135.827113.951113.986146.529149.009148.54149.261139.849157.9115.148114.559114.274114.036113.803113.794114.186120.86133.227112.353112.532113.307112.893112.831113.834113.742114.687113.807146.792148.613125.914163.373116.79112.689112.985112.777113.416115.044116.147114.713113.858114.363114.536114.122114.634115.471115.582115.999116.3117.028129.352
Nico Hulkenberg121.474114.626114.115114.16114.103113.868114.028114.406114.124114.1121.166133.258
Fernando Alonso123.081114.912114.61114.235114.313114.034114.114114.102114.355121.719140.073114.604146.304149.084149.524148.558140.232156.51115.453114.567114.4114.361113.839114.593113.84113.897113.325113.87114.105113.884114.113114.761125.896
Sergio Perez122.185114.805114.197114.12113.988113.945114.108114.662114.582114.585114.043114.077139.304166.453146.49148.593162.98159.467114.402113.461113.277113.063113.465113.682113.739113.546115.04113.694113.777113.538113.54113.716114.017120.891133.045113.848145.062148.466127.434164.303114.372112.055112.151111.97111.982112.522112.243112.244112.311112.272112.558113.007112.793113.116113.469113.378113.295113.495113.766114.064114.301
Carlos Sainz Jnr123.511114.941114.888114.147114.402114.198114.023114.089114.357121.722139.727114.767146.495148.779149.78148.666140.444162.908116.031114.814114.369113.897114.475114.247114.043114.328114.916122.284132.313111.496112.437113.253112.894112.422113.358113.72154.899166.077115.626140.853119.139113.574110.401110.866112.979114.514112.055110.848111.175110.847110.981111.595111.894113.263113.319113.383113.374113.209113.766114.084115.116
Jenson Button125.863115.695115.055114.88114.788115.245114.812114.716114.654114.46114.287114.468142.09203.696148.755148.861124.745152.779115.52116.737113.905114.284114.384114.062114.021114.333114.504115.09113.405113.509113.559113.418113.925114.051113.34115.016147.811168.922126.276153.457126.524139.859111.167111.919112.09111.657111.677112.21112.397113.199112.582139.691
Felipe Nasr124.77115.331114.919114.649114.816114.525114.402114.831114.789114.012113.88114.079142.499166.114149.8146.572154.94158.248115.184113.92114.081113.511113.813113.592113.78114.271114.378115.294113.951114.112113.957113.929113.832122.248134.008112.566149.905150.442127.527152.516119.578115.293114.715114.157113.599113.388114.102114.255114.58114.131114.39114.609114.949115.027112.67113.454115.07116.949114.97112.964115.32
Marcus Ericsson125.272115.42114.93114.784114.808114.848114.622114.682114.344122.422134.806123.785149.687146.74150.121149.844131.09157.275115.553116.204113.975114.181114.277114.112113.731114.485114.685123.393132.53111.594112.866113.166112.425112.247113.823120.858166.341149.814119.632135.97119.071115.131114.642114.219113.74113.505113.872114.31114.622114.391114.301114.38114.698116.695113.928116.615114.907114.567116.685114.958115.046
Pastor Maldonado126.307115.873114.92114.906115.339115.244114.807115.253114.163121.831133.298113.983146.536148.753149.568148.553140.358158.635112.843113.965114.278114.386114.17114.289114.237114.17120.806132.186112.308113.516112.778113.139113.381113.397114.105114.092146.965147.783124.473162.982118.708116.719114.856113.63113.382113.698114.383114.284114.112114.505114.548114.755115.155126.56131.773110.987110.175110.361111.155111.069112.445
Will Stevens128.927118.068117.848118.164119.149118.347118.023118.027117.865118.325118.414118.963151.021155.605167.551148.095120.82137.621118.7117.966117.622117.608117.613118.642117.844118.203118.155117.966117.717118.072117.828118.407118.489120.121119.639132.633155.514184.451167.59123.849117.384116.171116.103116.256115.89116.405117.507117.166117.476117.151117.085116.726116.957117.447121.278119.553117.126118.963117.615
Alexander Rossi127.603117.813117.791118.634118.848117.72118.069117.783118.237118.197118.388118.829156.69168.874149.558148.331120.759138.189117.236118.227117.518117.325117.025117.457119.168117.498117.461117.111117.962117.838117.541118.263118.296117.752119.486138.473177.175161.834167.481124.888118.172115.692115.312115.384115.613116.054116.115116.31117.687115.851116.168115.722116.529116.245117.408117.328120.017117.391118.589

2015 Singapore Grand Prix fastest laps

Each driver’s fastest lap:

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’50.04152
2Sebastian VettelFerrari1’50.0690.02853
3Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’50.1750.13457
4Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’50.2980.25743
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’50.3410.30048
6Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’50.4010.36043
7Nico RosbergMercedes1’50.9340.89350
8Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’51.1091.06836
9Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’51.1671.12643
10Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’51.3421.30149
11Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’51.5941.55330
12Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’51.9701.92944
13Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’52.3532.31228
14Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’52.5052.46424
15Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’52.5662.52536
16Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’53.3253.28427
17Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’53.6663.62519
18Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’53.8683.8276
19Alexander RossiManor-Ferrari1’55.3125.27143
20Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’55.8905.84945

2015 Singapore Grand Prix

Browse all 2015 Singapore Grand Prix articles

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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39 comments on ““He got lucky, didn’t he?” Safety Car ends Ricciardo’s victory hopes”

  1. Somehow I believe Vettel had plenty in hand to resist the Red Bull on all fronts.

    1. Exactly — Vettel was never in any kind of danger from Ricciardo or anyone else, as much as the TV commentators (at least in the US) were trying to make it sound like he was.

      1. You can’t know that. You judge after seeing things going his way. You don’t know how they could developed if they didn’t go his way.

  2. Just words said to be heard by the public…

    The “fight” for the 1st place was tight all race long, but RIC never even got within 2 sec of VET in order to try mount a pass, make it happen is not worth mentioning at all. To me it looked like VET had it under control all race long.

    1. Agreed. Vettel was lucky to the extent that Red Bull/RIC were ever able to mount a serious challenge or use the undercut.

    2. @corrado-dub

      words said to be heard by the public

      I think you overestimate the significance of television viewers to the drivers when they’re in the middle of a race. Why should they care about you at all?

    3. Ricciardo was indeed within 2 seconds of Vettel for a long period after 1st SC. But he couldn’t attack Vettel. Then SV pulled away 2 sec in 1 lap.

    4. “He got lucky, didn’t he?”

      Yeah this doesn’t make any sense. Vettel wasn’t lucky, he was just faster in both quali and during the race …

    5. For crying out loud, Riccardo never managed to get a chance to make his attack plan work. The fact that he was never in the gearbox of Vettel means nothing since he wasn’t suppose to be attacking in those points.

  3. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    20th September 2015, 21:50

    Jenson’s lap far faster than Alonso.

    1. And Maldonado’s lap was faster than everyone except the top two….

      1. That might happen again when the next blue moon comes out

      2. And Lewis way down the order, some very peculiar times recorded .

      3. He was one of the few doing three-stops and his final stint was only 7 laps on the super-soft so that explains why he had that pace on lap 57.

        1. ColdFly F1 ( @coldfly ) (@)
          21st September 2015, 11:58

          Correct. @pedrocr
          Actually the TR’s doing low 1:50’s on lap 43 (also new Super-Softs) is even more impressive. They had more fuel on board and had to manage the tyres for the remaining 18 laps.

    2. Jenson’s lap was faster than Alonso’s but dont forget it was later in the race, when he had less fuel on board and thusless weight

  4. Today Ric gave all he got and it was not enough.

    1. I think Ric gave enough but the Ferrari had the edge, a Ferrari engined RBR next year should worry SV.

    2. Vettel had better pace, Ricciardo had better deg. It was interesting.

  5. I dunno, it may be true, but I never got that impression during the race. If the SC hadn’t came when it did, and VET had pitted before RIC, RIC would have needed some serious pace for the undercut to work. On very old super-softs. The Red Bull had some very good tyre deg, but not that good.

    That of course assuming VET didn’t have pace to spare, which it might as well have been the case.

    In the next stint VET again built a 4s+ gap, this time he did it later, but still it showed that VET could build a big gap and still keep the tyres functional enough.

    All in all I don’t think it was luck, RB and RIC had no answer to VET today.

    1. He pulled 2 secs. It was horrible :D

  6. Without safety cars Vettel would have cruised to the chequered flag on his own. If anything, Ricciardo’s chance at having a go at Vettel was a result of luck. Don’t get me wrong though – Ricciardo’s pace was impressive. But I doubt he would have took the fight to Vettel in a safety car free race.

  7. One could conversely say that RIC was the lucky one, being the one lagging behind and seing twice annulled his built disadvantage.

    All in all, neither drivers were hit on the chin by the safety car, they both had a chance to pit during SC periods, and both had essentially the same race happen to them. Even when RIC was near VET, while VET was saving tires, he did not manage to bring much of a challenge.

    I’d say that all in all, both did a solid race, and the outcome was not actually influenced all that much by the SC stints. Still, a shame to see races interrupted.

  8. Vettel was like a puppet master, Dan was the puppet. Seb played with him the entire race, backing him up to Kimi then sprinting clear at will. That Singapore heat can play tricks on the mind.

  9. There seems to be something broken with the markup around the lap times chart.

  10. Hmmm I seem to remember a certain 2014 Red Bull driver getting the lead of the race from a certain other Red Bull driver because of a safety car…

  11. It is telling isn’t it.

    Ricciardo’s driving, “dive on the inside this lap, didn’t work?, well I’ll try around the outside next time”, He’s all about the confidence, about believing he can do it or that he can have the car do what HE wants. I think that is an awesome approach to racing. I hope he can maintain that mental dexterity for a long time. I’m grateful that we can have that sort of guy going racing.

      1. Excuse me if I don’t get myself across too well this time around.

        The message I tried to convey on my first attempt is that the thought of “He got lucky” being expressed by DR in the midst of a race gives us spectators a glimpse into how his brain works. Watching the race from our advantageous POV with replays and stats and what not shown on TV, we get to see that SV had always a large degree of control on pace. But Daniel, he was always in the mindset of “I’ll get him next time”, and those overtakes we’ve seen from him come from that attitude, I think it was Alonso last year and Pérez this season, who blocked Ricciardo on the first try, but where caught off guard when he almost immediately went for it again. I meant to express that we are lucky to have a driver who believes he can get close/pass/race a competitor regardless of the capabilities of his equipment. By the same token, of all the racers, he is the most sensitive to an untrustworthy car, when he has been beaten by DK it has been one-sided because, from what we got to witness in Singapore, he really believes he can do it or else, he’s not enjoying it.

        Thankfully, days like the former are more frequent than the latter.

        1. @faulty I’d make the opposite analysis. He lacks realism. Thinking you can get in front of the car ahead while the car ahead is just controlling the pace shows you don’t analyze the situation very well. I wouldn’t call that a quality.

  12. Ricciardo is being a bit silly and patronising. He was never in any position to challenge Vettel and if there had been no safety cars, the gap would have been even wider. Vettel proved that in the second stint when he toyed with Ricciardo for 8 laps and then suddenly pulled away, picking up over 2 seconds in a single lap. Maybe Vettel had heard about Ricciardo’s comment and wanted to show the latter who the lucky one really was.

    1. I was thinking the same, VET owned RIC today, but nobody bringing it up.

  13. Ricciardo just sounds silly, considering how much Vettel toyed with him after the SC, demonstrating that he can always up the pace. If anything, Ricciardo is the lucky one. Both times SC erased around 4-5 seconds of Vettel’s lead.

  14. @keithcollantine Maybe it’s just my computer, but for me it’s impossible to tick or untick the drivers in the graph.

  15. Vettel had pace in abundance. He had worse deg though. But that alone was enough? Meh, I don’t think so. If Ric undercut with 1st stop, Vettel could do with 2nd…. But who knows. After SC, Vettel didn’t pull away and for a long time there Ric was within DRS but nothing happened on track either. Vettel pulling away 2 second – AGAIN – was gobsmacking anyway.

  16. “After SC, Vettel didn’t pull away and for a long time there Ric was within DRS but nothing happened on track either.”

    I think that part of the stint was kind of embarrassing for Ric.

    1. I suspect it was (poor) strategy. The drive did not look like he was actually trying to pass VET. Perhaps they thought to somehow tire VET out, or at least his tyres, and pass him? I guess RIC’s strategy hinged on beating VET over a pit stop… Dangerous game in Singapore.

  17. Well Daniel’s statement was no sillier than Lewis saying he had the pace to win. If he did he was hiding it well until he had problems.

  18. @keithcollantine what does “very slow laps excluded” mean, when Max’s first was not excluded? Do you need help in implementing the Y-range selector? The plot is useless as it is now, because I want to have Max in, but zoom into the action at the bottom…

    I love these analysis articles, but the plots are not serving the designed purpose at all.

Comments are closed.