2017 Singapore Grand Prix stats preview

2017 Singapore Grand Prix

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For the first time in 2017 Sebastian Vettel will arrive at a race not in the lead of the world championship.

But as the slow Singapore course is expected to play to Ferrari’s strengths he has a good chance to reclaim the lead he lost to Lewis Hamilton at Monza.

No doubt Kimi Raikkonen would dearly love to seize the chance to end his 88-race race streak without a victory. But as he’s fallen 100 points behind Hamilton in the championship battle it’s unlikely Ferrari would be happy with him taking points of his team mate.

The ideal result for Ferrari would surely be a Vettel-led one-two. But heading into the tenth world championship Singapore Grand Prix no team has ever managed to finish first and second in this race.

The form book

Vettel will participate in a race weekend for the 200th time on Friday, though he won’t reach his 200th start until early next year. He has never failed to finish inside the top ten at Singapore. Even last year, when a technical problem in qualifying meant he lined up 22nd and last, he climbed his way up to finish fifth.

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017
Hulkenberg is likely to claim an unwanted record
He already holds the record for most Singapore Grand Prix victories with four, twice as many as any other driver. But he isn’t the only driver with good form at this track.

Since he joined Red Bull three years ago Daniel Ricciardo has never failed to stand on the podium in Singapore. He also set the fastest lap in the last two races.

And despite seldom having as competitive a car as that, Sergio Perez has never failed to finish in the points in this especially gruelling race. He’ll be after another good result this weekend as team mate Esteban Ocon, with whom he has already clashed on multiple occasions, is getting ever closer to overtaking him in the drivers’ championship.

But barring an extremely good weekend for Renault, Nico Hulkenberg is likely to leave Singapore having taken a new and unwanted record. If he doesn’t finish on the rostrum Hulkenberg will surpass Adrian Sutil’s record of starting 128 races without ever finishing on the podium.

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Race history

Saturday’s qualifying session will be crucial as seven of the previous nine Singapore Grands Prix have been won from pole position.

Vettel’s 2012 win is one of the exceptions: he started third behind Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado, both of which retired. And of course Fernando Alonso won the inaugural race from 15th on the grid thanks to Renault’s Crashgate conspiracy.

Nico Rosberg’s win last year by 0.488 seconds was the closest finish to any race since the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix. However it proved to be only the second-closest finish of 2016, as Rosberg followed Hamilton home by 0.439s in the tense finale at Abu Dhabi.

Lap times

The Singapore track was modified in 2015.


Source: Mercedes

Race ratings

Here’s how F1 Fanatic readers have rated the Singapore Grand Prix in recent years.

Join in Rate the Race when the chequered flag falls at the end of this year’s race. You will need a (free) F1 Fanatic account to participate:

2017 Singapore Grand Prix

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    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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    38 comments on “2017 Singapore Grand Prix stats preview”

    1. Come on Hulk, pull your finger out!

      ‘Renaults Crashgate conspiracy’ which wasn’t a conspiracy, but fact! Of course it was only a conspiracy for 11 months after the race happened before the truth came out.

      1. Palmer to purposely crash so Hulk can get a podium, in return for a seat next year? ;)

        1. I know this is just a joke, but will Palmer purposely crashing cost the team more money than Hulkenberg’s win brings them? :D

          1. Doesn’t matter, Renault have enough money, and Palmer would probably crash anyway, may as well orchestrate a win out of it ;)

            1. I could be going blank, but has Palmer even crashed out during the race this season? One thing I certainly know is that Hulkenberg had an incredibly clumsy moment in Baku and turned in too early and hit the wall. Another thing to add is that Palmer’s pace hasn’t actually been bad at all the past couple of race weekends. He actually was a fair bit better than Hulkenberg when qualifying at Spa.

            2. @thegianthogweed I think you’re taking my comment a bit too seriously there…

            3. Looks like I was. I should have read that differently. I read it thinking you were a Palmer hater actually predicting he would crash. Now I read it again, I don’t think you meant that.

        2. I was just about to say haha

      2. And Flavio is back on track…

      3. @unicron2002

        It was a conspiracy. Multiple people worked in secret to achieve a goal by breaking the rules. Just because they were discovered and it is an accepted fact doesn’t mean it wasn’t a conspiracy.

        You’re confusing a regular old conspiracy with a conspiracy theory.

        1. @unicron2002 @philipgb

          You’re confusing a regular old conspiracy with a conspiracy theory.


          1. Conspiracy theory and conspiracy… I’ve been schooled! So I guess I should have said it was a conspiracy theory for 11 months, and was then found out to be a conspiracy

            1. @unicron2002
              I’m not sure many people even believed it could be true until Piquet’s revelation. Still the biggest bombshell I can remember in F1.

      4. @unicron2002,
        An event being real, is a ‘fact’ ….a conspiracy exposed does not cease to be a fact.
        There was a conspiracy at Singapore involving two drivers and their management
        and was designed to affect the outcome of the race. The conspirators efforts succeeded
        in affecting the outcome of that race. All Real. All Fact.

        1. Sorry @loen but that’s not quite accurate – Renault managing director Flavio Briatore and chief engineer Pat Symonds ordered Nelson Piquet (Jr) to deliberately crash at a specified corner. All three were subsequently found guilty by the FIA. But:

          “During the course of the investigation and before the WMSC hearing, Alonso was absolved of any blame by the FIA.”

          Thus what you say – “There was a conspiracy at Singapore involving two drivers and their management” – is not “fact” but libel.

          1. The conspiracy certainly involved Alonso whether he knew or not, since the entire thing revolved around making him win the race.

            1. Let’s just separate FACTS from BELIEFS:

              FACTS: Alonso was cleared of wrongdoing; the FIA found no evidence that he or his mechanics knew anything about the scheme. Alonso was on an unusual strategy which saw him start with less fuel and had to pit as early as lap 12, something which Piquet later described as a “senseless strategy” and one that he would have questioned the team about had it been suggested to him. According to a Brazilian journalist, Felipe Massa did question Briatore about the crash at the time. As Massa had been leading at the time of the crash and then finished outside of the points, Hamilton won the 2008 DWC by one point.

              BELIEFS: Alonso was part of the conspiracy. There is no way Alonso did not know. The reason the results from the Singapore GP were not stricken (as they ought to have been) is because then Massa and not Hamilton would have been World Champion, something the FIA did not desire – there’s another conspiracy theory somewhere in there for you to mull over!

          2. Flav, Pat & Piquet Jnr all working for a Fernando win and you think Alonso was in the dark? Self-delusion is what I’d call it!

          3. Oh, puleeeeze!

            You really, really think that?

            The man considered the best race reader of his generation did not figure it out? I mean this guy is put forward every week as the best ‘racer’ ‘best race reader’ best awareness’ guy on the grid bar none yet somehow he falls into the very worst strategy the world has ever seen (well apart from some 2012 LH Macca ones) and we hear not a single peep?

            I have a bridge, one owner, low mileage and just painted going cheap…

            Or was the FIA a little keen to give him more of the same he received during the spygate affair….

            All to make sure they absolutely got those that really would not affect ‘the show’

            1. Drg, since none of us were involved, none of us can ever provide clear cut evidence either way on what Alonso may or may not have known.

              To play devil’s advocate though, it is not impossible that they could have persuaded Alonso it was an accident given that, before the Singapore GP, Piquet Jr had crashed out of a third of the races he’d taken part in during 2008.

              If you had a team mate who had been involved in accidents that frequently on track, I would imagine that your initial instinct would be to assume that he’d made yet another mistake. The problem is that, now we have the knowledge that it was a deliberate act, we’re often automatically assuming guilt on the part of those involved, even though they might well have not been told what was happening at the time.

              Furthermore, I might be mistaken on this point, but I have a recollection that Alonso did ask his pit wall why he was being called into the pits earlier than he’d expected.

    2. For the first time in 2017 Sebastian Vettel will arrive at a race, not in the lead of the world championship.


      1. Technically everyone is tied on points at Melbourne .. xD

        1. @redbullf1

          … So not in the lead 😜

          1. china…they were tied as well

            1. @cplchanb But Seb lead after that race due having taken his first win of the season earlier than Lewis had.

          2. @philipgb – He was in the lead arriving at Melbourne…

            … along with 19 others :-)

            1. @phylyp

              So he isn’t in a position of advantage, or you might say not in the lead.

    3. If the Renault/Sainz story is true then in many people’s eyes Renault will have one of the strongest line-up’s on the grid. Is this the best demonstration of reputation not matching statistics. Two very highly rated drivers without a podium between them in close to 200 starts. Of course, neither has had a truly front-running car yet, but surely questions must start to be asked of Hulkenberg when Perez, Grosjean, Maldonado, Stroll and Magnussen have all sprayed champagne.

      It’ll be an interesting year in 2018 if these rumours are true, some big reputations on the line!

      1. I’m not sure if it will be one of the strongest line ups. But we can have our different opinions. Hulkenberg hasn’t looked to be an outstanding driver in the past few years and he has made several mistakes. And Sainz has made 2 of the worst mistakes this season and has been responsible for more retirements than any other driver. Although overall, he has been pretty good. But I personally think both of these drivers are a little over rated. It will certainly make a stronger team than they are now, but I wouldn’t say one of the strongest line ups.

      2. Have to agree with @thegianthogweed on this one, although I hate to put Hulkenberg down because I’ve always believed he’s got the talent to by a WDC, but his performance has been getting worse rather than better. Sainz is fast, but he has repeatedly shown poor judgement, he reminds me of Perez in his early career.

    4. How much faster do you think this year’s pole lap will be compared to last year’s equivalent? I expect the gap to be something like 2.3, 2.4, or 2.5 seconds, so that would put this circuit behind Silverstone but ahead of Baku and Sochi on the list of how much improvement in ultimate lap time has been made from last season to this.

      1. I would say nearly 3.5 to 4.0 seconds since the 2017 cars have alot more mechanical grip and can put the power down quicker than the 2016 car.

        1. @Tyler Sanders @Michael I don’t expect that much improvement due to this circuit featuring primarily slow-speed corners, but I could be proven wrong, we shall see.

      2. a lot more. these machines are beasts.

    5. I always look forward to Singapore hugely. The race itself is usually a bit of a procession, but quite simply I love the way the cars look on the TV – and qualifying here is always pretty intense.

      Weather forecast says rain possible on Sunday – so how about it finally?! A wet night session – its about time. Has there ever been a lap turned in the wet here? I know there’s been rain during the weekend before but it always seems to clear up every night.

      1. @gitanes A wet race is unlikely to happen, as the possibility of rain isn’t forecasted for evening only for morning and or afternoon, and regarding your question: ”Has there ever been a lap turned in the wet here?” No, rain has never occurred during any practice, qualifying or race session so far same as with Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. It has only occurred either before or between any given sessions but never during a session.

    6. The fact is that Marina Bay has never hit 7.5 or above. Only the 2010 GP has the crown for years…

    Comments are closed.