Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2018

Hamilton extends title lead with Singapore win

2018 Singapore Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton controlled the Singapore Grand Prix to take his seventh win of the season and extend his championship lead over Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton was rarely pressured during the race as Max Verstappen took a strong second place ahead of Sebastian Vettel after passing the Ferrari throuugh pit strategy.

Valtteri Bottas finished fourth, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in fifth and Daniel Ricciardo in sixth.

As the lights went out, Hamilton led into turn one while Vettel pressured Verstappen for second place into turn one. Verstappen held position, but Vettel was able to power out of turn five and take the position from the Red Bull along the long straight leading to turn seven.

Behind, there was drama as the two Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon collided out of turn three, causing Ocon to crash into the outside wall and putting him out of the race.

The Safety Car was deployed as Ocon’s stricken car was cleared, with the race resuming on lap four with Hamilton leading Vettel and Verstappen.

Ferrari were the first to stop, pitting Vettel for Ultra Soft tyres at the end of lap 14. Mercedes immediately responded, bringing in Hamilton for Soft compound tyres a lap later and resuming ahead of Vettel, who was caught behind Sergio Perez’s Force India.

Vettel was eventually able to pass Perez, but the hold up proved costly as Verstappen was able to jump the Ferrari driver to reclaim the position after pitting on lap 17.

There was a scare for Hamilton when trying to lap a battling Sergey Sirotkin and Romain Grosjean, with the pair holding up the Mercedes driver and putting briefly under pressure from Verstappen. Hamilton was able to hold off Verstappen, while Grosjean received a five second time penalty for ignoring blue flags.

There was more drama involving Sergio Perez, who appeared to drive into the side of Sergey Sirotkin after passing the Williams driver after many frustrated laps behind him. The resulting damage left Perez with a puncture, as well as a drive-through penalty for his behaviour.

Hamilton was able to count down the remaining laps to take a comfortable win, his seventh of the season and fourth around the Marina Bay circuit.

Verstappen was eight seconds behind in second place, over 20 seconds ahead of Vettel’s Ferrari in third.

Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen finished in fourth and fifth with Daniel Ricciardo within sight of the pair in sixth.

Fernando Alonso took seventh for McLaren, 47 seconds adrift of Ricciardo, with Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc and Nico Hulkenberg rounding out the points.

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2018 Singapore Grand Prix reaction

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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158 comments on “Hamilton extends title lead with Singapore win”

  1. Hamilton despite the points-gap increasing to 40 is still destined to lose the WDC this season due to having won the Hungarian GP. Perez’s desperation, though. DOTD: Alonso with an honourable mention to Sirotkin.

    1. Is the Hungarian GP some kine of bogey superstition, and will Hamilton prove the exception.

      One more result like that and Hamilton can afford to come second for the remaining races and still take the title.

      1. I believe Hamilton can already afford to do that at this point if my maths is spot on

        1. if my maths is spot on

          It isn’t, Hamilton would lose by 2 points (6*7 = 42)

          1. Only 6 races left now, Russia, Japan, USA, Mexico, Brazil and Abu dhabi. and of those there is a high probability of rains during Brazil and Japanese GP and Ferrari dont work well around Abu Dhabi.

        2. Blazzz, if Vettel was to win every one of the last races with Hamilton second, Vettel would take the title by two points (Vettel would gain a net 42 points, with Hamilton only having a 40 point lead after this race).

          Ajaxn, I don’t know where Jere is getting the strange idea that, because Hamilton won in Hungary, he won’t win the title – it almost sounds like a slightly desperate attempt to invoke some sort of mystical “fate” or “destiny”, as he doesn’t seem to have made any attempt to offer any sort of rational judgement.

          There are several circuits where there has been an extended streak of a driver winning there and not winning the title, so why Hungary should be any different – especially since there have been a number of drivers who have actually won the Hungarian Grand Prix on the way to winning the title in the past.

      2. It’s a very, very recent superstition, probably only from the last few years and the whole ‘winner of hungary doesn’t win championship’ has had more to do with cars being more track specific than ever now rather than some guiding hand of fate.

        1. @nikkit Not so recent anymore since this coincidental phenomenon has been going on for 13 years already.

        2. Todays win shows how far Mercedes has come, whilst they still struggle behind other cars for downforce, they seem to have as much pace out of the corners eg traction, as Red bull and Ferrari.

          As Totto says, they have looked at Spa and made improvements to the car.

      3. @Ajaxn Yes as since 2005 no driver has won both that race as well as the WDC the same season.

        1. Was Mercedes particularly ‘lucky’ when they won in Hungary. I’ll have to check to see if they won by default, ie due to the mistakes of others, or because their car was better suited to that track.

          Coming back to Singapore, if Mercedes was luckly last year, this year its all been about the car and of course their drivers. Without the petty squabbles between one side of the garage and the other, the team proved the match of any other.

          Now imagine if Mercedes hadn’t been trying so hard at the start of the season the manufacture a win for Bottas. ..enough said.

        2. @jerejj correlation is not causation. repeat after me…

      4. Last time winner of Hungarian GP won the title was back in 2003 since then winner of hungarian gp has lost the driver title. But there is always someone who breaks the pattern and before 2003 winner of Hungarian GP regularly won the drivers title.

        1. In 2003 Alonso won the Hungarian Grand Prix and Schumacher won the title. 2004 was the last year someone won the Hungarian GP and the title (again Schumacher.)

        2. 2004 actually.

    2. The winner of the Italian GP have all gone one to win the championship since 2013.

      1. Best reply ever!! lol

    3. I don’t believe in superstition, it only brings bad luck ;)

  2. Vettel seems to be closing in on the Alonso at Ferrari point. Close but never quite there when it counts and finally loosing out despite a fast car.

    1. Exactly! The last races seem to go wrong and more wrong for Vettel and Ferrari. 40 points at this point with the races Hamilton pulls will be difficult…

      1. All things being equal, Hamilton will win the chip…..but it’s racing, what team will suffer engine/mguk issues that cost points? Both Merc and Ferrari are on their last engine package for Hamilton/Vettel respectively, so any engine trouble in a race will be devastating. Engine trouble in qualifying sends you to the back of the grid. I hope the draconian engine rules in F1 don’t determine who wins the championship.

        1. Yep, anything can still happen. You’d only need a couple of the Ferrari powered Haas cars, as back markers, to take out the Merc after its first pit stop, to change the course of the championship. ;(

          We’ve had a hint of what’s possible as back markers ignore the blue flags and continue their own scraps for position.

          There should be a rule which says lapped cars can’t over take whilst they are on a blue flag. This way they can let the leaders by, without fear of giving up a position.

          Just saying…

        2. The plus for Hamilton is his engine has one less race weekend than Vet – Merc didn’t change to their 2nd engine in Canada like everyone else.

    2. He definitely has a much more competitive car than Alonso ever had at Ferrari…

      1. Alonso’s 2012 season is still one of the best.
        Third fastest car, sometimes fourth fastest.
        At the beginning of the year, his fight was with Williams and Sauber, and he still only lost by three points because both Lotus drivers hit him into a DNF in two different races.

        It’s a real shame he couldn’t get the title for Ferrari. To this day they still love him because of his passion and commitment on the track. A little consolation, i suppose.

    3. @unitedkingdomracing – Except Alonso didn’t have the fastest car or at par car at the time. It was more down to the team not giving him the tools. Vettel is down to his own mistakes! Almost similar but not exactly same situation in my opinion!

      1. @architjain07 In that perspective its more like Raikönnen at McLaren in 2003 and 2005, yes. But its not only Vettels mistakes Ferraris strategy often is not up to it as well.

        1. So far its 80% Vettel mistakes

    4. @unitedkingdomracing

      When did Alonso have a fast Ferrari?

      1. @bigjoe In 2010 and 2012 it was reasonably fast. But as for Vettel the strategy often was bad.

        1. @unitedkingdomracing
          In 2010 Ferrari was a good package overall but not as fast as RB6 with the flexi wings and blow diffuser or the McLaren with the F-duct. The team fell out in the development path earlier in the season when they put all their resources to copy the F-duct and then realized that RBR exhaust blowing into the diffuser are the real deal. which were introduced at Valencia. Fernando kept it to the last race due to some memorable unbelievable performances (Monza,Singapore,Korea) and his opportunistic driving capitalizing on RBR reliability issues and their drivers making mistakes. The F10, pace wise was never on par with the MP4-25, let alone the RB6.
          As for the F2012, the car was a complete disaster from its birth till European season opener Barcelona, it was slow, undrivable, slides too much and overheats its tyres. Ironically Alonso was leading the WDC at that time.
          In the Singapore GP RBR introduced an extreme version of the DDRS that enhanced and I don’t know how the diffuser efficiency. From that point it was already game over because the F2012 has already reached its development peak earlier in the season, Ferrari for the remainder of the season managed only to enhance the drivability of the car but not the performance, that’s why Massa was very close and even sometimes faster than Alonso by the end of the season. The F2012 was never faster than the MP4-27,the RB8 and even the Lotus.

          1. If Fernando was in the Ferrari for this season he would be leading the championship by a larger margin than Lewis is at this moment.

    5. I think Alonso never quite got the WDC at Ferrari due to the cars lack of pace (no working wind tunnel) AND Ferrari’s horrendous strategy calls – especially in 2010 when they had the lead in points at the last race but concentrated on Weber instead of Vettel and lost Alonso the championship. they admit as much.

      Vettel however, has the car and has screwed himself and his team by mistakes last year and especially this year although Ferrari have made some of their own boo boos. There is no good reason Hamilton should have the lead he has. Yes, he has had a good year but Vettel has thrown an estimated 50 points away – he should be leading although it would be close.

      It’s a shame the WDC has all but been decided with 6 races to go. This would not be the case if ALO or probably RIC were in his seat. At least ROS made it interesting! The politics in F1 is its downfall but it will never change. Ferrari and Merc are quite content to have “butlers” contrary to their claims.

      I the end though Vettel hasn’t shown the “stuff” it takes to be a champion. Ferrari will stick with him another year and the same will happen. Meanwhile Alonso will be in Indy car because he isn’t politically correct enough. Meanwhile F1 continues to be the same predictable parade as ever.

    6. You were batting 1000% until the “fast car” part.
      Alonso didn’t have the fast car – he made the most out of what he had and didn’t throw points away.
      Ferrari lost him the WDC at the last race in 2010 on a bad strategy call. They admit as much.
      No excuses for Vettel. His grade this year would be a C at best. If he loses the WDC, he is going to shoulder the blame, not Ferrari.
      Alonso he’s not – and don’t think the Tifosi aren’t aware of that fact.

  3. Ferrari is an embarrassment. They need to regroup and get their heads together because this year, everyone has been embarrassing. Raikkonen is the only one who deserves an exception.

    1. I don’t believe Ferrari has done much wrong, other than not being able to get Vettel to keet a cool head often.
      Monza, there was a long race within which there was enough time to switch the two cars.
      Germany: I don’t know what Ferrari could have done apart from give Vettel an umbrella.

      1. Ferrari has destroyed Vettel’s strategy in China with a slow pit stop, in Spain by putting him behind Max and not being able to overtake, in Hungary where they kept him out and he was stuck behind Bottas for many laps and today in Singapore.

        1. And what about Vettel making so many mistakes when all of them could be avoided. The team gave him the fastest car and he is still not able to capitalize. You win as a team and lose as a team. So I would the blame equally on both the team and the driver mate!

        2. Alright, mistakes by FERRARI, in GENERAL:

          -Bahrain: Failed pit stop on Kimi. Mechanic gets injured and needed to have a leg operation.
          -China: Falling asleep and pit stop mistake in Bahrain allowed Bottas to jump him in the pit stops. Although no one was stopping the 2 Red Bulls from winning the race.
          -Baku: Vettel tries a dive bomb on Bottas and lost a clear win. Valterri retired after that.
          -Spain: Wrong stop got Vettel boxed in behind Verstappen. Podium lost.
          -Austria: Vettel gets a grid penalty for blocking Sainz.Possible win lost since the 2 Mercedes retired.
          -Germany: Late decision to use team orders allowed Hamilton to get within striking distance of Vettel and Vettel crashed under heavy rain conditions. Win lost.
          – Hungary: Too long kept out kept Vettel behind Bottas. Possible win, though a long shot was lost.
          – Belgium: Raikkonen’s fuel was messed up during Q3. Possible 1-2 lost.
          – Italy: Ferrari chose the wrong driver to give the tow. I am sure Vettel would have gotten pole and would have won had he started on Pole. This lead to Vettel being in trouble with Hamilton. Possible 1-2 lost or 1-3 lost.
          – Singapore: Ferrari not doing proper preparations and a wrong decision cost them a possible pole position and a win. Win lost.

          Have I forgotten anything else?

          1. France: Vettel collided with Bottas and costing them a podium and a possible win.

          2. And let’s not forget that move by Vettel on Hamilton in Monza.

            As Vettel said, it was ‘ironic’ that he spun around instead of Hamilton. If you listen to his interview about that incident, his words kind of betrays his intentions. He saw an opportunity to take out Hamilton and paid ‘ironically’ for it.

            The same with the Farrari pincer move last year in Singapore. This all goes back to the culture of Ferrari, a rather natorious history which most seem ignorant of. This must play a part on the mentality of their drivers.

            God forbid a driver like verstappen should ever gets tempted to join Ferrari. [as rumored]

          3. If you listen to his interview about that incident, his words kind of betrays his intentions. He saw an opportunity to take out Hamilton and paid ‘ironically’ for it.

            Nice that someone else has picked up on this.

          4. I commented on that last week. To me, listening to him admit confusion as to why he got turned around instead of Lewis, as well as from watching his on board replay (as well as his dead calm radio message about “where did he want to go”… when’s the last time you’ve heard Vettel be calm on the radio when he genuinely felt he got wronged on track??? That was as good as a confession, IMO), I believe Vettel knew exactly what he was doing & risked the collision. The line that Kimi took showed that there was enough room on the inside for Vettel to avoid Lewis. Compared to Hamilton’s on board, when he got hit by Vettel he immediately counter steered & caught his car before it could pirouette. Even Brundle and company commented on how unusual it was that the car on the outside got turned around, so apparently it’s common knowledge. Hamilton’s quick hands are all that saved him.

    2. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      16th September 2018, 16:04

      The car is good, Raikkonen is decent, Vettel just can’t handle the pressure. Ricciardo or Hamilton might’ve pretty well won the title with last year’s car

      1. Vettel’s fans defending their under performing idol….& turning their knives on Ferrari, a team that has given him a championship winning car.

      2. I’m not sure about Riccardo anymore. Max is mopping the floor with him right now.

        1. Max gets all the focus no wonder ricciardo waited till the last minute to announce he was leaving red bull

          1. He is a great driver in my opinion, but he lacks one lap pace. That is the reason a I doubt he would be leading the championship with this year’s Ferrari.

        2. He set fasted again lap in Singapore, I think that’s around 8 this yr. In race setup he is as fast as Verstappen.

          1. To be fair he had much newer tyres and those tyres were also softer than the ones on Verstappens car… It was pretty certain that he would set the fastest lap. In fact there would be questions to be answered if he hadn’t!

  4. Massive failure by Ferrari. Game over now, Mercedes has recovered some speed and is 40 points clear… Hamilton knows his game, and he’s been fast, solid, reliable almost all season. I can’t see him dropping the ball just now, he has this one in the bag.

    1. Yup, pretty much well summed up there. Not that Mercedes had a huge slump, if any at all, but yeah. It feels like too steep a hill to climb now.

    2. Enlighten us what was the failure! They had the 3rd best car.

      1. They didn’t.

      2. Well, Vettel got up to second on track only for Ferrari to throw it away.

      3. lol you mean the 3rd best driver today.

      4. Not sure about the 3rd best car, maybe they just had the 3rd best driver in this race @mg1982 – Bottas wasn’t faster than Vettel, neither was Ricciardo, but after yesterday the Ferrari’s had the penalty of starting behind to fast(er?) guys/cars, and as we can see from the top 6 finishing in that order, from there they didn’t have enough to change much on this track (good start, 1st lap from Vettel though, on of the highlights from the race, I guess). So it could also be that those three cars are more or less on the same pace here, with the difference being made by (lack of) small errors from team and driver.

      5. @mg1982 for one they were second and lost a position on strategy. And then they put Vettel on a tyre they had no chance to battle with. Even if they got Hamilton the chances of them being able to register pressure yet keep the tyre alive was slim if anything running 3rd saved them of the embarrassment. They were able to save tyres and hold o to that third place. But the car and driver were capable of much more

    3. I remember when the championship was over in Canada, then Silverstone, then Hungary, then Spa, and now here.

      1. Safe to say ita pretty much over. It could go Seb’s way but highly unlikely!

      2. It’s funny you say they had the 3rd best car @mg1982

        If that’s the case why are Ferrari gutted with 3rd place. By your logic today is a fantastic result to be able to get a podium…

        Now, the real reason they look gutted is because they were expecting to dominate here. They put Vettel out in bad track position yesterday which hurt his laptime. Vettel was then very poor on his second lap making a mistake after setting the fastest first sector time.

        Both Mercedes and RedBull were slower this weekend but their drivers made the difference.

  5. Tough to stop in that Mercedes.

    Mercedes have found something since Spa — not that the Mercedes was lacking in top end speed at Spa it was as quick as the Ferrari despite what Hammy and Mercedes claimed (the Force India nearly passed the Ferrari).

    What has happened to Ferrari? Vettel had the third best car today. Probably did the best he could do.

    Hammy’s title to lose now.

    Vettel throwing away a net 32 points in Germany might not even matter given the speed Mercedes has found.

    Fastest car at Monza and now fastest at Singapore. I wonder what they are doing?

    1. You mean Mercedes have been better in Spa where they were beat by the clearly quicker Ferrari. Or in Monza again where the faster Ferrari had a 1-2 and should have had an easy win but for Vettels terrible driving. Or in Singapore where Ferrari again looked faster but dropped the ball in qualifying and a terrible race strategy.

      I have a tip for you anon, if you watch the races without those red tints on you’ll see things much more clear.

      How can you say Vettel throwing away 32 points won’t matter when the lead is only 40 points ?

      On second thoughts maybe your replica Vettel helmet blocking your vision too.

        1. You’ve used the wrong account there @mg1982

      1. Come on, the Mercedes was a beast this weekend. Hamilton was managing the pace throughout all the race. They maybe had some problems in Belgium, but in Italy they were at least as quick, and in Singapore they clearly had once again a great car. Even James Allison just said they were able to give him a great car this weekend to work with.

      2. Haha. Always nice reading comments like anon’s every time Lewis wins. They cast about for all manner of excuses to avoid crediting the man with his successes. Some of the stuff anon writes is surreal, like he lives in a parallel f1 universe with an alternate reality. Reminds me of Saddam’s vice president as US troops took over Baghdad – dude kept saying the Iraqis were ‘defeating the American imperialists’ even as we watched US soldiers taking over the city in the background. Hahahaha!

      3. Ferrari were marginally quicker at Spa, but Hammy was ridiculous talking about the Ferrari blowing past him. The Force India blew past him and (nearly) Vettel as well. It was all slipstream. The Mercedes was just as quick in the straight.

        Everyone thought Ferrari at Monza would have an edge with this supposed horsepower advantage that Hammy and Mercedes talk about every opportunity, but Mercedes were clearly the quickest car in the race.

        Singapore was supposed to be a Ferrari circuit, again Mercedes clearly the strongest car. Ferrari were probably third best car. Equal with RBR at best. Mercedes clearly the quickest car.

        Hungary, Mercedes had a commanding 1-2 albeit in changeable conditions.

        1. Revenge of the anonymous, clearly defending his under performing hero. I would not even be surprised when you also support yourself with your real name. When all the paddock is stating that Ferrari has a championship winning car, you differ and attack Lewis while hiding in anonymity. One thing that is separating championship contenders here, is drivers performance.

          1. People are playing psychological games with Ferrari.

            – Mercedes quickest in Melbourne but Vettel one because of the virtual safety car.
            – Bahrain the Mercedes was quickest with Bottas simply unable to pass Vettel due to his brilliant defending.
            – Mercedes quickest in Shanghai. RBR got them on strategy. Vettel’s race destroyed by Verstappen error.
            – Mercedes dominant in Spain.
            – Ferrari quickest in Baku. Vettel made error.
            – RBR fastest in Monaco.
            – Canada was very close. Hamilton was poor in qualifying, Bottas was only a tenth behind Vettel and 7 seconds behind in the race. Hard to say who had the better car.
            – France Mercedes qualified 1-2, finished 1-2. Mercedes quickest.
            – Austria is tough to call because Mercedes were managing a fuel pressure problem in Hammy’s car and messed up his strategy.
            – Britain was tough to call. Hamilton and Kimi tangled at the start. I think Mercedes was quickest although this is debatable. Hamilton had a slow start and then got caught up with Kimi (should have been more cautious and left more room given what he had at stake).
            – Germany, Ferrari quickest Vettel made stupid mistake.
            – Hungary Mercedes quickest in qualifying conditions. I’m not sure Ferrari was quickest in the race. Mercedes sacrificed Bottas to use him as a reargunner for Hammy. Vettel on fresh tyres couldn’t pass Bottas on older tyres.
            – Spa, Ferrari quickest but not by as much as Mercedes will tell you.
            – Monza – Mercedes showed they were quickest in the race.
            – Singapore Mercedes quickest.

          2. People are playing psychological games with Ferra

            Given the rest of your post I assume you are talking about yourself? Funny how people show their bias.

            How about this:
            China: Vettel got caught up with Verstappen (should have been more cautious and left more room given what he had at stake)
            Britain: Hamilton’s race destroyed by Raikkonen error.

            Point made I think.

            Hungary: Bottas was not sacrificed. That you would say that shows how little you know. If Mercedes wanted to use Bottas as a rear gunner they would never have pitted him when Kimi pitted, giving Vettel free air. Bottas pitting when he did gave Vettel a much better chance to make his strategy work and possibly win. It is an unarguable fact that Merc were running Bottas race to get Bottas his best finishing position (and he was a few laps off of finishing second so it almost worked).

            Monza: Ferrari take 1-2 in qualy and anon goes “Yep Mercedes have the faster car” Ferrari had the faster car in Monza, that is obvious.

            Singapore: Hamilton quickest, Mercedes probably joint second with RBR.

          3. How about this:
            China: Vettel got caught up with Verstappen (should have been more cautious and left more room given what he had at stake)
            Britain: Hamilton’s race destroyed by Raikkonen error.

            The difference is that Hammy put the squeeze on Kimi in the chaos of the first few corners.

            Vettel was in the middle of the race and left more than enough room. Vettel was overly cautious if anything.

          4. You just can’t help yourself

            Hamilton left more than enough room, he didn’t squeeze Kimi in the slightest.

    2. Vettel has throw this championship away so far, had the car to do it easily and hasn’t delivered. Hamilton doing the business

      1. It’s a mirror image of last season.

        I don’t know what it is, but both Lewis and Merc manage to time their form to perfection, they get their teething troubles out of the way in the first part of the season then at this time of the season Lewis puts the afterburners on and builds a nice cushion for the last part of the season.

        1. Ferrari had a worse car last season.

          Mercedes suddenly have some new tricks. I don’t know what they’re doing.

          Ferrari had a slight edge at Spa, but at Monza and Singapore the Mercedes has been the quickest car. I’m not sure what tricks they are using, I just hope everything is above board.

          1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
            16th September 2018, 16:07

            Ferrari had a good car last season. vettel just ****** up multiple times (Baku, Singapore). People like to forget how close Vettel and Hamilton were in Spa. vettel was glued to hamilton’s rear. He threw his chance away all by himself

          2. Doesn’t matter how many times you repeat it Ferrari had the faster car in Monza. Look at how close Vettel was to Bottas after making 2 pitstops and driving from the back with a heavily damaged car.

            Ferrari also had the fastest car in Singapore. Vettel said himself after qualy, as he did in Spa and as Raikkonen did in Hungary. This is undeniable.

            Also not sure why you keep saying tricks, no one said Ferrari were using tricks. Hmmmmm

            At the end of the day Vettel should have had pole in Hungary, Spa, Monza and Singapore and he didn’t, that’s down to him not the car.

          3. Vettel always tries to be positive and talks up the chances of his car, whereas Hammy looks to downplay the strength of his car. Just my observation.

          4. And Raikkonen does too?

            Just my observation

            Just your bias more like. Makes your posts laughable.

          5. But fine don’t believe Vettel. Both Ferrari and Red Bull set faster individual sectors than Hamilton’s fastest lap in Qualy, Hamilton however was the driver to pull it all together in one perfect lap against cars that could have gone quicker.

          6. I get the irony you are are trying to use for laughs anon but it’s a big fail from me. If we are in the realms of imaginative theories then how about: Ferrari have been caught doing something untoward and have been told by the FIA to remove the device? Didn’t they change their floor this weekend? All speculation of course… just like your speculative attempts to drum up laughs at your ironic nonsense.
            Lewis has been the difference for several years. Ferraris and VETs incompetence has helped but if you can’t acknowledge what a great driver lewis is then the ounce of credibility you may have had goes up in smoke. Enjoy the rest of the season

          7. OK, my bad. I’m sorry fellas, I just very strongly don’t like Hammy and can’t quite bring myself to accept that he’s a great driver.

    3. I am wondering if the FIA found something during their review of the Ferrari battery that they made Ferrari stop running.

      It may just be my mind, but Ferrari seems to be off by just a little bit since that review. Did something get taken away that was given them just a little bit of edge?

  6. All fanboyism aside, Mercedes and Lewis deserves the championship this year. They’ve been performing at the top of their game consistently almost all races this season. Ferrari needed their A-game to beat the Mercedes beast, and they’ve dropped the ball a lot, on the track, and in the garage with their strategy.

  7. Scintillating race, made even more so by the back markers squabbling for position.

    Sirotkin should have got 5 second penalty for holding Lewis up too.

    Really sad for Force India, they lost out on some great points, by the collision and also sticking Perez back out behind Sirotkin

    1. Sirotkin didn’t actually hold Lewis because he was ahead of Grosjean, and was pulling to the side when Grosjean went past. But at that point, Lewis was unnerved by Grosjean and was already extra cautious.

      1. I do think Sirotkin should have had a 5 sec penalty as @9chris9 says @OOliver, but not so much for that moment (think you might be right about that one), but for holding Hamilton up so much that the ~4-5s gap to Verstappen got down to 1.5s before they let him through; I guess he was fair because he then lost Verstappen about the same gap again after, so the didn’t give it to him (maybe 2x5s was appropriate there?).

        1. Will say this: I do think that bit of (lack of) blue flaggery was a bit insane, though it helped at least bring the optics of a closer fought race for a bit, even if nothing was going to actually happen, so I am not saying they necessarily need to be stricter with blue flags (Bottas really should have just gotten past Hulkenberg I think), but I do think in this case it did end up being a bit hairy, so with the current rules, that wasn’t a good situation from the backmarkers.

          1. About, Bottas.

            If Hamilton wins the Driver Championship, then it will be Bottas who wins them the Manufactures.

            Bottas drove a safe race, he didn’t over tax his tires clawing unnecesarily for a position. He did enough to keep his rival #2 behind him. I think that’s what you need at this stage of the season. It would not have benefited Bottas or Mercedes to have him race Hulkenburg.

            Just look at the points squandared by Force India, as an example.

        2. @bosyber no Sirotkin deserved no penalty for that – he was ahead of Grosjean, who was also being lapped – what’s he supposed to do, let Grosjean past as well? As I remember he got out of the way immediately once Grosjean had passed. If anyone deserved a penalty it was Grosjean.

          1. They both should have moved out of the way sooner @tflb, that’s my point; Grosjean did get a 5s penalty …

          2. @bosyber that’s nothing to do with Sirotkin then is it, you can’t get out of the way of a car that’s not actually behind you. 100 percent Grosjean’s problem.

          3. @tflb
            The waved blues would have been for both Romsin and Sirotkin as they both where within 1.2 seconds of Lewis.

            Max was on Lewis’s axle and Lewis had to defend hard whilst overtaking the back markets, he effectively lost his lead over Max because of the back markers.

            The problem was severe enough for Charlie Whiting to apologise to Lewis after the race.

            Sirotkin was a mobile checaine all afternoon, yes Romain wanted to take advantage of the blues to get past which effectively emphasis how much of a problem Sirotkin was.

          4. @9chris9 he wasn’t actually a mobile chicane, he was keeping pace a few seconds behind his teammate and maybe set for the points until Perez whacked him. And you can’t expect him to get out of the way while Grosjean is still attacking. You clearly don’t understand racing. Sirotkin got out of the way immediately once Grosjean was past, which is more than can be said of Grosjean.

          5. @tflb

            They both should have got out of the way. Yes Grosjean was trying to use the blues to aid him to get past Sirotkin, Grosjean and others where much faster than Sirotkin and where hampered by him blocking. Did you hear what Checco was saying to his team before he made contact?

            I’m all for defensive driving, but Sirotkin was basically blocking, even almost changing the race leader. If he had more equal machinery to those trying to get past I’d be supporting him, he was more like Max blocking Bottas in Monza because he was petulant and had a slower car.

          6. @9chris9 At that point I don’t think Sirotkin was doing anything extreme defensively, just sticking to his line. Hard to overtake round Singapore! Crossed the line later with Hartley though.

      2. I disagree, both GRO & SIR should have yielded the fight. They were both within 1.2 seconds of Lewis and subject to the flag.

        It is not uncommon that 2 cars fighting both have to back out of the fight so the leader can pass.

        1. Peoplke, A blue fag only requiresone to get out of the way of the lapping car behind you. No requirement to get out of the way of a car lapping someone else!

    2. The strategist for Force India needs to be fired immediately. Terrible. Not the first time either.

    3. @9chris9 Sirotkin served his 5 second penalty at his second pit stop, didnt you notice that?

      1. @flyingbasil that was forbthe incident with Hartley, not the same.

        1. @tflb my mistake then

  8. Karma to Perez for booting out Ocon.

  9. Man of the weekend..clearly put the car on pole and pulled away in the race…bit of tactics at the start and then a defensive move while crossing backmarkers. Other than that put in the requisite effort to have a nice clean race and extend the championship lead.

    1. “i dont believe him” :)

  10. Congrats to Lewis you are the best. Hopefully he keeps going and beats Schumacher’s record and also Fangio as the oldest champion.

  11. Lewis will be Champion again. Not surprising Perez did not do Ferrari any favors since his Ferrari academy means nothing to them.

  12. Ferrari screwed their strategy. Coming in early when HAM was going quick was never going to work and going to the Ultrasoft was only ever going to work if they came out ahead.

    Still, great drives from Lewis and Max yesterday and today.

    After replays, Sergio looks terrible on two occasions. Lucky to get away with one minor penalty.

  13. Checo is a dirty racer!

  14. This season, just like last season, Vettel and Ferrari have unravelled. It’s laughable to see the Vettel apologists putting the blame squarely on the team. Team wasn’t to blame for the lockup in Baku,spin in Italy or sticking it in the barriers in Germany. I just sense that the Vettel/Ferrari partnership is in its twilight year(s) now.

    Well done to Lewis, blistering qualy lap and a well controlled race converting pole to victory. I don’t think Vettel and Ferrari have enough in the tank to turn this situation around tbh. Especially if as James Allison said, Merc have sorted out their tyre issues.

  15. Lewis has almost erased his below average start to the season.

    1. His season start wasn’t even that bad, and he’s certainly more than made up for it now taking poles and wins that by rights should have been Ferrari’s.

    2. Once again, that was all down to Mercedes micro managment – they knew come the end of the season Bottas wouldn’t get a look in, so they tried and failed to manufacture a win for Bottas, all at the expence of Lewis and his confidence.

      Botton line, you don’t have a four time world champion, under performing in that way, without there being some other cause. I believe the cause was down to the way Lewis’ car/tire preassure etc was setup. Ditto with Rosberg… but enough said.

      Now of course with things so tight, they can’t afford to play at favorites and so everyone at Mercedes has to pull in the same direction.

      If Lewis manages to win the Championship with a a race or two to spare, you might again see Bottas with the advantage and a chance to claim a win, with Hamilton doing everything to assist him.

  16. If Lewis stick with Mercedes for at least 3 more seasons I’m pretty sure he will beat Schumacher’s record of most wins in formula 1, he is “only” 22 behind.

    1. Next year’s going to be tight, and then we’ll have the new rules which will no doubt allow another team to have the advantage.

      1. Unless something goes badly wrong Mercedes will be competitive. They have a beautiful base to build their next year’s car from.

  17. Just a thought: why did the race director send the safety car out so early and deprive us of whatever might have happened on the rest of lap 1? The safety car was not required until the start/finish straight, not half a lap before! For this half lap it literally had no purpose, as all the cars had passed the incident.

    1. They were just waiting for Vettel to get past Verstappen :oP
      I agree, it seemed to be called too early.

      1. @david-br

        i disagree: it was 100% safety issue car being on the racing line and debris on the racing line, and car wouldnt be pushed out easily… For some reason like SPA, they just waited too long… SPA was even more dangerous but they mumbled their reason as being they could have SC/VSC to and drive cars through pit etc either car was SC still, last time GRo involved in SPA first corner, SC called at EU ROUGE already, this time, they waited till Vettel’s pass at the end of the straight and then straight away SC called once pass confirmed… similar here… like vettel said “i dont believe him” “charlie in this case

        1. @mysticus It depends whether they had time to remove the worst debris before the cars made the first lap back to the incident, I doubt it but didn’t see. If not, then it’s kind of irrelevant as long as the lead driver has slowed down behind the SC before the incident. I guess it’s better being safe, however it’s deeply frustrating when one of the few moments of real incident and position swapping in the race, the first lap, gets aborted after a couple of corners.

          I agree it looked highly convenient for Vettel, just enough time to pass Verstappen, no time for the latter to try to respond, but lucky I guess (I don’t see why Whiting etc. would favour Vettel in particular in a rapid decision like that, different to when the stewards have more time to decide and teams can apply pressure).

          1. i understand “depends” part, but what i dont understand at exact same situation, they make totally different decisions… vettel may very well be the lucky guy in both, but come on, he passed ham, SC called instantly… he passed max, SC called instantly… it just almost seems someone’s finger waiting to press the button two times now happens after a guy completes overtake… i give that a big questionable benefit of doubt… but lets see until next time this happen… and same coincidence happen?

    2. On the contrary I think they left it way too long. Was obvious that the car was coming to a halt on the racing line moments after the incident. Plus…all the debris on the racing line… blatant Safety car immediately for me. VET got lucky with that call.

  18. Not a massively interesting race really. Perez deserves a race ban for what he did to Sirotkin (who looked like he could have been on for a point before then) and both Ferrari and Force India need to sort out their strategy teams! Also, the Sky commentators were awful, so innacurate and uninterested in paying any attention to those outside the top teams. Channel 4 so much better, will be missed from live coverage next year.

  19. Marchionne’s death seems to have impacted the Ferrari team and not in a good way . They seem to to making a lot of mistakes and more complacent -making bad strategy decisions . Marcchionne was a real figurehead who demanded the team intense and focussed now that seems to have gone . They need to rediscover . Swapping in Charles for Kimi will do nothing next year unless the whole team improves.

  20. Ferrari’s aggressive bunker mentality worked until around the same point last season, when Vettel’s excessive defense cost them the double DNF, put them under pressure to overcook the engine to make up the points lost and led to mechanical issues in the following races.

    This year that aggression seems to have turned inward with Vettel giving clear (and possible too many) signs about being unhappy/despondent about team decisions last race and this – when the team can rightly point to his own opening lap mistake at Monza, an error in practice losing them data time, and a so-so performance in qualifying. They’ll need to regroup or need a big dose of luck in Russia to get back in the fight. It’s almost over at this point with their current mentality.

  21. Well, at least the first half of the season was exciting. Wake me up in February for preseason testing.

    1. Yep. It’s over now. Not the season Hamilton won bit the one Vettel lost.

    2. Mercedes winning leads to dull races. There is a direct correlation between Hamilton winning and the races being boring as hell.

  22. Vettel gets a lot of flak, but why isn’t Kimi fighting for this championship? I sometimes feel sorry for the pressure on Vettel simply because he’s basically been consistently the better of the two drivers for probably the same salary.

    1. same salary? i spit all my coffee out of the window :)

      constantly winding/burning kimi as wingman and not let him race, and now saying they are letting their drivers race at the end is “yoke” after they told him they are “promoting” him to glorious “sauber”

  23. When ferrari had the best driver, they couldn’t produce the best car. Now that they have the best car, they dont have the driver or the strategists to win with it. Sad times for a ferrari fan.

    1. @knightameer

      It’s never too late. They could always give him a call to replace Vettel for next season.

  24. I don’t think Ferrari’s ‘car advantage’ was ever quite as large as people seemed to think, and combined with their overall pace at Monza… I’d say they’re a little bit behind now. Which is typical of Ferrari – they have a strong package to start with and then seem unable to carry it throughout the whole year. It’s no doubt a very good car but they don’t seem to know what to do with it and are generally useless at development races while Mercedes are owning them on it.

    Their strategy has been baffling at times. Martin Brundle said that Vettel seems to try to dictate strategy from the cockpit – as though he has no trust in the pitwall, and he’s probably right given the frequency Ferrari are either too slow to react or react without apparent thought. If the driver’s got no confidence in the desicion making behind the scenes then his mind’s elsewhere, which I think leads to brain fade. Red Bull were far superior here and still are.

    Combine that with Vettel making an error here and there – some 100% his fault and others largely bad luck, and you can easily see why Ferrari’s championship hopes are fading. Pinning the blame on Vettel solely is unfair; the bloke’s not a 4 time WDC by accident and all of the ‘top’ drivers are capable of messing up in ridiculous ways. It’s worth pointing out that for now two years Vettel is the only driver to put up a strong challenge against Hamilton and beat him.

    This current ‘predicament’ to me is more their inability to keep development on a clearly well-designed car and then dither and panic over strategy, while apparently expecting Vettel to fill in the gaps. This is exactly what they did with Alonso – their strategies were repeatedly terrible and they just expected him to make it up, leading to him ‘dictating’ to the team. People say that Ferrari should get rid of Vettel but for who? If both Alonso and Vettel aren’t able to fully close the deal then who is? The driver clearly isn’t the problem here. They could put Hamilton in that car and it’d make no difference to their fundamental shortcomings and they’d still be ‘so close, yet so far’. Even if Vettel left the same thing will happen to Leclerc.

    To be honest I respect Vettel ‘defending’ the team but privately he probably sees why Alonso stormed out, and unless they work out how to develop a car like Mercedes and run strategy like Red Bull, they’re never going to win regardless of how many millions they spend or whoever drives it.

    1. Pretty good assessment @rocketpanda, fully agreed.

      Ferrari are left in need of some soul searching after this weekend, not only because of their recent shortcomings, but to be able to consistently fight at the same level against Mercedes. It’s a testament to them that they have climbed so much from 2014 onwards, but they still have some things to iron out before they can actually beat the Mercedes juggernaut. Mercedes have been a well oiled machine since the start of 2014, so for anyone to get to their level is really going to be a tall order. Both Red Bull and Ferrari are getting there, but they clearly miss some pieces: Red Bull a good engine mainly, Ferrari more development agility and sharper pit wall.

    2. I think you are being way too forgiving on Seb. Without his major blunders, he’s ahead of Hamilton.
      A German F1 site calculated he should be ahead by 20 points (pre Singapore) if not for his mistakes.
      He has to shoulder the majority of the blame here.

    3. Pretty much you’ve put everything what needed to be said. Thank you for that, @rocketpanda.

  25. It is widely acknowledged that not only is the Ferrari the fastest car on the grid it is also one of the easiest to drive, the only reason they are not leading the championship is a combination of Vettel’s inability to deal with pressure when it is applied by Lewis which leads to him making errors (note that Alonso doesn’t make these errors, he would be leading the Championship if he were still at Ferrari) & Lewis wringing the best out of the Mercedes which is clearly a more difficult car to drive, you only have to watch onboard comparisons between the Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes to note this.

  26. Freakin’ Hamilton! It’s gotten to the point I’m literally just praying for Hamilton to hit the wall every race so we get interesting races. I cannot wait until he retires, the races are becoming boring and predictable again.

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      16th September 2018, 20:52

      sorry to hear that you find excellence boring. It must be awfully difficult to find a sport that you could describe as interesting as there are so many top sportspeeps out there showing us what excellence means.

      1. I find predictability boring, which is obvious from my posts. By all means keep wanting the same old boring races with the same old results. If that’s fun for you then you lead a boring life.

        There’s NO SPORT where the same team winning over and over produces excitement. Not the NBA, the NFL, or College Football, parity and unpredictability is what is exciting, not repetition.

        1. You’re directing the blame at exactly the guys you shouldn’t. It’s unacceptatle to penalize or blame someone to be better than the rest.

          Sorry, but they won’t lose to make you happy, so you better hope that the competition gets better and beat them on merit. As nothing lasts forever, sooner or later it will happen.

          1. Kind of hard to get better when Merc just throws all the money and resources into it they do. How’s say, Haas supposed to ever compete? Right now championships are bought and it’s frustrating as a fan.

    2. @jblank it’s going to be really hard to watch F1 after Lewis retires – he’s just a massive part of F1.

      We are watching something truly special here. I liked Hamilton a lot when he didn’t have a championship car because he could be in the mix for the championship and was usually let down by his team who obviously couldn’t perform anywhere near his level.

      But he still manages to make the races amazing to watch and has turned out some races that will long be considered the best races in F1 for many years to come. He’s not just a driver – he’s a driver who has driven Alonso crazy and made Rosberg go to extreme lengths to compete with him.

      Even at his worst or on his off days, Lewis is probably a match for anyone on the track at their best.

      1. You’re entitled to your opinion and I respect it but watching him pull away after one turn and know the race is over is just not good racing and not entertaining.

  27. geoffgroom44 (@)
    16th September 2018, 20:57

    Reading the media it seems they are running out of superlatives for this Ham man.

    So, back to basics: “simply the best”.

    1. He’s not the best, he’s in the best seat with the best car and this era that matters most. If these were 20 equal cars he’d NOT be as dominant. This is just another reason why these hybrid engines need to be scrapped and they need to go back to NA V8 engines, which will produce manufacturers that are able to produce closer results.

      1. The powers (Ferrari and Merc) won’t let that happen. Liberty are finding that out now.
        A level playing field is the last thing those 2 want.
        They like things just the way they are.

        1. Sadly Mick, I think you’re right.

      2. V8 engines were crap. And just for information, in EVERY ERA the car matters most.
        I don’t recall anyone winning the WDC with an Arrows or Coloni.

        The denial that people gets when seeing Hamilton winning so much can be hilarious.

      3. So why didn’t Bottas finish second ? Or even 1st if the Merc is such a monster ?
        As usual when Hamilton wins it’s the car and when he doesn’t it’s him. I have no doubt if he joined another team and kept winning it would be boring because the the car is just too good.

  28. Call me crazy but Ferrari should pay off Vettels contract and hire Alonso – He’d have won the championship by now!

  29. What a legend and he’s not even retired yet! We are all #blessed to be witnessing this!

  30. Rancid wheel cheese
    16th September 2018, 22:25

    Personally I think it’s time for Arrivabene to get his marching orders. He should go back to flogging fags. He just doesn’t seem to be able to bring all of the elements of the team together, no matter how good the individual elements. Ferrari should be looking for someone new, but the choice is ditch the underperforming B guy and wait a season or so for a new guy to bed in, or stick with the loser and hope to get lucky. There’ s plenty time till the next big formula change I’d dump him now and let his replacement get in and rebuild the team…..

  31. Well done Hamilton great qual and basically controlled and led the race from start to finish with ease albeit in a faster car.
    Good to see Verstappen have a clean race and keep his second spot, although he could not challenge Hamilton he did show maturity at the start against Vettel.
    Bottas/Raikkonen did nothing really.
    While Ricciardo was the next fasted on track after Hamilton his poor qualy and the strung out field stopped any progress he might have made.
    So the race did not excite much, not one of the top six were challenged. The race finished as it started.

  32. Alonso had Massa as a team mate for 4 seasons, mainly working for him to win.
    On the fifth season, they brought Raikkonen to do his own thing and perhaps, put some pressure on Alonso.
    He left at the end of the season.

    Vettel had Raikkonen as a team mate for 4 seasons, mainly working for him to win.
    On the fifth season, they brought Leclerc to do his own thing, and perhaps, put some pressure on Vettel.
    I wonder what will be the subject within a year.

  33. Extremely boring race, I am sad to say, some close battles firther down but… yea…static

    And the track, I realise now that I can’t tell where on the track the image is from, it all looks the same, just barriers construction layout all over. Monaco also has barriers but you can tell exactly where they are, each part has its own identity. In Singapore… no identity what sp ever.

    Please remove Singapore from calendar :-) I’d rather have Malaysia back.

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