Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Singapore, 2019

Ferrari spring Singapore shock as Mercedes and Red Bull lap slower

Lap time watch: 2019 Singapore Grand Prix

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Ferrari expected their SF90 to struggle in Singapore but they lapped quicker in qualifying than they managed last year while Mercedes and Red Bull were slower.

Three weeks ago in Hungary, another high-downforce track, Ferrari were almost half a second off the pace in qualifying and a minute slower than their rivals over a race distance. But in Singapore they nearly swept the front row of the grid.

The team has brought an upgrade package for this weekend’s race including a new nose featuring a cape design emulating that seen on several of their rivals’ cars.

Mercedes and Red Bull were expected to lead the charge for pole position in Singapore. But both were in the region of four-tenths of a second slower than they were at this track 12 months ago.

Most teams lapped quicker than they did last year. From front to back, the field has closed up by around six tenths of a second compared to 12 months ago.

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However this meant the quickest lap seen in Singapore last year wasn’t beaten by the 2018 cars:

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2019 Singapore Grand Prix

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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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15 comments on “Ferrari spring Singapore shock as Mercedes and Red Bull lap slower”

  1. Ferrari’s power unit is Illegal. Its incredible what they are doing with their power unit especially in qualifying (They also use that mode for the first lap of the race and the first lap after the safety car) and how much more power they are producing than the other 3 engine manufacturers.

    1. @amg44 illegal how exactly? That’s a pretty broad statement, and you seem to base it simply on the fact that works better than others?

    2. @amg44 what baffles me is that Ferrari had the worst engine in 2014.In yas marina Alonso couldn’t get past a caterham down the straight.

      1. @peartree

        what baffles me is that Ferrari had the worst engine in 2014

        That’s untrue. The the 059/3 PU was a very sophisticated project that started very late compared to the opposition and was compromised by the chassis department decision to go for a size zero car. Pat Fry thought that the gains from the aerodynamic efficiency would compensate for the loss of power.
        Many of the actual innovations in the current Ferrari PU were actually born in 2014. Ferrari has been using for example the complex double battery layout to store/deploy simultaneously electric energy.
        What made the situations worse is the token system which Mercedes were in favour for which prevented Ferrari to unlock the full potential of the 059 PU.

        1. Yet you still could not prove him wrong. I’m under the same impression. I always remember the Bahrein GP in which Button had a technical problem with his car late in the race and was being passed by the whole pack easily on the straights.

          But when it was the time for Alonso and Raikkonen to make the pass it was much more difficult and they couldn’t even get close on the braking points. The car had no power that year. It took much more time and work to pass.

          The project itself was good and by 2015 they were almost on par with Mercedes from the go.

          1. Alonso was quite capable of deliberately making it look like the car was too slow to pass, while keeping Raikkonen behind him. And it was that kind of behaviour that got him sacked by Ferrari. If you offered him the chance to make it look like the car was to blame, he’d take it every time.

        2. @tifoso1989 Your argument does not pertain to what I implied. Worst as in slowest. Ferrari is perhaps the most powerful now but we don’t know if they are the best because the PU is a package. The whole story about the current PU system is dodgy, the freeze is another unfortunate chapter of it, in the end as always I blame f1 for being played by the teams who somehow get to vote on rules.

    3. You are an embarrassment.
      Don’t make your mommy take away you internet privileges.

    4. Everybody stop, the F1 stewards, FIA and every other team on the paddock is wrong. This fan here knows what’s going on and we should immediately disqualify Ferrari from the sport and get rid of them

    5. @amg44 Please show us the technical data that lead you to that conclusion. It is not illegal to have the best power unit and produce more power than your opposition, and so far none of the FIA inspectors have been able to find anything illegal on the Ferrari power unit. Technology evolves over time and it is possible to make big jumps forward. Also, it’s not just the power unit – the fuels and lubricants have a big influence on performance so their improvements may be due to those things as much as changes to the power unit design.

      1. If you read the F1 technical articles (mostly by German publications) and follow the F1 technical news closely then you will know that The power generation by the Ferrari power unit (in certain modes especially in qualifying) is very unique compare to the rest of the engine manufacturers. Currently its the most discussed topic of the technical F1 news as well as in the F1 paddock.

        The 2019 Ferrari Power Unit is a Double diffuser/F-Duct/Blown Diffuser like moment where a competitor has found a huge advantage compared to the rest.
        This leaves others at a huge power disadvantage and they must quickly understand and copy it. Most of the competition believes Ferrari is doing something illegal.
        Singapore circuit is not even a power track and still the power advantage of Ferrari is so clear for all to see. If other engine manufacturers dont find out and copy what clever trick Ferrari is using then i expect Ferrari to be on pole position at every remaining race this year.

        1. Most of the competition believes Ferrari is doing something illegal.

          And therein lies a small but rather significant difference, @amg44 – believing is not knowing. Furthermore, all those examples that you gave were of developments which were not illegal, but instead clever interpretations of the rules at those times.

          By the way, feel free to share some of the links to the German publications for us to check them out.

        2. That would be wonderful if Ferrari can get pole position at every remaining race this year.

  2. Shock is the right word, what a turn around, haas and sauber were awful but not ferrari. Last time I recall such an uplift was, coincidentally, the upgrade that included the og merc shovel front wing in Spain 2017.
    Horner wasn’t expecting a weekend as strong as Hungary, he noted how strong merc is on slow speed corners. I felt this weekend was going to be a dud, max made hungary interesting.
    Horner said, live on sky, that lap times were down primarly because of the new front wings and the different tyre.
    A lot of talk lately surrounding downforce concepts, ricciardo pointing that his team was wrong to pursue downforce from the mid section of the car, rather than from the wings, Ferrari saying they can’t fix their flaws, Horner saying that you need front wing downforce on this track.

  3. Leclerc’s pole lap is two tenths and two-thousands slower than the equivalent pole lap time for last season’s Singapore GP. The third straight GP-weekend in which no one has managed to better the fastest 2018 qualifying-effort.

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