Lewis Hamilton “surprisingly” wins at the Marina Bay Circuit, after both Ferraris crash in first lap. Daniel Ricciardo is in second, followed by Valtteri Bottas who makes it a 1-3 for Mercedes by taking third position.
Singapore’s 2017 race start will for sure go down as one of the most eventful of the season. On a wetted track from the morning’s heavy rain, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel started on pole, but it was teammate Kimi Räikkönen who had the best start. Getting on the inside of Max Verstappen, it was a 3-way on it’s way to the first corner, when drama hit. Both Ferraris and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen touch, with Räikkönen’s Ferrari sliding loose over the track into the first corner, taking Verstappen and Fernando Alonso, who managed an amazing start, with him. The latter being the only driver able to get back on track, with quite some damage to one side of the car.
Vettel, who was slightly touched in the incident and had some car damage, loses control of his car further on track which will lead to the German retiring as well. All of this causing a safety car in the first lap, with both Ferraris and Max Verstappen out of the race. Later, Fernando Alonso will have to retire his car due to the damage on his car being worse than expected.
Lewis Hamilton, who struggled all weekend, now finds himself in the lead followed by Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg. When the second safety car gets out, almost all drivers pit to change to intermediate tyres. Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz are the only front runners who were already on inters and decided not to pit, with the Briton questioning that choice. Felipe Massa and Pascal Wehrlein are the only ones on track still on wet tyres.
Massa will regret his choice of staying on wet, when he loses place after place to drivers on the intermediate tyres. With a beautiful battle coming out of it between the Brazilian, Kevin Magnussen and Esteban Ocon. With the Danish taking the advantage, but Ocon still right on his tail. Massa then decides to pit and rejoins the track in last position. Back at the front Hamilton signs fastest lap after fastest lap, even though he is on the older tyres, but with Ricciardo only 3 seconds behind and still in his rear mirrors.
Stoffel Vandoorne, who is the only McLaren still out on track, is slowly getting close to Lance Stroll. The Belgian puts some pressure on the Canadian, who makes a small mistake and the McLaren driver immediately takes advantage of that error to pass the Williams. A part from that the order stays the same for quite some laps, with most of the drivers waiting for the track to dry and see who is the one who dares change to slick tyres first.
Kevin Magnussen and Felipe Massa are the first to pit for slick tyres, everyone now watching them to see how the slick tyres perform compared to the intermediates. Stroll is the third to stop, while Lewis Hamilton says the track is still too wet and that his tyres are perfect while setting a fastest lap. All other drivers dive into the pits now, while Magnussen sets the fastest lap. Hamilton and Palmer stay on track as only driver, with Ricciardo and Bottas stopping for slick tyres as well. All drivers opting for Ultra Soft tyres, with the exception of Carlos Sainz (Super Soft) and Marcus Ericsson (Soft).
Thrilling battle going on between Stoffel Vandoorne and Jolyon Palmer, with the latter keeping the advantage. The Belgian on the tail of the Briton though, pushing to try to get past. Another great battle going on more up front between Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez. Sainz being on the slower tyres, still manages to defend from several attacks of the Mexican. Further back Force India teammate, Esteban Ocon, manages a great pass on Kevin Magnussen for 11th position.
Ericsson is the driver causing the 3rd safety car when losing control of his car and hitting the barrier. While Nico Hülkenberg, who was running fourth, pits for an unknown reason as he doesn’t change tyres and loses everything rejoining the field back only in 10th. This safety car repacking all cars and making for a great restart, with the first three getting away easily and another pack behind Carlos Sainz. Magnussen getting under too much pressure, makes a mistake and is now in 13th.
With so many safety cars, the laps have now turned into minutes as we will now surely reach the maximum of a 2 hour race. With 20 minutes to go, Lewis Hamilton has already managed a small gap on Daniel Ricciardo. The Aussie then gets back closer to the Briton, putting pressure on the Mercedes driver. The only other battle is one of 4 drivers for 8th positon, currently occupied by Lance Stroll, who has to defend from Grosjean, Hülkenberg and Ocon.
Ocon suddenly finds himself in the points, when Hülkenberg gets in the pits to finally abandon due to the same problem as earlier. Hamilton complains on the radio that something might be wrong with his front tyre, but the Brit is still on track. With 10 minutes left and just 13 cars left on track, Kevin Magnussen’s Haas also gives up, leading to the Dane having to abandon the race as well. With just a few more minutes till the end of the race, it all seems to be about the reliability of the cars as to whom will finish the race and where.
In the last stages of the race, Valtteri Bottas seems to be trying to put some pressure on Daniel Ricciardo, setting the fastest lap and getting closer to the Aussie. Although, with less than 4 minutes remaining and 2 seconds between the two, it seems more than unlikely that the Finn will pass.
Lewis Hamilton wins in an eventful Singapore race, followed by Daniel Ricciardo and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas. Carlos Sainz manages an impressive fourth position, followed by Sergio Perez and another surprise with Jolyon Palmer in 6th, taking his first points of the season. McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne ends 7th, followed by Lance Stroll and Romain Grosjean. Esteban Ocon completes the top 10, followed by Felipe Massa and Pascal Wehrlein who complete today’s race classification.
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER||+4.507s|
|4||Carlos Sainz||TORO ROSSO||+22.822s|
|5||Sergio Perez||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||+25.359s|
|7||Stoffel Vandoorne||MCLAREN HONDA||+30.388s|
|8||Lance Stroll||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||+41.696s|
|9||Romain Grosjean||HAAS FERRARI||+43.282s|
|10||Esteban Ocon||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||+44.795s|
|11||Felipe Massa||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||+46.536s|
|12||Pascal Wehrlein||SAUBER FERRARI||+2 laps|
|NC||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||DNF|
|NC||Marcus Ericsson||SAUBER FERRARI||DNF|
|NC||Daniil Kvyat||TORO ROSSO||DNF|
|NC||Fernando Alonso||MCLAREN HONDA||DNF|
|NC||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER||DNF|