In my first blog of the weekend I mentioned the fact that some things just don’t seem to happen that often. You know what I mean, Simon Cowell being pleasant, Jeremy Corbyn singing the national anthem or Jeff Stelling not talking about Hartlepool. Well, this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix falls into that category as Mercedes have failed to make it to the front of the grid.
Qualifying is over and it’s Sebastian Vettel who starts on pole position in his Ferrari. He finished ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in second and his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in third. Red Bull completed a top four made up of Red Bull and Ferrari cars with Daniil Kvyat in fourth. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton could only manage fifth with Nico Rosberg in sixth. So just what happened in qualifying?
Ferrari have made some changes to their car with an upgraded engine in its second race and some aerodynamic revisions. Red Bull have been looking forward to this race for a while feeling the shorter straights would suit their cars with not so much emphasis put on their engine.
As you would expect, Lewis Hamilton has had plenty to say about the poor qualification result. He feels his Mercedes is having problems generating tyre temperature and “we are sliding around all over the place.” He still feels that the Mercedes is the quickest car out there and the problem with the tyres is something he’s not seen before.”
Sebastian Vettel was obviously delighted with his pole position, though he didn’t expect his Ferrari to be nearly a second and a half faster than Lewis Hamilton in the final qualifying round. Daniel Ricciardo was also in a good mood commenting “Front row, it’s been a while. It should be a good race.”
McLaren also showed some improvement in qualifying with Alonso finishing 12th and Button 15th.
So for a change we don’t have a Mercedes on the front row and both Hamilton and Rosberg will have some chasing to do if they want to win another Grand Prix. As Ricciardo says, “it should be a good race.”
Singapore Grand Prix Fact File
- Sebastian Vettel has won the race three times. He had a trio of wins between 2011 and 2013. He’s shares the record of most wins with Graeme Lawrence who also had a hat-trick of wins between 1969 and 1971.
- Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have both won the race twice.
- The last two races have been won by the driver starting in pole position and it’s been that way three times in the past four years.
- The Singapore Grand Prix takes place on the Marina Bay street circuit which has plenty of twists. It’s the slowest track on the Grand Prix circuit.