Formula 1 | The highs, the flops and the questions after the Singapore Grand Prix - SIMPLYSHAN.COM

Formula 1 | The highs, the flops and the questions after the Singapore Grand Prix

Tops, flops and questions

After each Grand Prix, Nextgen-Auto.com invites you to find the tops and flops identified by the editorial staff. Who deserves to be applauded? Who, on the contrary, should be criticized? Finally, what are the question marks or ambiguities, which should be followed with interest during the next Grands Prix? Check it out below!

Tops.

Top n°1: Pérez, the best Grand Prix of his career?

Since 2011, no driver has managed to complete the Monaco-Singapore double during the same season: a Red Bull driver (Sergio Pérez) therefore succeeds another Red Bull driver (Sebastian Vettel) in this double. A double which confirms the excellent mastery of Checo in urban circuits, and what is more in difficult and wet conditions (like in Monaco last May).

In Singapore, Sergio Pérez first built his success on a narrowly obtained 2nd place, a few thousandths ahead of Lewis Hamilton – and with a final sector which could have cost him dearly. The other decisive point of his weekend was of course the start: Sergio Pérez jumped to eat the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, to settle in the lead, in a circuit where the track position is key. He was then able to manage his pace and especially his intermediaries, still being heavily pressured by Charles Leclerc for a few laps. Sergio Pérez, however, showed a healthy resistance to pressure, to exhaust the Ferrari Pirellis in particular: at the end of the race, he had no trouble building a gap of more than 5 seconds in case he would receive a penalty.

In the end, Sergio Pérez was able, with this Grand Prix in Singapore, to silence most of the critics who, after a period of silence, were hammering his recent record at Red Bull. Admittedly, the changes benefited Max Verstappen more on the Milton Keynes car, explaining the withdrawal in pure performance of Sergio Pérez; but the Mexican again proved that when leader Max Verstappen wasn’t there he could be a date. Isn’t that what is expected of him?

Top n°2: Unexpected jackpot for McLaren

Here’s a surprise! McLaren expected to have one of its worst Grands Prix of the year, and yet it was the best (along with Imola). With 22 points scored in a single day, the orange team again overtakes Alpine in 4th place in the constructors’ classification. The driver most to salute is of course, as always, Lando Norris: the Briton achieved an excellent qualification, just behind the Alpine of Fernando Alonso; overtook the Spaniard at the start; and then showed excellent pace – excellent to the point of worrying Carlos Sainz at the end of the race for 3rd place.

As for Daniel Ricciardo, he can consider himself much more lucky than deserving: because the Australian, after finishing more than 3 tenths behind his teammate in qualifying, especially benefited from a safety car with unexpected timing for him. He was one of the only drivers (along with Lando Norris) to be able to change Pirellis under the safety car, jumping all at once into the peloton. On the other hand, his pace, especially on the restart, was in the abyss compared to that of Lando Norris. At least he had the merit of not making a mistake. So things aren’t necessarily going better for Daniel Ricciardo, but things are still going very, very well for Lando Norris!

Top n°3: Aston Martin F1 wins in the peloton thanks to Stroll and Vettel

The other team that had a successful mid-grid Grand Prix weekend is undoubtedly Aston Martin F1. On Saturday, Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll qualified just outside the top 10 and also benefited from the penalty from George Russell. On Sunday especially, the two drivers had the merit of making practically no mistakes (a small one for Sebastian Vettel), and of capitalizing on those of the others. The pace of the green cars also seemed easily superior to that of Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri.

While Sebastian Vettel, the lion of Singapore, confirmed his mastery of this thorny event, Lance Stroll meanwhile confirmed that he could be, by still too rare sparks, a reliable and fast driver in tricky conditions, such as during from his first pole in F1 in Istanbul. The Canadian also benefited from luckier timing than his teammate when stopping, thanks to the safety car; but that does not detract from its very solid performance. He obtained his best result of the year (6th place) after a series of 10th places with little pay!

The flops

Flop n°1: Double failure and double flop for Alpine F1

Alpine’s black spot since the beginning of the year – reliability and more specifically the reliability of the power unit – has hit the French team in one of the worst Grands Prix possible this year – that is to say a Grand Prix with a lot of retirements, and where McLaren performed particularly well. Not one, but two critical power unit failures have floored the races of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon. The abandonment of the first, who was just behind Lando Norris and could have signed a top 5, is obviously the most expensive. What trigger the annoyance or even the anger of the Spaniard, who estimated that without his reliability problems, he would have the same number of points as the Mercedes drivers or almost…

The only good news is that it is the same problem, a priori, for the two Renault V6s, according to team manager Otmar Szafnauer: “It looks like we suffered from an identical power unit issue on both cars, which we will analyze thoroughly. It is important to identify the origin of what happened and to put in place preventive measures to prevent it from happening again” he confided after the finish.

It should thus be easier for Viry to spot this critical flaw: but time is running out because Suzuka is only a few days away, and another double retirement will allow McLaren to widen the gap for 4th place in the constructors’ standings – that Alpine occupied from Silverstone… There is fire, and not just in the engines!

Flop n°2: Hamilton and Verstappen, unusual errors of champions

Once is not custom, the two references of the board are found in the section of ‘flops’ at the same time. Lewis Hamilton first of all, probably wasted a good opportunity to get on the podium. His departure, during which he was surprised by a very (too?) offensive Carlos Sainz is certainly in question. But above all his two errors of judgement: his crash in the barriers mid-race, which could have cost him a retirement; and his totally failed overtaking on Sebastian Vettel at the end of the race, which allowed Max Verstappen to pass.

The Red Bull driver also made two costly mistakes. One in qualifying: on his penultimate fast lap (before the lap aborted in extremis for lack of fuel), the Dutchman had missed turns 16-17, suffering in particular from understeer. Without this error, he could have taken pole and avoided the controversy of the aborted lap. In the race then, he was far too optimistic about his tire temperatures on the restart, after the safety car period, to try to overtake Lando Norris, ending up in the escape route.

In short, the Singapore challenge trapped Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen: that says it all about the incredible difficulty posed by this event for the 20 drivers!

Flop n°3: An FIA that still questions

No weekend, or almost, without controversy for the FIA. This time, it was necessary to raise two of them at once! The first concerns the penalty imposed on Sergio Pérez, of five seconds. We’ll pass over the immensely long delay in knowing the name of the eventual Grand Prix winner – but we can’t help but more than one Asian fan has gone to bed frustrated at not knowing whether or not Sergio Pérez would be penalized for 10 seconds. It should be noted above all that in justifying its decision, the FIA ​​engages in acrobatics, giving the feeling of not wanting to forfeit the winner a posteriori. Indeed, the Commissioners first indicate “do not accept” that Sergio Pérez did not maintain a length of 10 cars between his Red Bull and the car. Then in the following paragraph, the FIA ​​nevertheless entrusts ” take into account “ extenuating circumstances such as driving on a wet runway.

In other words, the FIA ” do not accept “ something…that she accept the next paragraph. Sergio Pérez’s two similar faults behind the safety car did not give rise to two penalties… This is sure to raise questions.

The other worrying fact took place after the straight of Alexander Albon, who ended up in the barriers leaving a piece of front wing there. The safety car was triggered while the marshals were removing the front wing of the Williams… but while the marshals were still working on the edge of the track, on the TecPro, the FIA ​​raised the green flag again – in the presence of marshals on the track. A mistake that could have been very, very expensive: beware of professional misconduct.

We thus understand better why Mohammed Ben Sulayem considered the duo Eduardo Freitas-Niels Wittich as a ” Pad “. But a bandage is supposed to relieve, not aggravate the evil…

We want to see…

Tough battle for 7th… or even 6th place in the constructors’ standings?

There is a change in the second half of the constructors’ standings in Singapore. Thanks to the 12 points reported from the city-state by Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 gained two places at once, overtaking Haas and AlphaTauri.

With 37 points, Aston Martin F1 is only ahead of Haas by 3 points and AlphaTauri by 4: it will therefore be hot between these three teams for the gain of 7th place in the constructors’ classification! Aston Martin F1 nevertheless seems to be on a higher dynamic: the team has a much more offensive development plan than Haas and AlphaTauri who have already stopped their development for a long time…

If this positive dynamic continues for Aston Martin F1, we could even see the green team catching up with Alfa Romeo in 6th place in the constructors’ standings: Alfa Romeo is 15 units behind Aston Martin F1 and above all, has no longer entered points from Canada. The Hinwil team is still living on its start to the season but this catastrophic series for it could end up logically costing it a place in the standings.

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