Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

sunnuntai 20. syyskuuta 2015

Singapore GP: Vettel was the most shining star in the Singapore night!

Due to work I´ve missed all the free practice sessions this weekend so I was extremely happy that today I didn´t have to rush anywhere but I could just sit down on my sofa and watch all those pre-race broadcasts on TV. Mercedes drivers faced difficulties already before the start. Rosberg´s engine went off twice in the pit lane and there was a fuss around Hamilton´s car as well. However, both Mercedes drivers were able to start normally to the race. Lights went out and the race was on! This time it was Max Verstappen´s Toro Rosso that was halted on the 8th grid slot. What a shame! In Monza the same had happened to Kimi and now Max shared the same fate. Sebastian on the other hand got a superb start and kept his lead. The order in terms of the top seven maintained unchanged: Ricciardo was second, Kimi third, Kvyat 4th, Hamilton 5th, Rosberg 6th and Bottas 7th.

In just two laps Sebastian had increased his lead into 4 seconds. Kimi followed Ricciardo very closely but the Iceman seemed unable to try an overtaking move on the Australian. The Mercedes duo was unable to match both Ferrari´s and Red Bull´s pace. That was something I actually didn´t expect although Mercedes´ qualifying pace had been quite tame.

On lap 13, when Sebastian had already made his lead grow up into 5 seconds, Massa in his Williams and Hulkenberg in his Force India collided! Massa was simply unable to avoid the collision in any way as there was really nowhere the Brazilian could go. The virtual safety car was deployed due to the incident as Hulkenberg´s Force India was stuck in the barrier. The incident was taken into investigation by the stewards and Hulkenberg was decided to be at fault. The German was handed a 3-place grid penalty for the Japanese GP next week. All top drivers rushed into the pits: Sebastian, Ricciardo, Kimi and both Mercedes drivers. The top three opted for a fresh set of super soft tyres whilst the Mercedes duo opted for the prime tyres. Kvyat at the wheel of his RB11 was the one who lost most during the pit stop as the Russian Red Bull pilot dropped from P4 down to P6 behind the Mercedes duo. A few laps later the actual safety car was deployed and Sebastian´s 6-second lead slipped through his fingers.

On lap 18 safety car came in and after the re-start the top six remained unchanged. Sainz in his Toro Rosso suddenly faced problems with his gearbox and it took a moment for the Spaniard to get the gears working again. However, Sainz dropped down to P18. At this stage Sebastian´s pace didn´t look too convincing. Ricciardo could easily keep up almost within DRS distance from Sebastian. I started thinking if Sebastian was doing that deliberately so that his team-mate Kimi could possibly try to make an overtaking move on Ricciardo.

Towards the halfway point of the race Hamilton suddenly reported about significant loss of power on his car. In no time the Briton was overtaken by his team-mate Rosberg, Kvyat and then Bottas. The Briton´s lap time was 13 seconds slower than that of Vettel´s but the team didn´t take him in. They did everything to fix the issue on track but finally Hamilton had no choice but to drive to the pits and retire the race. Also Massa in his Williams had to retire the race due to gearbox problems. Alonso in his McLaren was the next driver to retire.

On lap 37 the safety car was deployed for the second time! Sebastian reported on the team radio that there was a man walking on the track! Sometimes crazy things happen in F1 races and this was definitely one of them! The race was on a few laps later. Verstappen at the wheel of his STR10 had made his way sensationally through the field and was already in P8 when there were some 15 laps to go. The Dutchman had closed the gap to Perez in his Force India but overtaking was no easy task. At the same time Verstappen´s team-mate Sainz was right at the Dutchman´s tail. Suddenly on the second last lap we heard a team radio message saying that Verstappen should let Sainz past. The immediate reaction from the 18-yaer old rookie was to shout "No!!" on the team radio. I didn´t understand the team order at all. Why would Verstappen have let Sainz to pass him? Verstappen seemed really fast and he was seriously challenging Perez although overtaking wasn´t easy. I was so so happy that Verstappen decided to disobey the team orders! There was absolutely no reason for him to give his position to Sainz!

Sebastian took the third win of the season for Ferrari and I was thrilled. Ricciardo finished 2nd and Kimi completed the podium by finishing third. So my dream actually came true as both red warriors were standing on the podium today. Kimi had had some issues with his SF15-T so P3 was an outstanding result from the Iceman. Rosberg drove to the chequered flag in P4, Bottas in P5, Kvyat in P6, Perez in P7, Verstappen in P8, Sainz in P9 and Nasr in P10. There really seems to be something magical about Sebastian and Singapore. Without any doubt Sebastian was the most shining star in the Singapore night. I hope he is having a heck of a party with Kimi and the team tonight!

I was so happy to read after the race that Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost hadn´t upbraided Verstappen for not obeying the team orders but he had said instead that Verstappen was right to question the order to allow Sainz pass. Verstappen´s driving is so passionate, I really love to watch him race!

Sebastian is now seriously involved with the championship fight! Hamilton still has a firm 41-point lead in the drivers´ championship standings but Sebastian is only 8 points off Rosberg! Ferrari really seem to have found extra speed in the second half of the season! Luckily the next race will be already next week. Oh how I love these back-to-back races!

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