The Top 5 from Marina Bay
Published 27th September 2012 - Written by Craig Norman
While Singapore was a long and arduous race for the drivers – and the fans, let’s face it – the Badgerometer has still been able to sift through all the action to bring the Top 5 stories from the weekend.
What made it? Read on to find out!
Lotus have peaked, it seems
It should have been back to normal for the black-and-gold cars after a weekend without the banned Romain Grosjean in Italy. And when we mean back to normal, we mean hovering around for the opportunity for a race win, as that’s been their usual position for most of 2012.
Yet, they just didn’t seem to be on the pace at a track where it was both hot and benefiting a car with lots of downforce – both things the Lotus has needed to challenge in the past. But it just didn’t click for both Grosjean and Kimi. We can’t suss out why exactly, but we’ve got a few theories.
Firstly, with Romain, he seemed to have lost that little bit of speed that had made him exciting earlier in the season. It was clear to see that in the way he approached the start; he was slower off the line and very, very cautious into Turn 1.
As for Kimi, his slow-starting weekends have returned, but he at least rescued it with some points with 6th, putting him ahead of Hamilton in the table. He still in there, and considering he hasn’t notched up a race victory (yet), while Lewis has three, it’s not bad at all for a return.
You just can’t but feel that they’ve missed the boat though.
A nice tribute to Sid
This was the first race since the passing of Sid Watkins, and the F1 community banded together to remember the man who has done so much for safety in the sport.
A minutes silence, a bronze bust and a book of condolences were all observed, but Sebatian Vettel’s heartfelt tribute after he’d won the race was also a nice touch.
It’s tight at the bottom
When, like us, you’ve been busy watching the sharp end of the racing, it’s easy to forget that other battles are going on further back. That’s the case with Marussia, Caterham and HRT, who are still going for spoils in the “new team” war.
Marussia have taken a big step after Singapore; Timo Glock got his car home in 12th place, which is the highest any of these teams have managed so far, and in doing so, has put the team 10th in the constructor’s race.
All three have to push on now, and the pressure is firmly on Caterham, who have the biggest budget, Red Bull gearboxes and KERS, none of which the other two have.
Spare a thought for these guys – it’s just as exciting as it is at the front.
It has to be McLaren for Lewis
Will Lewis sign for Mercedes? Not after this showing.
The drama is still rumbling on, and it’s not just the fact that it’s the future of Lewis Hamilton that’s at stake. His ultimate decision will send the driver’s market into overdrive, as it seems he hold the key.
McLaren’s continued upturn in form – 4 races, 4 poles, 3 wins – just makes it a no-brainer. Look at Mercedes in the past few races; they have been absolutely nowhere in comparison.
If the temptation to leave is all about money, then the management team that Lewis has put in place since he left his Dad, Anthony, has not done the thing that they have in their job description – manage.
Maybe we’re just being a bit obtuse, but the Singapore race was a race that Lewis should had won in a car built by a team that has given him a lot. Time to repay that in more than a “great job guys”, we think.
Fernando is in the driving seat
The title race boiled down to three key people; Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. One of these three – in our eyes – will win it this season, and the funny thing is the man who has all the cards is Alonso.
The comparison between the last two races is stark. In Italy, Lewis won, Seb retired, ‘Nando got 3rd; in Singapore, Seb won, Lewis retired and ‘Nando got 3rd. See the constant in all of this?
While his rivals are making mistakes or their teams are pushing a bit too had, Fernando is making consistency work in his favour. The only time he’s failed to finish this season is when he failed to get started in Belgium thanks to Romain Grosjean. The Ferrari being bulletproof, but handling like it’s got a coat of kevlar, is working wonders too.
The funny thing is, in the press, it feels like it just been between Lewis and Seb, so you have to hand to it the diminutive Spaniard. He is surely standing on the edge of securing a 3rd world title at this rate. And he’s not even the fastest car out there.