Whether it was the haze in the air, the electrical surges under the track, or Paul di Resta in the Sky commentary box, something caused the fabric of reality and the matrix of logic to break in Singapore.
Ferrari and Red Bull trouncing all foes while Mercedes and Williams floundered, a man on the track, and someone crashing into Pastor Maldonado made for a very peculiar race.
You know what, the thing I hate about Formula 1 is that it’s always so predictable…
…anyway, here’s our Top 5 for the 2015 Singapore GP.
It’s fair to say that Silly Season this year has been anything but. Ferrari, Mercedes, Williams and Sauber all have their drivers locked-in, with Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Force India looking likely to do the same. That leaves four teams to play with, and Romain Grosjean may have let slip where he fits in to it all, supposedly telling Canal+ that he’s leaving Lotus/Renault for Haas F1 Team.
As Murray always says, “Anything can happen in Grand Prix racing, and it usually does” so we won’t say anything is certain, but here’s a round up of what we think we know after this weekend.
Jenson Button will probably retire from F1, and probably be replaced by Stoffel Vandoorne or Kevin Magnussen, but Magnussen will probably go to Haas.
Pastor Maldonado is definitely staying at a team based in Enstone. However, they might not be called Lotus any more, because they will probably be bought out by Renault.
Romain Grosjean will probably leave Lotus to join Haas, alongside probably Magnussen, or maybe Esteban Gutierrez.
Toro Rosso and Red Bull will probably use Ferrari power in 2016, because they’re probably ending their partnerships with Renault, who as mentioned above will probably become a works team again.
Volkswagen are possibly probably looking at buying Red Bull for 2017 with the energy drinks company staying on as a sponsor. Although, WV got in trouble last week and had to recall half a million road cars for falsifying emissions data – which they probably shouldn’t have done.
But remember. Probably.
If 2015 really is Jenson’s swansong, then he’s going out in a blaze of glory. Okay, that blaze may be from a poorly Honda Power Unit, and the glory may be witty banter over the team radio, but still, you have to give the guy credit for his awesome sense of humour this year.
Even his collision with Maldonado was taken with a pinch of salt. With his shattered front wing making confetti on the track, he simply retorted:
“I should have known really… that he’s mental.”
It’s not the first time this year that he’s been entertaining on the mic. If the king of Somerset does end up retiring… sitcom anyone?
*Absolutely not true.
Moaning at Sebastian Vettel’s commandeering of the 2013 Singapore GP but praising it two years later may seem like the ultimate double-standard to some, but the difference this time is that he’s not in the best car, and he hasn’t won the last bazillion races.
Having a more sporadic win pattern during the year rather than winning every race, like, ever, also keeps us on our toes. Mercedes will likely be stronger than Ferrari in the final six races, but with such a small gap between Rosberg and Vettel now, and a DNF for Hamilton, you have to wonder where they’ll all end up come November.
As well as unpredictability and excitement, this performance also shows just how good Vettel still is. If anyone out there still believes that the Finger only won four consecutive championships because he had the best car, you should re-watch the race.
Pole Position, led every lap AND he was crowned Top Dog. In a word, convincing.
Young Carlos Sainz and the Boy wonder Max proved yet again that they are not just in the sport for their famous names, exemplified this weekend when they had far too much fun getting into the points.
The shorter straights in the city state meant that Renault’s deficit was much less severe than on the multitude of ‘power circuits’ flooding the calendar, so the boys in dark blue had a blast cutting through the pack after both facing issues in the race.
Max stalled on the grid and went a lap down after a pit lane start, and Carlos had a gearbox glitch at the start which dropped him back, so both were on recovery drives. With an ultra-agressive strategy focused on a supersoft stint at the end of the race, the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson was easily passed, and Lotus duo were easy meat for the Toro Rosso lads as well.
Pic says it all!Fought hard form start to finish! Keep thinking where we would've finished without the gear box issue pic.twitter.com/0z1XYRl8nF
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) September 20, 2015
Carlso Sainz then took a gob full of Jenson Button’s front wing after his collision with Maldonado, before nearly repeating Jenson’s antics with the other Lotus. With nobody else to pass, they ended up arguing amongst themselves, and even though Sainz’ tyres were slightly fresher, Verstappen wouldn’t let him through, so the Dutchman clung on to eighth, the Spaniard ninth. Just imagine where they would have finished without trouble…
If you’ll excuse the pun, Mercedes were absolutely blown out of the water this weekend in Singapore by the aerodynamically-endowed Red Bulls and the Ferraris, which seem to be nicer to their tyres.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve nothing against the team whatsoever. What they have produced in their W05 and W06 machines is nothing short of engineering perfection, and the Silver arrows have duly sodded off into the distance for the most part this year. The only problem with being so far ahead is that the dominance gets a little… dominating?
Point is, it was superb to see the field so much closer together. The Silver cars never even got a sniff of the podium, with the strengths of their rivals being drawn out by all those right-angled corners.
It’s a far cry from my personal favourite season in 2003, when Schumacher’s Ferrari, Raikkonen’s McLaren, Alonso’s Renault and Montoya’s Williams were all tenths apart, but it’s something.
Unfortunately, that’s the last of F1’s tight and twisty tracks for 2015, but you never know, we could see some more fight from Ferrari and Williams yet.
If you hadn’t already guessed, we’re super-excited about our upcoming event for the United States Grand Prix. We’ll be showing the race on a 4.5m Cinema screen at the Roxy Bar and Screen in London, but that’s just the main event! We’ll be staging our tricky GP Pub Quiz, Badger Bingo, and a prize raffle where you can win tickets to the 2016 United States Grand Prix in Austin!
A huge shout out to the amazing folks at COTA who will be keeping contact with us for the duration and have donated some amazing prize, including the tickets.
Speaking of tickets, you can get yours here! Be quick though – to make sure everyone gets a nice comfy chair, we’ve limited numbers, so don’t miss out.