|Circuit||Marina Bay Street Circuit
|Distance||308,828 km / 191,938 miles|
Maurizio Arrivabene: ”It’s fair to say that we drove an aggressive race today! Kimi’s move on Hamilton to pass him on track shows that he’s not a world champion by chance. Considering the distance to cover to the end of the race, and tire degradation, it made sense to call him to box one more time to cover Mercedes’ strategy. As for Seb, it’s a shame that he was so penalized by his starting position, but he drove a fantastic race, supported by perfect strategy. There are six more races to the end of the season, and all of them will be important.”
Kimi Raikkonen: ”It was a good and solid race, the car was behaving well and we had a pretty good speed. Obviously it was very difficult to overtake, but at one point Hamilton made a mistake and I managed to pass him, then after the pit stop he got the position back. We lost the place there, I don’t know how and why they managed to jump us, and I don’t know what would have happened if we would have stayed out. Now we have to go through everything, see what happened and what we could have done better. Today we gained one place from the starting position, but of course this is not the result we are looking for, we are trying to be in position to win, but we need to make the car a bit faster.”
Sebastian Vettel: ”We sure had a good strategy today, also we had the chance to make a big progress with a safety car, but it didn’t come, so P5 is a very good result. Thanks to the team, I had been a bit down after qualifying yesterday. What nobody wanted to happen has happened, so we had to deal with it and move on. My start was not good, then there was the accident so I took it a bit easy; most important, the car was still intact, but after the restart it was tricky to get the tires working, I was on the primes, I lost quite a lot of time behind the Sauber, it was quite tough to get past, but then it was important to survive until we fitted the last set of Ultrasofts at the end, where we really could unfold the pace. In the last laps we had a big gap from the front and from the back, so I took it easy. I know patience is not a quality of the Ferraristi, it’s not a quality of mine either, we are here to win and we’re not satisfied until it happens, but we’re progressing step by step and one day I think it will pay off. I believe in the team, and I believe that in the future it will be better.”
Kimi up one position, as Seb recovers from the back
Marina Bay, 18 September – Kimi Raikkonen finished the Singapore Grand Prix in fourth place tonight. Sebastian Vettel came home fifth at the Marina Bay track, having fought his way through from the back of the grid in great style. On the top step of the podium was Nico Rosberg, the winner for Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen: “Today we got more or less what we could from our car. Obviously it’s a bit disappointing given where we finished, but this is a tricky place. The fifth position is not ideal, but I was pretty pleased with my first lap in Q3 and the car was handling well. In the last run I knew I had to push a bit over the limit, trying to improve, but it didn’t pay out. I made some mistakes, I went wide in turn 1 and got sideways. There’s no issue with the car, we are just lacking overall grip and in Singapore that makes a big difference. Tomorrow we have to make a good start and then go from there, there will be different ways of using the tires between the teams. The race is going to be very long, and usually there’s a lot happening, so we have to get the timings right and try to go forward.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Already in the first lap, going into turn one, something happened. Then in turn two, through turn five, I felt that the car was not the same. So far we don’t really know what happened, initially I thought it was at the front, but then it felt like the rear bar had broken. I hadn’t felt anything wrong in P3. Then I wanted to come into the box, but in the end we decided to stay out, and then we came in because it was hopeless anyway, we were just not quick enough, and there was no time within three or four minutes to fix the problem. For tomorrow we have a long race in front of us, with a lot of safety cars. At least we have some new tires, and even if for sure it is not an ideal situation. we can still have a good race.”
Kimi qualifies fifth, Sebastian hit by technical problem
Marina Bay, 17 September – Come the end of night time qualifying here at Singapore’s street circuit, Kimi Raikkonen was fifth fastest with a time of 1.43.540. Unfortunately, Sebastian Vettel suffered from a technical problem in Q1 and so the German starts from the back row of the grid tomorrow. Nico Rosberg took pole in his Mercedes with a time of 1.42.584.
Kimi third with Seb fifth in final free practice
Marina Bay, 17 September – Kimi Raikkonen produced a fastest lap of 1.44.860 to be the best of the Ferraris in third place on the time sheet, at the end of the final free practice for the Singapore Grand Prix. The Finn used two sets of Ultrasofts on his SF16-H during the 60 minutes available to finalise the set-up for qualifying and the race. His team-mate Sebastian Vettel ran a similar programme to go fifth in 1.45.104.
Topping the time sheet was Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes with a lap in 1.44.352.
Kimi Raikkonen: “The first practice session was tricky, I struggled a little bit, but the second practice was good: everything worked and the car was handling pretty well. Here in Singapore, if you get the car right, it’s a lot easier to go faster. Today we had quite a good feeling, but for sure there is still something to improve. It’s hard to say if we can be strong, it’s only Friday, but the feeling was positive. So far so good, but tomorrow is another day, we’ll see where everybody is and then we’ll go from there. We’ll give our best and hopefully we have the speed to challenge our rivals.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Overall we had two decent sessions. In the second one I was not entirely happy, I was struggling a little bit with the car balance, and therefore not really finding the rhythm but in general it has been a good day. It is very difficult to pass here, obviously we’ll try to trim everything towards qualifying. Now we have a lot of stuff to look into, before tomorrow comes: there will be another session and the opportunity to do a few more laps. If we get everything right we have a good chance tomorrow to position the car well.”
Qualifying and race work: Kimi second, Sebastian fifth in FP2
Marina Bay, 16 September – The second free practice session of the weekend, the first to be held entirely at night, has just ended at the Singapore circuit. In conditions similar to those that competitors will experience during qualifying and the race, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel tackled different programmes, running different compounds after both setting their best times on Ultrasofts. Raikkonen used them to set the second fastest time of 1.44.161, before completing two runs on the Supersoft. Vettel set the fifth best time of 1.45.161 before changing to the Soft tyres, the hardest compound available this weekend. Quickest was Nico Rosberg, who did a 1.44.152 in the Mercedes.
Vettel third, Raikkonen sixth in first practice
Marina Bay, 16 September – Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were third and sixth fastest respectively, come the end of the opening free practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix, the first race of the final leg of the Formula 1 World Championship, which all takes place outside Europe. Vettel took his SF16-H round in a time of 1.46.287, behind the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen (1.45.823) and Daniel Ricciardo (1.45.872). In the other Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen was sixth in 1.46.890. Both Ferrari men used two sets of Ultrasofts, assessing aerodynamic updates during the first 90 minutes of free practice. Here, the times depend a lot more than usual on such unknowns as the different fuel loads and the fact that temperatures drop over the course of qualifying and the race. Furthermore, lap times improve as the track, currently still very dirty, rubbers in over the weekend on this street circuit.
Kimi: “So far we took the best out of the car in most cases”
The race here in Singapore is quite tough, it’s a tricky circuit and quite a long one and the weather is very hot and humid. To go fast here the car has to be right, like any circuit of course, but in a street circuit it’s even more important. It’s not an easy place, but you get exciting moments of racing and overtakes. It’s hard to know what to expect, our approach is the same as in any other race weekend. Last year we did well but this doesn’t mean that automatically it will go the same way this year. From tomorrow we’ll be on track and then we’ll have some ideas of where we are. So far I think we took the best out of the car most of the times, in some circuits and conditions we struggle more, and this can make a big difference. Overall I think we just need to improve the car in all areas, to be faster. Many times this year we have seen that the circuit layout plus the conditions make a big difference. Our aim is to be up there and win in whatever conditions, unfortunately this year it did not happen. For sure we are better than last year but obviously the others have improved more. I’m sure we are doing the right things, we have great people but the speed is missing a bit.
Seb looks forward to a track “that should be good for us”
I like this track, it’s a place that I always enjoyed. I was lucky to be very successful in the last couple of years. The race here is always very long, you can be lucky or unlucky with the safety-cars, obviously that’s not what you’re hope for as a driver because you want it to be fair and square. For sure if it plays in your favor you take it, if it works against you it can be annoying, but that’s the way it is, that’s the nature of the street circuits.
This track was has been good for us last year, in general we improved the car, then it should be a good track for us again. For tyres and strategy in general it depends on what happens in the race, for qualifying it’s clear, you try to go as fast as you can.
I like the track and I’m full of optimism, I know that we have to do our homework on Friday to get prepared and then we’ll see where we are. On paper there might be some tracks that suit us more or less, but as usual it’s a combination of so many things, how the tires work, the car balance, where do you start in the right foot, if you chase up with the set-up in time or not for qualifying for the race… then I’m not really looking at the different characteristics of the tracks, I think you should always try to do your best.
When we started off last year it was clear where we want to go, we want to bring Ferrari to the top. It’s true that we haven’t had a great season so far, but it’s also true that we did not have an awful season either. We are criticizing ourselves first because we haven’t achieved what we had set out to achieve. We were closing the gap last year and unfortunately the gap to the top is still there, sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller, but it’s a matter of fact that it’s still there. We didn’t win a lot of races simply because we hadn’t been quick enough, we are working on it 100% to have confidence that we’ll be winning races in the future.
Sebastian’s fond memories of Singapore
Maranello, 13 September – Two weeks on from the Italian Grand Prix, the Formula 1 circus hits Singapore to tackle the Marina Bay circuit for 61 laps of the 5.065 kilometre track. This is the eighth edition of the event, which on its debut in 2008 was the first ever night race on the calendar. After the totally made-in-Italy feel of the Monza autodrome, the South East Asian city-state offers a radical change of scene, with its high humidity and risk of rain making the outcome of the race, illuminated by around 1700 floodlights, very unpredictable.
“I have excellent memories from previous years in Singapore. I was able to win there a couple of times in the past” says Sebastian Vettel, who last year led all the way from pole to the chequered flag to score his third win for Scuderia Ferrari. “It’s quite tricky a Grand Prix. It happens at night and it’s quite different from what you see around the track to make up your reference points. The track is very rough, bumpy, long, with long-lasting laps. So, you need to stay focused for a long time. It’s usually quite hot and humid. So it’s a hard work inside the car, but I think it’s something we all enjoy. We try to stay in the European time, which is quite funny because we stay up very late and wake up in the middle of the day. So, it’s a bit special for all the drivers and all the teams to operate.”