2019 Singapore Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Give Ferrari a ton of credit. When they could have tossed the towel in for this season and concentrated on designing next year's car, they kept at it with development. Now, they won on a track they originally had no right to win at. The title races may be essentially over, but the rest of the season will be fascinating to see how it plays out and how Mercedes answers the challenge. Too bad this couldn't have been the case at the start of the year.
EVENT: It appears Singapore is finally an event too far for Max Verstappen's Orange Army. Not that Singapore needs their support.
TRACK: Brought out the best and worst in drivers.
QUALIFYING: A scintillating session, Ferrari surprises everyone -- everyone!, Leclerc doesn't surprise anyone by once again outdoing the veteran on the team, as Vettel once again -- once again! -- makes too many mistakes when it counted, superb runs by newbies to the circuit -- Albon and Norris, and Stroll once again returns to "normalcy" with a Q1 elimination.
RACE: A lot of (over) aggressiveness. A lot of contact. A lot of safety car periods.
START: Leclerc dominates, Hamilton and Vettel put on a heck of a show, Sainz has no luck, and Ricciardo gets caught up with a Williams.
VETTEL: A bit lucky getting to the front, but once there it was the Sebastian of old -- dominating while leading, controlling the pace, getting through traffic easier than anyone else, and calmly bringing it home.
LECLERC: Last race, Charles won the "game." This race, he lost the "game." Welcome to Formula 1...
FERRARI: Their strategy calls were based on one thing, and one thing only -- ensuring a 1-2 finish. Nothing else. Who finished first and who finished second meant nothing to Ferrari. It's always about the team above the drivers for Ferrari. Always has been. Always will be.
VERSTAPPEN: Took advantage of Mercedes' mess up.
ALBON: Finished where he was expected to.
RED BULL: Despite the results, they can't be happy on a track suited for them.
HAMILTON: Even if his team employed a better strategy, unless Lewis was in front after the pit stops, it would have been very difficult to pass, faster car/tires not withstanding.
BOTTAS: Truly, the Rubens Barrichello of Mercedes.
MERCEDES: Did the Ferrari strategists put on Mercedes uniforms at Singapore?
NORRIS: Another splendid weekend for Lance.
MCLAREN: Another splendid weekend for McLaren.
GASLY: Pierre appears to be more at home at Toro Rosso.
KVYAT: Suddenly, he's being consistently outperformed by his teammate.
GIOVINAZZI: Is Antonio finally doing enough to keep his ride?
GROSJEAN: Still not doing enough to keep his ride...
HAAS: ...but somehow Haas kept Romain's ride...
HULKENBERG: ...which all very likely will keep Nico from having any ride.
RICCIARDO: Daniel was nuts the whole race. Which was fun to watch. Until it wasn't.
MAGNUSSEN: Last finisher. And fastest race lap. The greatest contradiction in a Haas season of contradictions.
KUBICA: Our hearts always wanted it to work out. Sadly, it was evident very early on, Robert's comeback was not going to have the happy ending. However, major kudos to Kubica for making it this far after nearly dying in that rally crash.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Unfair.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 392 -- The number of days between Vettel's 52nd and 53rd wins.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: This is the first time Alfa Romeo led a race since the 1983 Belgian GP. Andrea de Cesaris qualified third, eventually taking the lead, pulling away from the field. A poor pit stop cost him the lead and an injection problem eventually ended his race after 25 of 40 laps. Pole sitter Alain Prost won, followed by Patrick Tambay and Eddie Cheever.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto clearly doesn't hide the fact that it's always about the team first over which driver wins, "We are happy with that because if it is a one-two or two-one, it is still a Ferrari one-two."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: George Russell stating very plainly what everyone was thinking when Romain Grosjean took him out, "I shouldn't be surprised."
SCHEDULE: No way we are making anymore predictions...
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