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Singapore Grand Prix

Formula 1 season 2014

Circuit information
CircuitMarina Bay Street Circuit
TimezoneGMT +08:00
Race debut2008
Length5.065 km
Distance308.828 km
Line offset0.137 km

Singapore’s night race was once again threatened with rain but the weather held off. One safety car period ratcheted up the tension for what was otherwise a tame Grand Prix. Although the championship lead was at stake, and two very opposing strategies would mean the difference between winning or losing, in the end the race result came down to Nico Rosberg’s bad luck.

Event overview

While Mercedes were still very much the dominant team throughout the entire weekend in Singapore, the early sessions looked as though they may have a little more competition on their hands. Ferrari had finally found some pace, and Red Bull were continuing their slow but sure progress to closing the gap. Williams, however, were struggling. After several weeks of being at their competitive best, the difficult conditions of the Marina Bay circuit were starting to tell.

Pre-race conversation was all about the FIA’s misguided radio clampdown, something which didn’t have too much impact during the race itself but was still all anyone could talk about. Qualifying didn’t offer up any huge surprises, with Lewis Hamilton taking pole position when it counted. Ferrari ended up disappointed with Fernando Alonso fifth and Kimi Räikkönen in seventh.

Nico Rosberg was late joining the grid ahead of the race, after the car developed an electrical problem. He hustled to join the pack, but then couldn’t pull away from the grid for the formation lap. The Mercedes mechanics retrieved the car for a pit lane start, but once he got going it was clear it wasn’t going to be a long race for the championship leader. The gearbox was shifting two at a time, the steering wheel was barely functioning, and the pit limiter wasn’t working at all. Rosberg headed into the pit lane for his first stop, and never rejoined the race.

That left Lewis Hamilton relatively unchallenged at the front. However, tyre strategy came into play significantly during the long race. Sergio Pérez brought out the safety car about halfway through, after colliding with Adrian Sutil. The Force India’s front wing disappeared under the car, and shattered carbon fibre all over the track. The lengthy safety car period allowed for plenty of pit stops to take place, and split the strategies.

Hamilton was leading, having stopped twice but requiring an additional stop to use up both compounds. The two Red Bull drivers behind him had taken on their required variety of tyres and were hoping to get to the end of the race on the set of rubber they were currently running on. That meant Lewis had to put his foot down and claw out a big enough gap to come in for a pit stop and rejoin in the lead.

The Mercedes is superbly fast, but he didn’t quite have enough tyre life left to hammer out enough of a gap. After his final pit stop, Hamilton rejoined behind Sebastian Vettel, but it only took him to laps to move back into the lead. The race win, alongside Rosberg’s retirement, put Lewis in the championship lead by just three points.

Elsewhere, Jean-Éric Vergne was penalised twice for exceeding the track limits, but still managed to find the motivation to soar up the ranks and finish in sixth by the time the race finished. Kamui Kobayashi didn’t complete the formation lap, his Caterham giving up half way round one lap. Both Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen were heard complaining about the heat via the pit-to-car radio. Magnussen in particular said he couldn’t take on any of the fluid from his drinks bottle as it was too hot and burning his mouth.

They managed to finish the race, unlike the Sauber drivers who both retired with various car problems. Jenson Button also didn’t see the chequered flag, after his McLaren just gave up beneath him. The race ran to time rather than to number of laps, with Lewis Hamilton taking victory on lap 60. A long, hot evening came to an end, providing enough challenges to keep things interesting but not delivering a classic F1 race.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
19 SepFridayFree Practice 111:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +08:00
Free Practice 214:30
GMT +01:00
GMT +08:00
20 SepSaturdayFree Practice 311:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +08:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +08:00
21 SepSundayGrand Prix13:00
GMT +01:00
GMT +08:00

All content in the series Singapore 2014