Marina Bay – The 2014 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix was above all else, hot and gruelling. With the track temperature hardly going below 32ºC (90ºF,) the cars and drivers were in nearly unbearable conditions for the entirety of Sunday’s 2 hour event, leaving many of the drivers thoroughly dehydrated, and in some cases desperate for relief.
The day was not in Nico Rosberg’s favour from the start. With a hardware problem, the Mercedes driver was forced to start from the pit lane, only to retire after 14 laps. The other early retirement was Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi, whose car shut down on the formation lap.
Hamilton took the race lead from the beginning, only briefly losing it to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel after Hamilton’s final pit stop. In many respects, Hamilton’s triumphs were overshadowed by Rosberg’s tribulations, and by the fight that lasted all 2 hours behind him amongst the rest of the grid.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso did quite well, keeping close behind the two Red Bulls in 4th throughout the race. His Finnish teammate, Kimi Räikkönen likewise was a hard fighter further down the field, keeping pace with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, the McLarens, and Force Indias. Their stellar performance Sunday in Singapore is a great and marked improvement from the disaster that was Monza.
Red Bull kept their strengths in show, maintaining 2nd and 3rd for the majority of the race. Defending 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel held back his Australian teammate Daniel Ricciardo, enabling for both Red Bulls to earn a finish on the podium. Ricciardo remarked that Singapore did feel like a home race for him, as the city-state is equidistant to his hometown of Perth, Western Australia, as is Melbourne, home to the Australian Grand Prix.
For Williams, Singapore could have gone better. Brazilian Felipe Massa was able to finish in 5th, but his Finnish teammate barely scraped out 11th place after suffering a flat tyre on the last lap. That being said, Bottas was able to hold off his fellow countryman Räikkönen for the majority of the race until the tyre in question gave way.
Kevin Magnussen did fairly well for himself on his first time racing in Singapore. His 10th place finish not only outdid his veteran teammate, Jenson Button, who retired near the end of the race, but he also was able to outdo the extremes in temperature and fatigue that are par for the course in Singapore. Force India likewise did well on Sunday, with Sergio Pérez finishing in 7th and Nico Hülkenberg in 9th.
All of the drivers in that section of the field were outdone by Frenchman Jean-Éric Vergne, who, after being penalised with a 5-second stop and go penalty for passing whilst over the track limits, roared past much of the field ahead of him, finishing in a solid 6th. His Russian teammate suffered the greatest in the Singaporean conditions, voicing his desperation over the team radio.
With Singapore completed, the Formula 1 circus heads north to return to Japan, where Nico Rosberg will give his all to restore his championship lead. At present, Lewis Hamilton holds 1st place in the Drivers’ Championship with 241 points, 3 points ahead of his German teammate and 60 ahead of Australia’s own, Daniel Ricciardo. Mercedes has a clear lead in the Constructors’ Championship with 479 points, ahead of Red Bull’s 305, and Williams’ 187.
Full results from the 2014 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix are:
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2:00:04.795
- Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, +00:13.534
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +00:14.273
- Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, +00:15.389
- Felipe Massa, Williams, +00:42.161
- Jean-Éric Vergne, Toro Rosso, +00:56.801
- Sergio Pérez, Force India, +00:59.038
- Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari, +01:00.641
- Nico Hülkenberg, Force India, +01:01.661
- Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, +01:02.230
- Valtteri Bottas, Williams, +01:05.065
- Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, +01:06.915
- Romain Grosjean, Lotus, +01:08.029
- Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, +02:20.037
- Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, +01:34.188
- Jules Bianchi, Marussia, +01:34.543
- Max Chilton, Marussia, lapped
- Jenson Button, McLaren, retired, 52 laps
- Adrian Sutil, Sauber, retired, 40 laps
- Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, retired, 17 laps
- Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, retired, 13 laps
- Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, retired 0 laps