Report Nº 15 

2019 Formula 1 Singapore Airline Singapore GP Marina Bay 

Lap record 1m 41.905s held by K Magnussen Haas (2018)

This is the second of the 5 anti-clockwise circuits of the season and the longest (time wise) of the season. The race laps have been reduced 3 times to coincide with the 2 hour limit. It is a very tough circuit for the drivers with a bumpy surface, 23 turns (more than any other circuit on the calendar) and short straights, but they still reach a top speed of 311km/h (193mph). Being 88 miles north of the equator, the heat & high humidity can be a strain. The circuit also boasts the unenviable record of a 100% safety car appearance.

This was the 12th GP to be held at this circuit, the first in 2008, the scene of the ‘Crash gate affair’ which was won in controversial circumstances by Alo in a Renault. In 2008 Massa started from pole in a Ferrari, but due to a pit error leaving with the fuel hose still attached to his car, he ended in 19th place. 

There were some minor alterations to the circuit for this year; 5 domed kerbs 50mm high placed 1.5mtrs from the track edge at the exit of turn 7, the entire pit (working lane) has been resurfaced as well as various sections of the track.

The weekend started in full daylight with good weather conditions. 

FP1Lec had a problem but managed to cruise back to the garage. Bot hit the wall at turn 19 causing the red flag and damaging both the front & the rear of his W10. Vet, Ham, Bot & Alb were the top five runners.

FP2Alb hit the barrier at turn 10 (yellow flags). Ham, Ver, Vet, Bot & Alb the top five.

FP3Kvy stopped with a smoking STR14. Per hit the wall at turn 22 causing the red flags. Lec, Ham, Vet, Bot & Alb the top five. 

Q1 at 9pm local time again under floodlights and very hot and humid. Gro clouted the wall but managed to keep going. Out went both Williams’ cars along with Gro, Str & Kvy. Top five were Bot, Ham, Lec, Vet & Ver.

Q2 went without any problems except Räi hit the barriers at turn 14. Both Alfa Romeo cars went out. Top five were Lec, Vet, Ham, Ver & Bot.

Q3 was as usual fast and furious but trouble free. Lec got his 3rd consecutive pole position with Ham, Vet, Ver & Bot making the top five. 

The race started under floodlights at 9.10pm local time. Lec got away well. Vet & Ham had a good battle during the early part of the lap. A collision between Hül & Sai caused punctures for both drivers forcing them to pit at the end of lap 1. Rus had to pit for a new front wing after an over aggressive manoeuvre by Ric who picked up a puncture. Gro, with an over aggressive and unnecessary passing manoeuvre, forced Rus into the wall at turn 8 (safety car for 6 laps). Str hit the wall and picked up a puncture. Per stopped on track at turn 14 with an oil leak, (safety for 3 laps). Kvy did a Kamikaze move on Räi breaking the front suspension (safety car for 2 laps). Vet won the race his first since Spa last year. Ham, Bot, Räi, Alb, Nor, Sai, Gas & Hül made up the points scorers. 

Report Nº 16 

2019 Formula 1 VTB Russian GP Sochi Autodrom 

Lap record 1m 35.861s Valtteri Bottas (2018).

Sochi is situated on the banks of the Black Sea in Krasnodar Krai, South Russia and commonly known as the ‘Russian Riviera’, it is Russia’s largest and most popular resort. It has emerged as one of the country’s top sporting venues after hosting the 22nd Winter Olympic Games in 2014, the 11th Winter Paralympic Games and was the host city for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and now home to Formula 1 for the 6th time. It is the 4th longest circuit after Spa, Baku & Silverstone; 1.7kms of the circuit are public roads with a very long straight to start and made up of 12 right hand and 6 left hand corners. 

FP1 started at 11am local time and was overcast. Kvy stopped on track with a loss of power, (VSC for a short while). Bot had a near miss with a bird and at the end of the session the Finn suffered with a collapsed rear wing. Ric spun and hit the barriers dislodging his rear wing. Lec, Ver, Vet, Bot & Ham top five.

FP2 at 3pm – VSC was used while the marshals replaced a ‘slalom’ board which had been knocked down. Alb had a short session as his car was being worked on in the garage. Ham had a bit of a scare when he came up against a slow moving Ver. Ver, Lec, Bot, Ham & Vet top five.

FP3 – overcast. Kvy again stopped on track with more engine problems (VSC again). Lec, Vet, Ham, Bot & Ver top five.

Q1 – 3pm was trouble free until Alb crashed into the barriers at turn 13 causing the session to be red flagged. Vet, Ham, Ver, Bot & Lec top five.

Q2 was good, clear, but chaotic. Out went both Racing Point drivers Mag & Gio. Gas,Lec, Vet, Ver Ham, & Bot top five.

Q3 – After the fast and furious 12 minute shoot out Lec got his first pole position at this circuit. Ham, Vet, Ver & Bot made up the top five. Ver, Alb & Gas had a 5 place grid penalties for using additional PU elements. Kvy & Kub started from back of the grid for multiple PU element changes.

Race day was warm at 22C. Alb had to start from the pit lane after having more new parts fitted after his accident in Q1.  Great start from the Ferrari duo especially Vet getting past Ham in turn 1 & then Lec in turn 2. A few scraps and wheel banging further down the field as Str hit Gro. Hül was sandwiched between Per & Ver. Ric banged wheels with Str then hit Gro sending the Haas into the barriers (safety car). Ric got a puncture and had a slow trip back to the pits as did Gio for a new front wing & Kub for an early tyre change. Restart on lap 4, but Räi was given a drive thru penalty for a jump start. Ric retired on lap 24 with damage sustained in the lap 1 incident. Vet pulled off the circuit with a loss of power on lap 27 (VSC). Rus crashed into the barriers (safety car again). Kub retired one lap later. Restart on lap 34 left 19 laps of real racing. Mag had a battle with Per and went off the track (5 second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage). A good battle between Bot & Lec towards the end. Ham won for the 4th time at this circuit. Sochi, Bot & Lec the other podium places.