20
September
2015
|
18:03
Europe/Amsterdam

2015 Singapore Grand Prix - Race

SEBASTIAN VETTEL CLAIMS THIRD WIN OF THE SEASON FOR HIMSELF AND FERRARI USING A TWO-STOP STRATEGY

SINGAPORE’S 100% SAFETY CAR RECORD MAINTAINED: TWO SAFETY CARS AFFECT RACE STRATEGY

DIFFERENT THINKING ON STRATEGY ALL THE WAY DOWN THE FIELD: VERSTAPPEN FINISHES IN THE POINTS FROM ONE LAP DOWN

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has sealed his third victory of the season for Ferrari, using a two-stop strategy at night on the streets of Singapore to clinch his 42nd career win. The race was characterised by a lengthy safety car period a third of the way into the race, which added a new dimension to the already complex strategy calculations, followed by a second safety car period 20 laps from the finish. During the second safety car, the drivers made their last stops, with a final sprint to the finish that produced plenty of entertaining battles. The entire field started the grand prix on the P Zero Red supersoft tyre, nominated together with the P Zero Yellow soft this weekend. But there were already some different ideas about strategy from the first round of pit stops onwards. Some drivers – including the top three – stuck with the supersoft, while both Mercedes drivers switched to the soft tyre for the second stint. The same strategy was used by Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen, who went from a lap down at the beginning, following a problem at the race start, to a points-scoring eighth. The 17-year-old then used the rapid supersoft at the end of the race to make up positions. The fastest lap was actually set on the soft tyre on lap 52 by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who finished second. Singapore kept up its 100% record of having at least one safety car during the race, going to the full two-hour time limit for a grand prix. Despite this being the longest race of the year, the vast majority of the field used a two-stop strategy. The highest-placed three-stopper was Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, who ended up ninth at the finish. The Singapore Grand Prix was run in hot and humid conditions, with ambient and track temperatures of 30 and 33 degrees respectively, which fell gradually as the race went on. Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “Tactics and tyre management played an important role during this evening’s race. Conditions were as tough as ever in Singapore, with the heat, humidity and sheer length of the race, but Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel were able to get the very best out of the tyres and the strategy, knowing when to push and when to keep something in reserve. It was a perfect race from him. The strategy for every team was obviously affected by the two safety car periods, which had the effect of stretching out the stints. As a result, we saw more drivers moving towards a two-stop strategy rather than a three-stopper. All the way down the field though, there was some different thinking about which order would be the best one to use the tyres in. With such a long race distance, looking after the tyres most effectively was crucial to success, especially in the closing stages.” Fastest times of the day by compound:

  Supersoft Soft Intermediate Wet
First MAL   1m50.175s RIC  1m50.041s 0 0
Second VST    1m50.298s VET 1m50.069s 0 0
Third SAI     1m50.401s RAI  1m50.341s 0 0

Longest stint of the race:

Supersoft Max Verstappen         25 laps
Soft Romain Grosjean        33 laps

Truth-O-Meter We predicted a three-stopper as theoretically the fastest scenario for the 61-lap race, but we also thought that most teams would opt for a two-stopper because of traffic. In the end, the strategy was mainly affected by the two safety cars, plus one virtual safety car period. The two-stopper we expected was: start on supersoft, switch to supersoft again on lap 24 and soft on lap 43. Vettel followed the pattern we expected but the timing of his stops was influenced by the safety car. He made his two pit stops on laps 13 and 37.