In the wake of Ferrari’s torrid Singapore Grand Prix, many are already writing off Sebastian Vettel’s world championship chances but F1’s motorsport chief Ross Brawn is confident that the title battle is by no means over and predicts it will only be resolved at the season finale..
In his look back on the race weekend at Marina Bay Circuit, Brawn summed up, “It was nothing short of a nightmare race for Ferrari. The points lost could yet prove costly – especially for Sebastian, who is now 28 points adrift of Hamilton.”
Nut he added, “There’s no reason to panic, though, as I know well from my time as the Ferrari’s Technical Director when we experienced similar situations.”
“There are still six races to go, a lot of points up for grabs, and Ferrari has a competitive package at its disposal. I have a feeling there’s plenty more drama to come before we get to Abu Dhabi.”
The big winner on the night was Mercedes and championship leader Lewis Hamilton. The Briton arrived in Singapore with a slender three points lead in the standings over Vettel.
With Vettel starting from pole and Hamilton from fifth, the Briton expected it to be a case of damage control but instead Vettel was eliminated along with Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in a headline grabbing collision. Three podium contenders out of contention moments after the race started.
Hamilton grabbed the opportunity with both hands and powered to a well controlled victory, on a track that was not supposed to suit the Silver Arrows. He departed Singapore leading the championship by 28 points.
Brawn reflected, “Lewis Hamilton’s performance lit up the night in Singapore, though few would have banked on a Lewis win after FP2 in which the championship leader finished seven tenths of a second off Daniel Ricciardo’s pace. With Valtteri Bottas 1.2 seconds adrift at that point it looked as if the Silver Arrows were in for a repeat of their 2015 nightmare at Marina Bay.”
“However, they managed to turn things around in superb style. Of course, the carnage at the start helped, removing three of the four drivers who had started ahead of Hamilton from the equation.”
“Lewis was in imperious form. He was exceptionally quick in the wet, managing the intermediate tyres better than his rivals. At the restarts he was sure-footed and controlled the gap to Daniel well, while in the dry he was untouchable, again managing the ultrasoft tyres better than his rivals,” added Brawn.