Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel, who lost the lead of the Drivers’ Championship at Monza for the first time this year, absolutely must react during the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, the fourteenth round of the season, on a track more favourable.
After Spa and Monza, two circuits with features benefiting the Silver Arrows, the Scuderia is found on land that suits him better with the urban layout of Marina Bay. Few straight lines, a lot of turns and a very narrow track places: Vettel hopes to live the same weekend in Hungary, where he had enjoyed the decisive help of the other Ferrari of Kimi Räikkönen.
“Right now, Mercedes is ahead but I am very confident in the changes that we will bring to our car”, he considers. The German, outdistanced of three points by Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), holds the Singapore hit record with four wins. A new first place seems necessary if he does not want his quest for a fifth world title in parentheses.
Deploring the grotesque situation observed in the recent Italian GP –where nine drivers were fined a combined total of 150 places on the grid for techniques– offenses, Chase Carey, the boss of F1, said that he was in favor of an overhaul of the system of penalties. “We have clearly reached a point where it does not work as we would like, when, as in Monza, almost half of the grid has received a penalty that no one can really understand ‘ , he believes. “These penalties engines or gearboxes are completely unfair to drivers”, agrees the Finn Mika Häkkinen, world champion in 1998 and 1999.
Among the teams that have made the choice to change a maximum of elements in Italy is Red Bull, which has set a goal of winning more races before the end of November. The cars of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen are expected in Singapore, despite their power deficit compared to Ferrari and Mercedes. “I think Red Bull will be fast this weekend” and predicted Hamilton, adding, of course, it lines “in order to win” . “The fact that the race takes place at night is a real show” , said the three British world champion, whose Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas was confirmed Wednesday for 2018.
Mercedes hopes to use its new engine introduced in Spa, just in time to avoid a limitation of the FIA concerning the oil combustion, which applies in contrast to the remaining races all other teams. The downside is that Hamilton and Bottas will run until the end of the season with a sword of Damocles over the head, because in case of breakage their propellant block, they will suffer penalties from. In middle of the grid, the eyes are a possible formalization of the deal which should see Renault provide its motor to McLaren next year, Honda equipping Toro Rosso. An agreement would also see Carlos Sainz Jr leave the Italian team to join the team of the diamond, perhaps as early as the Malaysian GP in 15 days.
The subject has fueled press conference Thursday. More than ever in the hot seat at Renault, Jolyon Palmer assured that he would retain his seat “to Abu Dhabi” , last round of the 2017 season Fernando Alonso, who determines his future at McLaren performance of his car, is it still shown as evasive about his future. Insured to continue in 2018 at Renault, German Nico Hulkenberg risk this weekend to become the sole owner of the largest number of strokes record (129) played without ever being on the podium, ahead of compatriot Adrian Sutil. Conversely, the Singapore GP is not guaranteed to be held in 2018. Liberty Media, the owner of Formula 1, is in negotiations about it with the organizers of the GP, for now tentatively on the calendar .