Who Were the Biggest Winners & Losers from the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix?
Bright lights, a finely-lit circuit. Dazzling under the clear-blue evening skies. A spine-bending, highly barricaded track where overtaking is about as difficult as avoiding a sneeze during flu. What can be as exciting as the Singapore Grand Prix, one can ask?
But it has to be conceded the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix wasn't perhaps the most dramatic or action-packed race. Especially, when one compares to the recently completed race, Round 14 of the season was pretty much a one-way street.
And to that end, it can be said, that street belonged to one man alone, Lewis Hamilton. He turned tormentor of Ferrari and at the end of the 61-lap contest, a comprehensive winner.
After having won his 69th Grand Prix, Hamilton's one-sided triumph leaves open a wide array of questions.
To begin with, who were the biggest winners from the 2018 Grand Prix?
For a driver who, right at the start of the season (only after the conclusion of a few races in Baku and China), came to be booed as "Crashstappen", Max' recovery has been impressive.
What the flying Dutchman has proved via a string of strong finishes (Belgium- P3, Italy- P5, and now, a fighting P2- at Singapore) is what shown what a controlled driver inside him can do as against the anxious and overly aggressive marksman that he has the tendency to become.
The way Verstappen defended his position at the pit exit during the mid-way stage from the German driver was one of the only real thrilling sights of the race.
In grabbing an impressive ninth (his first ever run at the Singapore Grand Prix) Leclerc not only drove home 2 vital points for his team (currently stacked below the likes of Haas, Racing Point Force India, and McLaren) but also got the better of a vastly-experienced driver in Nico Hulkenberg of Renault.
Their duel at the middle-stages of the Grand Prix, which continued for a good 4 laps, showed that Hulkenberg's much more measured moves weren't able to counter the charge of Leclerc, who was relentless in holding onto his ninth-place. Youth over experience.
The Haas driver has been in some fine form all this year. Especially when it comes to the Grands Prix of Australia, France, Belgium and Hungary. It was there that Magnussen gathered some rather terrific finishes in the form of P5, P6, P8, and P7, respectively.
But even though the Haas driver finished well outside the points in Singapore, what was most stunning from the Dane was that he delivered the fastest-lap of the Grand Prix.
In delivering a belting 1:41:905, Magnussen proved why he's highly rated & might continue to be so.
That told, who were the biggest losers of the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix?
When Kimi Raikkonen stood a desolate second place on the podium at the 2017 Monaco Grand-Prix, it seemed that there may not have been a sadder figure in Formula 1 history.
Yet, when Vettel emerged third at the conclusion of the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix, he seemed the saddest P3 there had ever been. In fact, in the initial moments of the Grand Prix' completion, he didn't even seem interested to be part of the proceedings.
Had it not been for the compound choice that Vettel had contested with, the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix might have served up more thrills instead of appearing the bland race that it eventually turned out to be.
Another Grand Prix lost; does that mean another step away from the 2018 title for Seb?
For a supremely talented driver to be labelled increasingly as a 'Wingman', what can be worse for Valtteri Bottas?
Despite grabbing a respectable P4, Bottas, who managed to defend well from Raikkonen, couldn't get remotely close to third-placed Sebastian Vettel.
The Finn's deficit to the German (at around 52 seconds) proved just what really transpired during the closing stages of the Grand Prix. All that Valtteri was left to do was to defend his somnolent fourth-place from his compatriot.
Picture the opening lap fiasco. Picture the sorry-sounding voice of the Mexican appearing grumpy on the team radio and yet sad in the same instance. And finally, picture the collision that might have been really grim for Williams' Sergey Sitrokin.
Just what was Racing Point Force India driver Perez up to at Singapore?
Not only did he not finish inside the points. But, by being largely responsible for the Lap 1 incident when Ocon dived to his right, only for Sergio to fail in taking a defensive action, meant he was the cause of the hitherto consistent Racing Point Force India retreating into their paddock having failed to collect a single point.