The shortest Singapore Grand Prix on record, a bad day for Force India and a feat which hasn’t occurred since the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix happened over the Singapore weekend. Plus, we look at how Max Verstappen can still win this year’s title! Here are all the best facts and statistics from the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix weekend!
HAMILTON REIGNS IN SINGAPORE
Lewis Hamilton took his 79th pole position in Formula One, a record-equalling fourth Singapore Grand Prix pole, and his seventh pole of the season. It was his third pole position in the last four races. It was Mercedes’ 96th pole position, and their third at the Marina Bay track.
On Sunday, the reigning champion took victory for the 69th time. It was his seventh victory in 2018, and his fourth in the past five races. Hamilton’s victory marks only the second time a driver has taken back-to-back wins in Singapore. It was his 129th podium appearance. Meanwhile, Mercedes took their 83rd F1 victory and their fourth win at the track, which is the most wins for any team in Singapore.
After the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are now tied for the highest number of wins and poles at the Marina Bay Circuit. The pair are the only two drivers to have taken more than one pole position at the track.
At 0.319 seconds, Saturday saw the smallest pole margin in Singapore since 2014, which is the last time before this weekend that Lewis Hamilton took pole at the Marina Bay track.
Carlos Sainz recorded his first Q2 exit since the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen put in his best qualifying of the season so far with second on the grid. It’s the fourth time he’s started from the front row so far in his career.
With last on the grid, Lance Stroll equalled his worst Saturday performance of the year as he started from 20th for the third time in his career. The Canadian driver is yet to progress past Q1 at the Marina Bay Circuit.
Qualifying in fourth, Valtteri Bottas recorded his best qualifying result at the Singapore Grand Prix, starting from the second row of the grid for the first time at the track.
Saturday marked the first time Daniel Ricciardo hasn’t qualified in the top three for the Singapore Grand Prix since he drove for Toro Rosso in 2013.
Williams recorded a double Q1 exit for the eighth time this season.
After the Singapore Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen maintain their 100% Q3 record in 2018, while Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen keep their 100% Q3 appearance record in Singapore.
FORCE INDIA NIGHTMARE
Sergio Perez recorded his first top ten start at the Singapore Grand Prix, but had a Sunday to forget. For the first time, the Mexican driver lost positions in a race at the Marina Bay Circuit, dropping nine places down the order throughout the Grand Prix and ending his 100% points record at the track. It’s the most positions he’s ever lost in a Grand Prix which he’s reached the end of.
It was a bad day all round for Force India, as Perez’s first lap antics meant Esteban Ocon ended his 100% finish record in Singapore. It was the Frenchman’s fifth DNF in F1, and his fourth non-finish of this season.
Three out of eight of Force India’s retirements in the last 35 races have been caused by their drivers colliding with each other. It was the first time the team have failed to pick up a point at the Singapore track since 2009.
GRAND PRIX STATS
No one got a grid penalty and everyone made it to the grid for the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix. That’s the first time the whole grid has lined up as they qualified, without any penalties, pit-lane starts or DNSs, since the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Singapore Grand Prix saw the equal-fewest retirements in a race so far this season. Both the Chinese and Singapore Grands Prix saw just one DNF each. With nineteen of the twenty cars reaching the end of the race, it was the highest finish rate in the Marina Bay Circuit’s history.
After 2015 and 2016, the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix is the third time the top three finished in the order in which they started at the track. In fact, all of the top six finished where they qualified – the first time that has ever happened at this circuit.
With the Safety Car called out less than a minute into the race, the Singapore Grand Prix maintains its record of having a Safety Car appearance in every race so far at the track. With Lewis Hamilton winning in a time of 1:51:11.611, the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix was the shortest ever, at over four minutes shorter than the 2016 event. Considering there were two more Safety Car laps in this year’s race than in the 2016 race, it really shows how much faster this year’s cars are.
Sunday marked the first time Toro Rosso have failed to score in Singapore since 2013, the first time both Renault cars have scored at the Marina Bay Circuit and Sauber’s first points-scoring Singapore Grand Prix since 2015. Charles Leclerc picked up points for the first time since the Austrian Grand Prix.
For the third year in a row, a McLaren driver finished seventh in the Singapore Grand Prix.
The 2018 Singapore Grand Prix was the third time (after China 2017 and Belgium 2018) that Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen have finished on the podium together.
Red Bull have finished on the Singapore Grand Prix podium in every year at this track since 2010, and remain the team to beat in terms of record number of podiums at the Marina Bay Circuit. Verstappen secured Red Bull’s twelfth top three finish at the track, while Ferrari and Mercedes each have six podium appearances. Red Bull have taken the runner-up spot at this race in every season since 2014.
Max Verstappen took his seventeenth career podium, equalling champions Alberto Ascari and Keke Rosberg. It was Verstappen’s first top three finish at the track, making him the eleventh different driver to finish on the podium in Singapore. The Netherlands becomes the sixth different nation to have a driver finish in the top three in Singapore.
With third place, Sebastian Vettel scored his 108th podium finish in F1. It’s the first time a German driver has finished third in the Singapore Grand Prix.
Kevin Magnussen recorded his first Q1 exit since the Monaco Grand Prix. It was his third consecutive Q1 exit at the Singapore Grand Prix. Things were somewhat better on Sunday, though, as the Danish driver took the first Fastest Lap of his career. He becomes the 131st driver to have set the fastest lap of a Grand Prix.
Nine drivers (Kevin Magnussen, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso, Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas and Brendon Hartley) set lap times faster than the previous Marina Bay Circuit lap record during the Grand Prix. Magnussen ended up with the new record – a 1:41.905, over three seconds quicker than the previous best.
This year’s Singapore Grand Prix pole lap was 3.476 seconds faster than the pole lap at the circuit last season.
Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen are the only five drivers who can still mathematically win the championship this season. If Vettel won all of the last six races and Hamilton finished second in all of them, Vettel would win the title – but by just two points. Another four wins this season will secure the title for Hamilton, regardless of where Vettel finishes in any of them. Vettel needs to score an average of just under seven points more than Hamilton in all of the remaining six races to win the title.
There’s perhaps some cause for optimism at Ferrari – 2018 is the first time a Constructor has led the championship by less than 100 points after the Singapore Grand Prix since 2012.
Max Verstappen can still win this year’s title. At the very least, he’d need to score four wins and two second places, with Lewis Hamilton scoring no more than three points and Sebastian Vettel scoring no more than 43 points from the last six rounds. This scenario would also require Kimi Raikkonen to score 90 points or less, and Valtteri Bottas to score 93 points or less.
If Verstappen took the maximum of 150 points available in the last six Grands Prix of the year, Hamilton would have to score less than seventeen points and Vettel less than 57 points for the Dutch driver to be crowned champion.
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.