2014 Singapore Grand Prix
|2014 Singapore Grand Prix|
|Race 14 of 19 in the 2014 Formula One World Championship|
|Date||21 September 2014|
|Official name||2014 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix|
|Location||Marina Bay Street Circuit, Marina Bay, Singapore|
|Course||Temporary street circuit|
|Course length||5.065 km (3.147 mi)|
|Distance||60 laps, 303.900 km (188.835 mi)|
|Scheduled distance||61 laps, 308.965 km (191.982 mi)|
|Weather||Clear. Air: 28 to 30 °C (82 to 86 °F) Track: 33 to 37 °C (91 to 99 °F).|
|Attendance||253,362 (Weekend) 84,454 (Race Day)|
|Time||1:50.417 on lap 39|
|Second||Red Bull Racing-Renault|
|Third||Red Bull Racing-Renault|
The 2014 Singapore Grand Prix (formally the 2014 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 21 September at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Marina Bay, Singapore. It was the 14th round of the 2014 Formula One season and the seventh running of the event as part of the Formula One World Championship. The 60-lap race was won by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton after starting from pole position. Sebastian Vettel finished second for Red Bull and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo came in third. It was Hamilton's seventh victory of the season, his second in Singapore, and the 29th of his career.
Hamilton won the pole position by posting the fastest lap in qualifying and maintained his startline advantage heading into the first corner. His championship rival Nico Rosberg suffered a wiring loom steering problem and started from the pit lane. Hamilton remained in the lead after the first round of pit stops before ceding it to Ricciardo for one lap when the second pit stop phase occurred. In the closing stages of the Grand Prix, Hamilton made his third (and final) pit stop for the tyre change and rejoined narrowly ahead of Ricciardo. Vettel led for one lap until Hamilton passed him on lap 54 and maintained the lead to win. There were four lead changes among three different drivers during the course of the race.
The result meant Hamilton regained the lead of the Drivers' Champions with 241 points, three ahead of teammate Rosberg who retired after 14 laps after his problem could not to be rectified. Ricciardo maintained third place, with Fernando Alonso and Vettel moving ahead of the non-scoring Valtteri Bottas to move into fourth and fifth positions. Mercedes further extended their lead in the Constructors' Championship to 182 points ahead of Red Bull in second. Williams and Ferrari maintained third and fourth and Force India moved ahead of McLaren to take over fifth with five races left in the season.
The 2014 Singapore Grand Prix was the 14th of 19 scheduled rounds of the 2014 Formula One season, and the seventh running of the event as part of the Formula One World Championship. It was held on 21 September at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Marina Bay. Marina Bay Street Circuit is 5.065 kilometres (3.147 mi) long and consists of 23 turns. The event's official name was the 2014 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, and was scheduled to run for 61 laps. Tyre supplier Pirelli brought two types of tyre to the race, both dry compounds (super-soft "options" and soft "primes"). The super-soft tyres were identified by a red stripe on their side-walls, and the soft tyres were similarly identified in yellow.
The drag reduction system (DRS) had two activation zones for the race; one was from turns five and seven, and the second was on the start/finish straight from the final to first corners. The circuit underwent changes following the previous year's race; various portions of the circuit were resurfaced with the mandatory track jet sweeper employed to ensure the grip on the new asphalt equalled that from the old surface. The right-hand-side turn seven barrier at the corner's run-off area was realigned to enable traffic to drive behind it and the fast section of the pit lane was resurfaced.
Before the race Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg led the Drivers' Championship with 238 points, 22 ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton in second. Daniel Ricciardo was a further 50 points behind in third place. Valtteri Bottas was fourth on 122 points, one ahead of Fernando Alonso in the battle for the position. Mercedes were leading the Constructors' Championship with 454 points, and Red Bull were second on 272 points. Williams (172 points) and Ferrari (162) contended for third place and McLaren rounded out the top five with 110 points.
At the previous race in Italy, the gap between Rosberg and Hamilton had closed by seven points. Hamilton had started from pole position ahead of Rosberg, but had a poor start off the line and fell to fourth. He retook the lead after Rosberg braked late and went straight on at the first turn and used the escape road to rejoin the track. Hamilton remained the lead for the rest of the race to win. With six races left in the season, Hamilton was aware he could not lose any further ground to Rosberg in the championship battle and was pleased to make an improvement after his Monza victory: "Despite the highs and lows, I'm still well and truly in the hunt for the championship and that is something that gives me huge motivation for the final six races – starting in Singapore." Rosberg admitted Hamilton's form and past experience in championship battles could possibly be advantageous but it was something the latter was not concerned over and would focus on himself: "At the moment, I am enjoying the moment more than I ever have in the sport because I get to a race and I have a car where I know I can be on pole and I can win," Ricciardo stated that while he was aware his chances of winning the championship were not realistic, he would take a race-by-race approach, and hoped to win either of the season's next two races to draw closer in the title battle: "All it takes is a couple of wins and a couple of bad races for the championship leader, and all of a sudden everything's possible again. So let's see what happens."
In the weeks before the race, the sport's governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile's (FIA) race director Charlie Whiting, announced plans to introduce a ban on certain pit-to-car communications, with a particular emphasis on banning driver "coaching"—such as describing a driver's sector times relative to another competitor—under Article 20.1 of the sporting regulations, which state that a driver must drive the car "alone and unaided". Additionally, in the week running up to the Grand Prix, the FIA banned teams from sending drivers coded messages either through radio or pit board, and decided that at the next race of the season in Japan, they would be prohibited from sending information concerning the tyres and brake wear. After team principals raised concerns about the extent of the ban three days before the race, the FIA revised what teams could tell their drivers over the radio, including car performance and safety concerns. After persistent media speculation about his future at Caterham, the team confirmed that Kamui Kobayashi would take part in the race.
Three practice sessions—two on Friday and a third on Saturday—were held before the Sunday race. The Friday evening and night sessions lasted ninety minutes each; the third, one-hour session was held on Saturday evening. In the first practice session, Alonso set the fastest lap with a time of one minute and 49.056 seconds, one-tenth of a second faster than Hamilton in second and Rosberg third. Vettel was fourth-fastest, ahead of Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne. Kimi Räikkönen, Jenson Button, Daniil Kvyat and Sergio Pérez rounded out the session's top ten drivers. Although several drivers narrowly avoided damaging their cars, the session passed relatively smoothly. Vergne's battery was changed, causing him to miss the first hour, but after setting his fastest lap, his car stopped with an energy recovery system failure, ending his session early. Räikkonen's session also ended prematurely when his brakes caught fire. Vettel stopped at the pit lane exit with a sudden loss in oil pressure, but was not issued with a ten-place grid penalty because he was running an older engine.
Hamilton, despite complaining of brake vibrations, set the fastest lap of the day at one minute and 47.490 seconds on the super soft compound tyres in the second practice session; Alonso was second and Ricciardo third. Räikkönen was fourth-fastest with Vettel in fifth. The two McLaren drivers were sixth and seventh (with Kevin Magnussen ahead of Button) and Pérez, Nico Hülkenberg and Kvyat followed in the top ten. The session was disrupted halfway through when Pastor Maldonado drove too quickly through the tenth turn, lost control of his car's rear, and slid into the outside exit barriers, heavily damaging his vehicle's front-right hand corner. After the session ended, Lotus constructed a new E22 chassis overnight for Maldonado that he used for the remainder of the meeting. In the final practice session, held in cloudy weather conditions, Alonso set the fastest lap of the weekend so far at one minute and 47.299 seconds, 0.051 seconds faster than Ricciardo in second. Rosberg was third after going slowly in the first sector and went over the turn eleven kerbs. Vergne was fourth-fastest; Vettel was fifth and Hamilton sixth. Felipe Massa was seventh-fastest, Bottas eighth, Räikkönen ninth and Esteban Gutiérrez completed the top ten ahead of qualifying.
Saturday afternoon's qualifying session was divided into three parts. The first part ran for 18 minutes, eliminating cars that finished the session 15th or below. The 107% rule was in effect, requiring drivers to reach a time within 107% of the quickest lap to qualify. The second part of the qualifying session lasted 15 minutes, eliminating cars that finished 11th to 14th. The final part of the qualifying session determined the positions from first to tenth, deciding the pole position. Cars in the final qualifying session were not allowed to change tyres, using the tyres with which they set their quickest lap times. Hamilton set the fastest time in the final session to clinch his sixth pole position of the season, his third in Singapore, and the 37th of his career with a time of one minute and 45.681 seconds. The lap was achieved despite Hamilton locking his tyres entering turn one and missing the turn's apex as a consequence, losing him two-tenths of a second. Hamilton was joined on the grid's front row by Rosberg who recorded a lap 0.007 seconds slower than his teammate. Rosberg called it "the most difficult qualifying of my career so far" because he had difficulty finding a rhythm and changed his brakes for qualifying. Ricciardo took third and had the pole position until both Mercedes drivers went faster in the session's closing seconds. He was ahead of teammate Vettel in fourth who believed pole position could have been his after feeling he pushed too hard. Alonso made a minor set-up change, enabling him to feel confident and qualified fifth. Massa took sixth, ahead of Räikkönen, who was quickest in the first session, and declared his satisfaction with his car's handling, but his engine shut down while preparing for his second timed lap in the final session.
Bottas's preparation for his final timed lap was slightly compromised, and he made a mistake in the first turn, restricting him to eighth. Magnussen took ninth and Kvyat rounded out the top ten after only having the super soft compound tyre available to him. Button was the fastest driver not to advance into the final session; his best lap time of one minute and 46.943 seconds was 1.1 seconds slower than Rosberg's pace in the second session. He locked his front tyres at the turn 13 hairpin on his final timed lap and went wide, losing him time, and struggled with front-end grip despite changing engine and differential settings. Vergne did not improve on his second attempt, struggling with front-end grip, and locked his tyres, restricting him to 12th. The two Force India cars qualified in 13th and 15th (with Hülkenberg ahead of Pérez) after being unable to improve their fastest laps at their second attempts and were separated by Gutiérrez in the faster of the two Saubers. Romain Grosjean was the slowest driver in the second session; he suffered from a turbocharger wastegate problem that prevented him from driving at full power and vented his frustration to Lotus over the radio after being eliminated. Adrian Sutil failed to advance beyond the first qualifying session, after having energy management and engine problems that prevented him from pushing. Maldonado was affected by the same problem his teammate had and was only able to qualify 18th. Jules Bianchi made minor mistakes on his first timed lap for 19th and was ahead of Kamui Kobayashi in 20th. Max Chilton could not extract full engine power on his first attempt because of mapping problems and had to prepare for another lap and took 21st. Marcus Ericsson ventured onto the track late in the first session after his team worked quickly to rectify an electrical issue and completed the field in 22nd.
|3||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:47.488||1:46.493||1:45.854||3|
|4||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:47.476||1:46.586||1:45.902||4|
|10||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso-Renault||1:47.656||1:46.926||1:47.362||10|
|12||25||Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Renault||1:47.407||1:46.989||12|
|13||27||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:47.370||1:47.308||13|
|15||11||Sergio Pérez||Force India-Mercedes||1:48.143||1:47.575||15|
|107% time: 1:54.152|
Weather conditions at the start of the race were dry and clear. The air temperature throughout the Grand Prix was between 28 to 30 °C (82 to 86 °F) with a track temperature ranging from 33 to 37 °C (91 to 99 °F). All drivers started on the super soft compound tyre. Rosberg's car had trouble as his steering wheel controls did not work. Although he made the starting grid after a steering wheel change and computer reset, the problem was not rectified. Rosberg was unable to leave his starting position because of a wiring loom problem and was forced to start from the pit lane. Kobayashi's car developed an oil pressure issue on the formation lap and pulled off the circuit, rendering him unable to start the race. When the race started at 20:00 Singapore Standard Time (UTC+08:00), Hamilton maintained his pole position advantage heading into the first corner. Ricciardo's engine briefly lost power, preventing him from passing teammate Vettel. Alonso attempted to overtake both Red Bull cars around the outside but entered turn one too quickly, locked his front-left tyre, and drove onto the turn's run-off area. He emerged in second behind Hamilton and ceded third place to Vettel driving towards the seventh turn.
Magnussen made a good getaway off the grid, moving to sixth, passing Massa outside of track limits at the fifth corner, but later slid sideways at turn seven while fending off teammate Button which dropped him to ninth. Button made the best start in the field, gaining four positions by the end of the first lap, while Rosberg's pit lane start meant he lost 21 positions over the same distance. At the end of the first lap, Hamilton led from Vettel, Alonso, Ricciardo, Räikkönen, Massa, Button, Bottas, Magnussen and Kvyat.[n 1] Alonso's start was investigated by the stewards but they elected to take no further action against the driver. Rosberg left the pit lane on the second lap but was initially unable to maintain the pace of Chilton's Marussia. DRS was enabled on the third lap as the field spread out. Magnussen was investigated by the stewards for going beyond track limits. McLaren teammates Magnussen and Button avoided colliding on lap four and this meant they fell behind both Williams cars. Vettel kept Hamilton's lead advantage constant, prompting the latter to increase his pace to half a second faster than Vettel while still conserving fuel.
Rosberg overtook Chilton to move into 20th on lap five, while Kvyat was told over his radio to battle Magnussen after going three-tenths of a second faster than Magnussen in the first sector on the following lap. Rosberg could not overtake Ericsson and was more than 40 seconds behind leader Hamilton by the same lap. It was announced on the seventh lap that no further action against Magnussen was necessitated. Magnussen, Kvyat and Vergne were within one second of each other and battled for ninth place. Vergne encouraged his teammate Kvyat to cede a position to him but Kvyat insisted he had the pace to get past Magnussen. Kvyat lost tenth place to teammate Vergne on lap eight and began gaining on Magnussen. Rosberg was only able to shift two gears at any point during the race and was five seconds slower than teammate Hamilton. Hamilton led the field by five seconds by the start of lap ten despite having balance problems with his car over the space of one lap. Massa ran closely behind Räikkönen by the time of his first pit stop at the end of lap ten as part of a plan by the Williams team to pass the second Ferrari car through a better strategy. Räikkönen made his stop on the following lap and emerged behind Massa.
Bottas entered the pit lane on lap eleven with Vettel, Alonso and Ricciardo doing likewise on the next lap. After Kvyat made his stop, he rejoined behind Rosberg but overtook him shortly after. Hamilton made his pit stop from the lead on lap 14, and emerged back in first, narrowly ahead of Button. Rosberg was informed over the radio that he could not go beyond 6,500 revolutions per minute in first gear because his pit lane limiter was faulty. He drove slowly into the pit lane on lap 14 and purposely stalled his car as his tyres and steering wheel were changed. Mechanics switched his car off and Rosberg selected multiple buttons on his steering wheel in an attempt to change gear. After being stationary for nearly two minutes, Rosberg's car was pushed back into his garage and retired. Massa overtook Pérez for sixth place on the 15th lap. Vergne was given a five-second stop-and-go penalty on the next lap after being judged to have exceeded track limits. Gutiérrez drove into his garage to retire with an engine electrical problem on lap 19. Two laps later, Chilton made an unscheduled pit stop after his front-right tyre was punctured because of a valve problem on the wheel.
On lap 23, Räikkönen was drawing closer to Massa and the Williams team responded by bringing him into the pit lane to install soft compound tyres for a potential overtake through a better strategy, and he rejoined in ninth behind teammate Bottas. Hamilton pulled away from Vettel who was being caught by Alonso. By the 24th lap, Alonso had the potential to get ahead of Vettel after the pit stops. That lap, Ferrari elected to bring Alonso into the pit lane for the change to super soft compound tyres. Vettel made his pit stop on lap 25 for soft compound tyres and emerged in third place behind Alonso's faster Ferrari. Massa overtook Hülkenberg on the main straight for eighth on the same lap. Hamilton made his stop for super soft compound tyres on the following lap, giving the lead to Ricciardo; his team took advantage of the large gap he established to remove rubber debris from his front wing. Ricciardo took his pit stop on lap 27 handing the lead back to Hamilton. Grosjean was close behind Pérez but struggled to get ahead of him. Pérez attempted to overtake Sutil on the straight on the 30th lap, and Sutil squeezed Pérez into the wall, clipping the left-front section of his front wing. The wing slid under Pérez's wheel, littering debris on the track, and prompting the safety car's deployment, to enable marshals to remove debris from the track.
Some drivers elected to make pit stops for the change to the soft compound tyres; Ferrari brought both their drivers in to enable them to reach the end of the race without making another pit stop. Hamilton's race engineer Peter Bonnington warned him about the debris but Hamilton did not receive the warning fast enough and drove over shards of wing. He enquired about tyre pressures and was told no issues had been discovered. Sutil was issued a five-second stop-and-go penalty for the collision with Pérez. The safety car was withdrawn at the end of the 37th lap and racing resumed with Hamilton leading the field back up to speed. Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race at one minute and 50.417 seconds on lap 39 to pull out a 5.8 second advantage over Vettel. Sutil's car developed a water leak and retired two laps later to prevent the risk of his engine failing. Button drew closer to Bottas while Hülkenberg moved ahead of Kvyat for 11th position. Pérez took advantage of a battle between Ericsson and Kvyat and overtook both drivers for 14th on lap 49.
Hamilton led Vettel by 24 seconds by the next lap and wanted to make a pit stop because he was worried about tyre wear but was advised to further grow his advantage over the next three laps. Hamilton made his final pit stop for the soft compound tyres on lap 52. He rejoined in second behind Vettel and narrowly ahead of Ricciardo. Hamilton quickly caught Vettel, used DRS leaving turn five, and passed him around the inside to reclaim the lead two corners later on lap 54. Button stopped his car at the side of the track with a power box failure that ended his race on the same lap. His retirement promoted Räikkönen into seventh and Bottas slowed because of his worn tyres, enabling Hülkenberg, Vergne and Pérez to run close behind him. Maldonado's aspiration for his first point of the season was not realised when Magnussen passed him for tenth place on lap 56. Three laps later, Hülkenberg was passed by Vergne for eighth position. Vergne moved into sixth after overtaking Räikkönen around the inside entering the first corner and Bottas soon after. Pérez had superior traction than teammate Hülkenberg and passed him between turns 17 and 18.
Pérez got past Räikkönen driving into the tenth turn and took seventh when Bottas lost all tyre grip and dropped out of the top ten in quick succession. Because of the large amount of time spent behind the safety car, the race ended under a two-hour time limit. Unhindered in the final eight laps, Hamilton opened up a healthy advantage over Vettel and crossed the start/finish line after 60 laps for his seventh victory of the season, his second in Singapore, and the 29th of his career. Vettel finished second in his best result of the season, 13.534 seconds behind, and successfully held off teammate Ricciardo and Alonso in the race's closing period. Massa finished fifth. Vergne's five-second time penalty did not affect his sixth-place finish, and was ahead of Pérez, Räikkönen and Hülkenberg. Magnussen rounded out the top-ten. Bottas, Maldonado, Grosjean, Kvyat and Ericsson filled the next five places with Marussia teammates Bianchi and Chilton the last of the classified finishers. There were four lead changes in the race; three drivers reached the front of the field. Hamilton led three times for a total of 58 laps, more than any other driver.
At the podium interviews, conducted by former team owner Eddie Jordan, Hamilton said at his final pit stop he did not feel any pressure because he felt comfortable after being aware of his healthy lead. Vettel revealed his team altered their strategy before the safety car appeared and stated the final laps with worn tyres were "very, very much borderline" and emphasised the challenge of the track in hot and humid weather conditions. Ricciardo spoke of the event feeling like a "home race" and said he would watch Alonso's first lap to see whether he should have ceded another position to Ricciardo. In the later press conference, Hamilton felt the race would have been "hardcore" had Rosberg not retired and knew Mercedes would not be "100 percent happy" because they aspired to secure victories collectively and be the sport's most dominant team. Vettel revealed how uncomfortable he felt that he could not reach the end of the race on worn tyres but stated second was the best possible result for Red Bull. Ricciardo was satisfied to put his teammate Vettel under pressure but felt it was a processional event for the top three.
Rosberg called his race as "the toughest of the year" and deemed it worse than the British Grand Prix when he retired with a gearbox failure. He stated that his car's reliability needed the most attention and wanted to understand the problem: "It’s tough not even leaving the grid. I was hoping the team could fix it [after the race had started] because it was going on and off, sometimes working, sometimes not. There’s no point in shouting, it’s a reliability issue, and it’s happened again." Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff apologised to Rosberg immediately following the latter's retirement, saying as a championship participant, it was "a bitter moment" when he lost ground in the title battle. He later stated he did not want to see the championship decided on reliability and that Mercedes needed to refocus and discover the origin of their problems. The team's technical director Paddy Lowe added reliability concerns worried him throughout the season and spoke of his hopes it would not be repeated in the future.
After the race, Magnussen was treated for dehydration and minor burns on his lower back with an iced towel by his trainer Antti Vierula and McLaren sought a doctor who gave attention to Magnussen in the team's hospitality building. His condition was caused by a broken radiator seal that possibly loosened after going over the turn seven kerbs early in the Grand Prix, causing hot air to be directed into his cockpit, making his seat and drinks bottle warmer. He found the water in his drink bottle very hot to consume and complained over the radio that it burned his mouth. Magnussen raised his arms out of his cockpit to direct cool air down his sleeves and onto his back to alleviate the pain. He called his tenth-place finish "the hardest-earnt point I've ever had" and the McLaren team principal Éric Boullier said his performance under the circumstances was a "scant consolidation" and reserved praise for Magnussen being "indicative of his tremendous fighting spirit". Magnussen later posted on Twitter that reports of his conditions were exaggerated and that he felt "just hot and sweaty." Kvyat also suffered from dehydration when his water supply malfunctioned after two-thirds race distance.
Alonso believed the timing of the safety car and not a strategy error prevented him from achieving a podium finish, saying if Ferrari had Mercedes's pace, they would remain on track: "The moment of the safety car was probably not good, but sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't help. Today it didn't help." Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci defended his team's strategy and did not believe anything specific prevented his team from finishing on the podium: "Definitely the safety car didn't do any better for us, but the race is made of 60 laps. We squeezed the car as much as we could; the strategy from the pits was excellent. There were other variables we know we cannot control. We did our best." Boullier suggested Red Bull used coded messages to assist Ricciardo when they told Ricciardo to remain off the kerbing but stressed it was the FIA's task to investigate. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner spoke to Whiting for clarification because Ricciardo had battery damage from going over the kerbs. The sport's governing body confirmed they were satisfied with Red Bull's radio messages and stated the team abided by the regulations.
The result meant Hamilton regained the lead of the Drivers' Championship on 241 points. Rosberg's retirement meant he fell from first to second, three points behind Hamilton. Ricciardo consolidated third place with 181 points, with Alonso and Vettel moving ahead of the non-scoring Bottas to move into fourth and fifth positions. Mercedes further extended their advantage in the lead of the Constructors' Championship to 182 points ahead of Red Bull in second place. Williams and Ferrari remained in third and fourth places and Force India moved in front of McLaren to move into fifth position with five races left in the season.
- ^1 — Jean-Éric Vergne had five seconds added to his race time for exceeding track limits.
- ^2 — Nico Rosberg started from pit lane due to electronic problems at the start of the formation lap.
- ^3 — Kamui Kobayashi's engine failed during the formation lap and he failed to make it to the starting grid.
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- Bold text indicates competitors who still had a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
Notes and references
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- Media related to 2014 Singapore Grand Prix at Wikimedia Commons
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