Singapore GP: Race team notes – Pirelli

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, having stopped just once. Like all of the top 10 on the grid, Hamilton started on the P Zero Pink hypersoft, which on Friday and Saturday had proved to be more than a second and a half quicker than the ultrasoft. He made a single stop for the soft compound on lap 15 and then managed his advantage to the finish, without ever losing the lead, thanks to a pace that was faster than those who instead changed to ultrasofts. Like all those who started on the hypersoft, Hamilton benefitted from four laps under the safety car at the start of the race, which prolonged the life of the softest compound.

A number of other strategies were tried, including a hypersoft-ultrasoft one-stopper used by Sebastian Vettel to finish third, behind Red Bull‘s Max Verstappen – on the same strategy as Hamilton. Verstappen’s Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo also used a hypersoft-ultrasoft strategy to good effect, showing plenty of speed at the end of the race. The highest-placed driver to begin the race on ultrasoft was McLaren‘s Fernando Alonso, who finished seventh after starting from outside the top 10 on the grid. The fastest lap of the race was set by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, beating the previous race lap record by more than three seconds.

Singapore kept up its 100% safety car record with an early appearance: because of this it did not substantially affect race strategy.

Mario Isola: “As expected, Singapore was a very long, complex, and demanding race, while the 100% safety car record was maintained. This added another strategic element to what was already a tactically complex race. We saw a number of different strategies at work and a varying number of stops, with the top 10 on the grid all starting on the hypersoft that gave them extra speed at the very beginning of the race but left them open to the possibility of losing track position to those who completed a longer opening stint on a harder tyre or operated an alternative strategy.”