After blundering on strategy and being beaten by Mercedes and Red Bull at the Singapore Grand Prix, Ferrari has raised eyebrows with a rather bizarre postrace news release.
Lewis Hamilton won from pole position at Marina Bay in a race which saw Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari attempt an aggressive undercut, pitting earlier than the Mercedes driver. Rather than gaining an advantage, Vettel was released into traffic and ended up falling behind Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.
Vettel never got close enough to Verstappen to attempt another overtake, meaning he had to settle for the final step on the podium. It continued a hugely disappointing week for the Italian team — it had failed to claim pole position despite being strong favourites coming into the weekend. It also dealt Vettel’s hopes of winning the championship a significant hammer blow.
Shortly after the conclusion of the race, Ferrari released a report headlined “Boredom the winner in Singapore”, referencing the processional nature of the grand prix.
The news release started by saying: “The Singapore race ran true to form, in that in the Monaco of the East, anything can happen, but usually nothing does.
“Sebastian made it to the podium in third spot and Kimi [Raikkonen] was fifth, meaning Scuderia Ferrari finished where it started. It was a shame, because the start had let us hope for better, but Seb had to deal with traffic, which partly compromised what was an aggressive strategy.”
The report, and the tweet which went with it, did not go down well, with fans accusing the Italian team of being “sore losers”, while others questioned why they hadn’t spiced it up with a better strategy.
Hamilton’s victory opened up his championship lead over Vettel to 40 points, with just six races remaining. The size of the gap means Vettel could finish ahead of Hamilton at each of the remaining races and only win the title by two points. In the constructors’ championship, Mercedes leads Ferrari by 25 points.