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2016 Singapore Grand Prix

Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix

Sunday, September 18, 2016
Round:
15
Weather:
Hot, dry and humid. Night race
Laps:
61
Fastest Lap:
Ricciardo, 1m47.187
Country:
Singapore
Circuit:
2016 season:
Report

Singapore is always a glitzy and atmospheric event, a breathtaking spectacle of sliding cars between the night-time floodlit walls, 900 horsepower, degrading grip, rubber marbles waiting menacingly off line. But the actual structure of the race was looking fairly routine, a comfortable Nico Rosberg victory, chased valiantly but not threateningly by the Red Bull of that Singapore ace Daniel Ricciardo, the two-stop strategies having played out without the difference in tyre choices between them amounting to much.

But then Mercedes inadvertently put itself under massive pressure by switching its other car, that of Lewis Hamilton, to a three-stop strategy in a last throw of the dice to retake third from Kimi Räikkönen’s Ferrari. And the race came alive. Hamilton’s stop triggered a domino effect as Ferrari responded to it with Kimi, Red Bull responded to Räikkönen’s – this in turn forcing Mercedes to prepare to bring Rosberg in to defend against Ricciardo from possibly using his new tyres to more than make up the pit stop loss over the old-tyred race leader. But a combination of a stunning out-lap from Ricciardo and Rosberg hitting traffic on what was going to be his in-lap forced Mercedes to leave him out, for to have pitted was certain to have lost them the lead and probably the victory.

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