The tight streets of Singapore should suit Ferrari better after a somewhat disappointing at the Italian Grand Prix for the Maranello team and Sebastian Vettel usually manages to find another level of performance from Singapore to the end of the season, so it looks like the battle for the driver’s title will go down to the wire this year. Ahead of the crucial 2017 Singapore Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place this weekend on the Marina Bay Street Circuit, we take a look at the previous performance of Ferrari’s drivers, Sebastian and Kimi:
Sebastian Vettel – Starts 9, Pole Positions 3, Wins 4
German driver Sebastian Vettel has been the true star of Singapore ever since its arrival on the Formula One calendar back in 2008. He holds a 7-2 record in qualifying against his teammates (with only Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in 2014 really beating him, as last year Seb was last after his Ferrari car struck trouble), and in the races he is 9-1, avenging his grid loss to Daniel Ricciardo on Sunday when it mattered, and even his one loss to a team-mate, in last year’s race, showed his quality, as starting from the back of the grid he hauled himself up to finish in fifth, just one place behind team-mate Raikkonen.
From his first outing here for Toro Rosso, a superb fifth place in the crash affected race, the four-time Formula One world champion has simply looked at home on the streets. He has converted all three of his pole positions here to wins (not even being put off by a spectator on the track in 2015!), and also took a win from third on the grid with a good start getting him up to second place and then taking full advantage of mechanical trouble for Lewis Hamilton to grab the win. He has two solid second places here, finishing on the gearbox of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari in 2010 and putting in a wonderful long stint in 2014 to grab his best result of his down season. Last year’s mechanical woes and the pit lane speeding penalty in 2009 that cost him a chance to fight for victory only served to show what Seb is capable of around the streets of Singapore – Lewis will certainly have his hands full on Sunday if he is to prevent Seb from retaking the lead in the driver’s championship.
Kimi Raikkonen – Starts 7, Best Grid Position 3rd, Best Result 3rd
The Marina Bay Street Circuit is a track where Kimi has yet to win. His qualifying performances here have not helped during the years, as he has been outqualified by his teammates 5-2 (in which time Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa both took pole position while his Ferrari team-mate). But, as is often the case with Kimi, his race performances are better (he leads 4-3 over his team-mates in the races).
His first Singapore Grand Prixi in 2008 did not end well – he crashed out while in fifth place, burying his Ferrari in the wall near the end of the race – but his race pace underlined as he took fastest lap of the race. 2009 was best forgotten, a disaster with Ferrari hopefully off the pace. After a two year break Kimi returned to F1 in 2011, being beaten by Romain Grosjean on Saturday but getting ahead of him when it counted on Sunday, coming home 6th for Lotus. A poor qualifying the following year was transformed into a great 3rd place for Kimi in the race. 2014 was another down year for Ferrari, with Kimi back on the podium in 2015 as Vettel won the race for the Scuderia.
Last season was another disappointment for Kimi, only coming home fourth as Scuderia Ferrari squandered a podium for the Finnish driver after he had passed the Mercedes of Leiws Hamilton on track, but the Italian team made a crucial mistake and gifted the place back to Mercedes as they scrambled to react to their rivals bringing in Lewis Hamilton for fresh tyres. However, as his performance in getting ahead of Lewis on track showed, if the Maranello team are able to keep their cool, Kimi should be able to be a factor in this race, and if he can get a strong performance in qualifying, then the battle for the title could get very interesting indeed on Sunday.