Singapore GP: Rosberg holds off a predatory Ricciardo to claim his 8th Victory

This season’s Driver championship is going down to the wire and the Singapore Grand Prix reflected this. Rosberg claimed his 8th win and now has an 8 point gap to Hamilton in the standings. Daniel Ricciardo finished 0.4s behind the leader and claimed 2nd. One more lap and the Aussie could have had him. 

Hamilton finished 3rd after a long battle with Raikkonen, the Ferrari driver missing out on a podium with 4th. His team-mate, Sebastian Vettel drove an incredible race to come home 5th after starting from the back of the grid.

Verstappen finished 6th after a very poor start. His slow getaway caused a domino effect behind that ended in Carlos Sainz clipping Hulkenberg, the Force India slammed into the wall in an unfortunate racing incident. As cars took avoiding action Jenson Button’s McLaren clipped Bottas’ rear tyre and caused a puncture. Both the Brit and the Finn would retire from the race later on.

Fernando Alonso had a great race for 7th. His 6 points for the team has seen the squad extend the gap to Toro Rosso in the standings. Perez finished 8th and was the only driver to do a 2-stop strategy. Daniil Kvyat scored 2-points with 9th, he had an excellent battle with Verstappen during the race and was outbreaking the hunting Dutchman for several laps. Another rare points finish made up the top 10 with Kevin Magnussen’s Renault who managed to keep Gutierrez in 11th. The Dane had impressive pace and definitely outperformed his car.

The most interesting moment of the race came from Hamilton’s pit-stop on lap 45. He was brought in to try the undercut on Raikkonen after falling behind the Ferrari driver due to running wide. This move by Mercedes inadvertently jeopardized Rosberg’s lead. As Raikkonen reacted, so did Ricciardo in Red Bull up the road. The Aussie then found himself gaining on Rosberg at a rate of 2.7s a lap. He was on course to catch Rosberg with a few laps remaining, but got caught behind a certain Haas driver who could have moved aside sooner. Given that Rosberg only won the race by 0.4s, one wonders whether Ricciardo could have caught the German  without traffic.