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Singapore GP: Williams Martini recovers to score points


By Andrew Hooper
September 17 2017

After the disappointment of qualifying for the 2017 Singapore GP it would be a positive turn around from the Williams team to see Lance Stroll finish in 8th. Felipe Massa was just outside the top ten in eleventh. The race would start under wet conditions with there been a crash at the start. This would allow both Williams to move up the order. There was an element of luck in terms of cars ahead retiring at the start but regardless of this to come away with a result was certainly something for the team to take away as a positive from the race.

 
 Singapore Grand Prix Race Review
 
Stroll & Massa
 

Qualifying for the sixty one lap 2017 Singapore Grand Prix would see the Williams Martini team drivers well down the grid. Felipe Massa was in seventeenth and Lance Stroll eighteenth. As for their chances of securing a result from the race it was going to come down to strategy and a fair amount of luck going their way. There was uncertainty as to the possibility of rain with rain falling off and on before the start. As for the grid Vettel was on pole from Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Bottas, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Vandoorne, and Sainz in tenth. With the cars on the grid there was an increase in the amount of rain falling. The choice of tyres for the start would be crucial. For Williams Felipe Massa would start on the full wet and Lance Stroll the intermediate. The top six cars were all on the intermediate tyre while Hulkenberg, Alonso, Vandoorne were on the full wet tyre. In tenth Sainz was on the intermediate while there was a mix of tyres in the rest of the grid.

The grid would move away on their parade lap with Vettel leading while behind him there was a huge amount of spray. Drivers were complaining about the lack of visibility as they went around. The grid would form up and the lights would go out and it would be chaos. Raikkonen would make contact with Verstappen as the Ferrari went down the inside. As they went into the first corner the damage Ferrari would again hit Verstappen. The McLaren of Alonso would also get involved spinning. The Safety Car would come out seeing the drivers having to take to the pit lane as the debris was cleared up. Further down the track Vettel would also spin his damage car seeing his race end. For Williams Lance was running in thirteenth and Felipe fourteenth as they continued to run through the pit lane.

 
Massa
 

The order was Hamilton from Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Perez, Bottas, Palmer, Vandoorne, Ocon, Sainz and Magnussen in tenth. Alonso had dropped to twelfth as the Safety Car came in on lap six with Hamilton leading. Palmer would pass Bottas for fifth while lap six would see Hamilton leading by 3.6 seconds over Ricciardo. The Williams cars were running close together with Lance close behind Alonso. Both Lance and Felipe were able to pass Alonso with Alonso having an issue with a damage car from the first corner incident. Lap eight and Hamilton was leading by 4.6 seconds. Alonso would pit on lap ten to retire the McLaren with there been too much damage on his car. Sainz would pass Ocon for eighth while Lance was now right behind Kvyat looking to get eleventh.

Both Lance and Felipe were able to get past Kvyat as the Torro Rosso crashed. The Safety Car would come out and Ricciardo and Perez would pit. Ricciardo would take on a new set of intermediates. Lance and Felipe were now in ninth and tenth. Hamilton was leading with Hulkenberg now second followed by Ricciardo, Palmer, Bottas, Vandoorne, Sainz, Perez, Lance and Felipe in tenth. The next lap with the Safety car would see Hulkenberg, Palmer, and Vandoorne all pitting. Hulkenberg and Palmer would return in fifth and seventh. This would see Lance now eighth and Felipe tenth. Vandoorne was in ninth with neither of the Williams drivers pitting. The Safety Car would come in on lap sixteen with Hamilton make a good restart. Vandoorne was looking to get past Lance with Felipe dropping back from the McLaren. Grosjean would get past Felipe for tenth with the second Hass of Magnussen now behind Felipe and he would pass Felipe with Ocon also able to get past. Felipe would drop to thirteenth while Lance was still in eighth.

 
Stroll
 

Felipe would finally pit taking on new intermediate tyres dropping to fifteenth. At the front Hamilton was leading Ricciardo by 3.5 seconds with Bottas third followed by Sainz, Hulkenberg, Perez, Palmer, Vandoorne, Lance and Grosjean. Lance had lost his eighth to the McLaren after Lance had a major lockup going into Turn seven. Lap twenty six and both Magnussen and Felipe would pit with both taking on ultra soft tyres. Felipe would go down a lap as Hamilton passed him. Lance would also pit on lap twenty eight dropping to twelfth also taking on the ultra soft tyre. The next lap and Sainz and Vandoorne would pit joined by Grosjean and Ocon. Sainz would take on the super soft tyre while the others all took the ultra soft tyre. Lap thirty and Ricciardo, Bottas, Hulkenberg, and Perez would all pit. Everyone would take the ultra soft tyre. At the front it was now Hamilton leading from Palmer while for Williams Lance was back up to ninth and Felipe thirteenth. Hamilton and Palmer would both pit taking on the ultra soft tyre. Hamilton would come back out in the lead with Ricciardo second.

Vandoorne was looking to pass seventh place Palmer while Perez was looking to pass fifth place Sainz. Grosjean and Ocon would both get past Magnussen with Grosjean now tenth. For Williams Lance was still in what was a fairly lonely ninth place. But the Safety Car would come out again when Ericsson crashed his car going across the bridge and in a very difficult spot. Several drivers would pit to take on new tyres including Hulkenberg but he would have an issue with his car that would see him have a very slow pit stop. He would drop to tenth while for Williams Lance was now eighth. Felipe had also pitted taking on new ultra soft tyres. He would continue to run in thirteenth. As the marshals cleared the Sauber the cars would run behind the Safety Car.

 
Massa
 

The Safety Car would come in on lap forty three and Hamilton would open out a lead quite quickly. Ricciardo was still second followed by Bottas, Sainz, Palmer, Vandoorne, Lance, Grosjean, and Hulkenberg tenth. Felipe was now twelfth with it looking to be a two hour race. Ricciardo was running around two seconds behind Hamilton while further back Lance was coming under pressure from Grosjean. Hulkenberg would drop down the order seeing him pit and retire. This would see Felipe now eleventh but 1.3 seconds behind Ocon in tenth. Twelve minutes away from the race finish and Magnussen would be told to slow and pit as there was an issue with his engine. Hamilton continued to extend his lead as the race drew to an end. The race would end with Hamilton winning from Ricciardo, Bottas, Sainz, Perez, Palmer, Vandoorne, Lance, Grosjean and Ocon in tenth. Felipe would finish in eleventh.

For the Williams team it was a race that would see a points scoring finish from Lance but there were times where the strategy calls with Felipe would see him drop down the order. There was an element of luck in terms of cars ahead retiring at the start but regardless to come away with a result after the massive disappointment of qualifying was certainly something for the team to take away as a positive from the race.

 
Massa
 

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Singapore GP: Williams Martini recovers to score points
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17/09/2017 15:15
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