For the first time this season, a team other than Mercedes has managed a 1-2 finish in a Formula 1. With great performances from Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, Ferrari dominated the Singapore Grand Prix.
It was the first 1-2 finish in Singapore history, the first win for Vettel in 2019 and the first 3-win streak for Ferrari since 2008.
Leclerc had qualified on pole, with Vettel in third behind Hamilton. Despite an early battle for the lead, Hamilton ultimately fell victim to a risky pit strategy that didn’t pay off.
Essentially, Mercedes kept him out for 7 laps after the Ferrari’s pit stops. There were two ways this would have paid off. First, if Vettel and Leclerc got caught in midfield traffic behind the other cars that hadn’t pitted and Hamilton was able to extend a gap to keep himself within striking distance after everyone had pitted.
Second, with 7-lap-newer tires, Hamilton could have managed an overtake if the rest of the field couldn’t keep the pace during the long race due to used-up rubber. At full pace, some teams would likely need two stops in Singapore.
Ultimately, though, Hamilton had to come in before traffic allowed him to close the post-pit gap. And with two safety cars, the Ferraris didn’t burn up their tires at the rate that Hamilton would have needed to strike.
In fact, Mercedes couldn’t even get past Max Verstappen, who was well behind them before the pit strategy played out. Verstappen, in the Red Bull car, locked out the last podium spot with a third-place finish.
Young talent Alex Albon also had a good showing, finishing 6th in his third race for Red Bull Racing. With a 5th-place finish in Belgium and 6th place finishes in Italy and Singapore, Albon is proving to be a competent teammate for Max Verstappen.
And after a lot of fighting in the midfield, Lando Norris secured 7th place with Pierre Gasly and Niko Hulkenberg not far behind.
Williams driver George Russe1l was taken out by Romain Grosjean, forcing the Brit into early retirement. Williams was, until Singapore, the only team to have a 100 percent finish rate this season. With a DNF for Russel, that streak ended today.
Correction 11:02 a.m.: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said that Russell experienced mechanical problems. He was actually taken out by Grosjean.