Infiniti Red Bull Racing suffered highs and lows during the Singapore Grand Prix as one man dominated, whilst another hit major trouble just trying to just make it to the end, with Sebastian Vettel picking up another win towards his fourth successive title. Mark Webber’s race was to come to a fiery end on the last lap, rounding off a torrid weekend for the Australian.
Vettel was pushing hard to build up a gap between himself and the rest of the field as a part of the race strategy, even when his teammate for 2014, Daniel Ricciardo, hit the barrier and brought out the Safety Car, pointing out how much concentration is needed to tame the Marina Bay circuit: “You never know what’s coming up and what can happen. The last ten laps seemed to go on forever inside the car. I kept my concentration by reminding myself how easily you can make a mistake around here, the walls are close and if you don’t pay enough attention it can go wrong pretty quickly. I focused on hitting the brakes correctly and on saving the tyres.”
Webber said that he “did pretty much everything I could today,” as he explained that the car had the pace that was always there when required, before trouble started to strike just six laps from the end: “The guys were getting worried about the car. So, yeah, it’s annoying but someone’s had a tougher day than me somewhere and that’s the way it goes. I was having to short shift, but then, unlike Monza, we started to lose a lot of power. We were just trying to get home at that point but then on the last lap we caught fire.”
Team Principal Christian Horner said that the race results were “bittersweet,” which overshadowed the “phenomenal performance” by the reigning champion, described by Horner as “one of his strongest ever drives.” The Briton explained just how dominant Vettel was: “Seb needed to pull out a gap of 27 seconds. He pulled out 30 seconds in 15 laps, at times lapping over two seconds quicker than the rest of the field; it was incredible to watch and it was a thoroughly deserved and really dominant victory today.”
He then went on to explain about the bad luck Webber was suffering, which was due to a water pressure issue that started 12 laps from the finish, which resulted in the fiery end for the Australian, but was still jubilant about the current standings: “The water then effectively ran out at which point it is only a matter of time until the engine overheats, which is what happened on the last lap – it was cruel luck. Nonetheless today is our third successive win and our third consecutive Singapore win, while we’ve extended our lead in the Drivers’ Championship.”
So the history books look to be rewritten once again, showing that Infiniti Red Bull Racing are the ones to beat with their lead driver leaving no stone unturned on his way to continuing his era of dominance. Vettel is just one step away from the glory once more.
Images copyright: Richland F1 and Octane Photographic (c)