Sebastian Vettel went on to win the race, his third consecutive 2013 victory, on a two-stop strategy. He pitted on lap 17, switching from the super-soft to the medium Pirelli compounds. He was one of the few that didn’t pit during the safety car and managed to extend such an advantage over his competition that he managed to pit on lap 44 for a new set of super-softs and emerge still in the lead.
We saw a range of different two stop strategies with some pitting during the safety car and attempting to go to the end, others not pitting when the safety car was out and stopping later on. This caused some fantastic racing up and down the field with those on faster rubber battling through the slower field.
Discussing the race from the perspective of the tyres, Hembery said: “Thermal degradation proved to be the limiting factor that the tyres had to overcome today rather than actual wear at Singapore: a race that proved to be just as tough as everyone expected. Both compounds, but in particular the super-soft, showed plenty of durability as well as pace and were the most appropriate choice for this race. One of the biggest complications is that the race strategy here has to be flexible in order to take into account the length of the race and the potential for safety cars, which ensured once again that the race went to the full two hours.”
He added: “The safety car mixed up the strategies considerably, but while Vettel was in a league of his own, there was an intense tactical battle for the final podium positions behind him. In the closing stages there was plenty of action, with different strategies ensuring a tight battle for the points’ places and several passing manoeuvres on a circuit where it’s not normally so easy to overtake.”
Mark Webber put in the fastest lap on the medium compound, having looking comfortable on that tyre all weekend, with Vettel setting the fastest overall lap on the super-softs, a 1m48.574.
The tyres proved to be very durable indeed, Di Resta and Vergne managing to complete 22 laps on their super-soft tyres and a handful of drivers – including Perez, Button and Alonso – completing 36 lap stints on the medium Pirelli rubber.
Teams attempted to spend as little time in the pit lane as possible, working out strategy around the slowest pit lane of the season.
Image courtesy of Pirelli Media