September 22, 2019 / 10:20 PM / a month ago

Team-by-team analysis of the Singapore Grand Prix

(Reuters) - Team-by-team analysis of Sunday’s Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, round 15 of 21 races (listed in championship order):

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MERCEDES (Lewis Hamilton 4, Valtteri Bottas 5)

Hamilton started on the front row and led during the pitstops, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of leading 142 grands prix. He increased his lead over Bottas to 65 points, but otherwise this was an opportunity missed. It was the second time this season without a Mercedes driver on the podium and the team have been beaten for three races in a row. Mercedes’s lead over Ferrari in the constructors’ standings was trimmed to a still comfortable 133 points.

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FERRARI (Sebastian Vettel 1, Charles Leclerc 2)

Vettel’s first win in nearly 13 months and the 53rd of his career. Ferrari, on pole for three races in a row with Leclerc, completed a winning hat-trick even if the Monegasque had to settle for second this time after a strategy call that saw Vettel pit first and reap the rewards. Ferrari are the first team to finish one-two in Singapore. The last time they won three consecutive races was in 2008, when they managed a run of four. This was their 84th one-two in Formula One. Vettel also became the first driver to win five times in Singapore.

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RED BULL (Max Verstappen 3, Alexander Albon 6)

Verstappen started fourth and pitted on the same lap as Vettel, getting past Hamilton. He then held off the Mercedes driver in the closing stages. Thai rookie Albon made his Singapore debut and finished in the same place he had started, spending most of the race in a procession behind Bottas.

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MCLAREN (Lando Norris 7, Carlos Sainz 12)

Norris made a strong Singapore debut from ninth on the grid to help McLaren pull another four points clear of Renault in the battle for fourth. Sainz started seventh but plunged to the back of the field after a puncture on the opening lap following contact with Nico Hulkenberg, who also pitted immediately.

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RENAULT (Nico Hulkenberg 9, Daniel Ricciardo 14)

Ricciardo started from the back of the grid after being disqualified from Saturday’s qualifying because his car’s motor generator unit (MGU-K) had momentarily exceeded the power limit. He made contact with George Russell’s Williams at the start and then suffered a late puncture passing Antonio Giovinazzi a bit too forcefully. Hulkenberg dropped to the back when he pitted at the end of lap one with a front-left puncture.

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TORO ROSSO (Pierre Gasly 8, Daniil Kvyat 15)

Gasly ran as high as second in a long first stint but lost positions when the safety car was deployed. He had some good battles on the way to eighth. Kvyat could have scored points but tangled with Kimi Raikkonen in a collision that damaged his car and put the Finn out of the race. Toro Rosso moved two points closer to Renault and pulled further away from Racing Point.

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RACING POINT (Lance Stroll 13, Sergio Perez retired)

Perez stopped on track with an oil leak while in 10th place on lap 44, bringing out the safety car for the second time. Stroll clipped the wall and punctured a tyre after the first safety car re-start, also needing a new front wing.

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ALFA ROMEO (Antonio Giovinazzi 10, Kimi Raikkonen retired)

Giovinazzi led a race for the first time in a milestone for him and Alfa Romeo, even if it was only because he had yet to pit. Raikkonen retired after the lap 50 incident with Kvyat but said he was struggling already on degrading tyres. Giovinazzi also collected a 10-second post-race time penalty for driving too close to a crane while Perez’s car was being removed.

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HAAS (Romain Grosjean 11, Kevin Magnussen 17)

Magnussen set the fastest race lap for the second year in a row but without gaining an extra point, available only to those who finish in the top 10. He also had to pit to remove a plastic bag stuck on the front wing. Grosjean brought out the first safety car when he and Russell collided on lap 36. Stewards decided to take no further action.

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WILLIAMS (Robert Kubica 16, George Russell retired)

Williams’s boast of being the only team to have finished every race with both cars ended, with Russell pitched into the wall in a collision with Grosjean. He had already suffered a damaged front wing at the start.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris

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