2015 Singapore Grand Prix
- Sunday, September 20, 2015
- Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix
- F1 World Championship
For him, how to win a grand prix is almost a pre-programmed formula: run away from them, run them ragged and then control your gap, track position king, the reward for setting pole. The only difference was he was dressed in red, not blue. His two previous Ferrari victories were opportunistic things, not to the Red Bull formula of his glory days. But this one was like old times.
He’d got the dominant pole – thanks to a combination of his own virtuosity around this place, the potency of Ferrari’s recent developments and the mysterious tyre-related loss of form of Mercedes – and now all he had to do was utilise all those advantages ruthlessly, flawlessly, faultlessly. The way he always used to – before the hybrid formula and the whirlwind Perth kid on the other side of the garage. And that’s how it played out. A scorching early lead – three seconds at the end of the first lap, almost a pit straight clear by the fourth – and control it from there.
Briefly, Daniel Ricciardo, that pesky Perth whirlwind in the Red Bull that’s so suited to this track, started to come back at him, made him question whether he’d overdone it in pushing so hard so early. But he was rescued from the possible consequences of that by an opportunely-timed safety car that led everyone to pit at the same time, a little too early to comfortably accommodate the planned two-stop, but not so early that it necessarily forced a slower three-stop upon him. If he could just take it easy early in the stint this time – necessarily the opposite approach to that first stint – he could get back upon a two-stop, again using the advantage track position buys you.