Team Mate Battles - Singapore GP

Written by  Tuesday, 24 September 2013 20:54
Team Mate Battles - Singapore GP Marussia F1 Team

Very much a race of two halves in Marina Bay, so who gets the nod at their respective teams? It's time for Team Mate Battles from the Singapore Grand Prix.

These are the rules to which the drivers are being judged.

Points system:

1 point is awarded to the driver who sets the faster lap.

3 points are awarded to the driver who performs best in qualifying.

5 points are awarded to the driver who performs best on raceday.


Max Chilton beat Bianchi home, but was aided greatly by Jules suffering from gear selection issues following his first pitstop on Lap 10. Jules outqualified Max, but only by exactly 0.1 seconds around an almost two minute lap. At the start, Max held position in 22nd, while Jules jumped ahead of the Caterhams, but lost out to Van Der Garde during Lap 1. 

Bianchi lost over 30 seconds to his team-mate after he required a second pitstop to change his steering wheel, just one lap after his first, but regained all that time when the safety car came out. Almost a direct head to head ensured for the second half of the race, with Chilton remaining on top. Jules said after the race that while he was quicker than Max, he was unable to make a move due to his tyres going off. 

Considering that both drivers essentially started a new race after the safety car, both stopping once each in the last 35 laps, it shows that Chilton's improvement is continuing. While he probably would have finished behind Jules if the Frenchman hadn't had any gear issues, the close times in qualifying and Max's successful defene of his position for over half the race shows that Chilton is raising his game.

Fastest lap: 1-0 to Jules Bianchi (9-4 to Jules Bianchi)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Jules Bianchi (36-3 to Jules Bianchi)
Race: 5-0 to Max Chilton (60-5 to Jules Bianchi)

Marussia: 105-12 to Jules Bianchi



Two different strategies attempted by the two Caterham drivers, but it didn't quite work out for Charles Pic. He started ahead of Van Der Garde, having been 0.2 seconds quicker in Q1, but Charles didn't make a good getaway, falling to 21st, while Giedo nailed his start and climbed up to 18th place. Both ran the same tyre strategies throughout, and looked certain to both stop three times, with the second stops coming when the safety car came out.

When they stopped, both fitted the medium tyres, but Giedo came in again on Lap 42, while Charles opted to stay out and try to make his tyres last. This he couldn't do, and Giedo rapidly caught Charles before Pic pitted again with only 6 laps to go. Falling 33 seconds behind Giedo with only those 6 laps remaining, Charles pace was electric, catching Giedo at a rate of around three seconds a lap, but ultimately ran out of time.

As an aside, doesn't the Caterham colour scheme look incredible under the Singapore lighting?

Fastest lap: 1-0 to Charles Pic (9-4 to Charles Pic)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Charles Pic (24-15 to Charles Pic)
Race: 5-0 to Giedo Van Der Garde (45-20 to Charles Pic)

Caterham: 78-39 to Charles Pic


Toro Rosso:

Jean-Eric Vergne had his usual difficult qualifying, lining up in 14th place, while his team-mate went through into Q3 yet again. Despite being 5 places behind Ricciardo, Vergne was only 0.1 seconds slower in Q2, which shows how tight the midfield pack is at the moment. Neither driver made a good start, with Ricciardo falling to 14th from 9th, and Vergne falling from 12th to 15th.

Daniel set about pulling away from Jean-Eric, and had created a gap of around 5 seconds over Vergne when the Frenchman pitted on Lap 11. Ricciardo himself pitted 4 laps later, and emerged 8 seconds behind Vergne, having lost time while the latter was on fresher tyres.

While pushing to recover the time lost, Daniel was the reason for the safety car that came out on Lap 23. Having caught Vergne by around 2 seconds over the previous five laps, Daniel locked his brakes into the corner leading under the grandstand and went straight on. Pictures of Ricciardo unsmiling and serious after his relatively minor and unimportant error (in the greater scheme of things) shows how serious Daniel is about facing the pressure of facing Vettel and being an expected frontrunner next year, and his comments afterwards in which he admitted his mistake and vowed to 'learn from this' are exactly the words Red Bull will have wanted to hear.

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Jean-Eric Vergne (7.5 - 5.5 to Jean Eric Vergne)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Daniel Ricciardo (27-12 to Daniel Ricciardo)
Race: 5-0 to Jean-Eric Vergne (35 - 30 to Jean-Eric Vergne)

Toro Rosso: 62.5-54.5 to Daniel Ricciardo



Esteban Gutierrez responded to Nico Hulkenberg's amazing weekend in Monza in the best possible fashion, by not only outqualifying him for the first time, but making it into Q3 too! Unfortunately for the Mexican, that was pretty much as good as it got, falling behind Nico at the start of the race, and never once getting in front again.

Both drivers ran almost identical strategies, starting on supersofts, and swapping to mediums under the safety car. Nico suffered the great injustice of the race, being forced to give a position to Sergio Perez after being forced to run wide by the Mexican, despite the McLaren driver never actually being in front of him. Despite this, Nico was there or thereabouts towards race end, being in the pack of McLarens and Mercedes as the two strategies met in the middle. One point became two points when Paul Di Resta crashed, and Nico seemed happy enough with that afterwards.

Esteban was less happy, suffering from a lack of pace by comparison to Nico, and fell over thirteen seconds behind Nico over the closing stint after the safety car. 

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Esteban Gutierrez (7-6 to Nico Hulkenberg)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Esteban Gutierrez (39-0 to Nico Hulkenberg)
Race: 5-0 to Nico Hulkenberg (50-15 to Nico Hulkenberg)

Sauber: 93-24 to Nico Hulkenberg



Pastor never hooked up a decent qualifying effort on Saturday, ending Q1 0.7 seconds slower than Bottas, who made it through to Q2. However, Valtteri couldn't go any faster in Q2, and only lined up 16th to Pastor's 18th. At the start, Bottas suffered a dodgy start thanks to a slipping clutch, while Pastor made his way up to 16th. 

Valtteri's problems went from bad to worse, when a piece of debris got stuck in his front wing after the safety car period. Williams had thought about switching their drivers to a two stop strategy, but sensibly, they switched back to a three stopper before it was too late. The gap between Valterri and Pastor was around 5 seconds immediately prior to the safety car, while it grew to over 30 seconds at one point in the closing laps...evidence that Valtteri was unable to run at a proper pace in the second half.

Regardless of this, Pastor's race was the stronger, and the race points granted means that the two Williams drivers are now tied on points overall for the season so far.

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Pastor Maldonado (8-5 to Valtteri Bottas)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Valtteri Bottas (24-15 to Valtteri Bottas)
Race: 5-0 to Pastor Maldonado (37.5 - 27.5 to Pastor Maldonado)

Williams: 58.5 - 58.5 each


Force India:

A third DNF in a row for Paul Di Resta, and another Q1 elimination sounds like another bad weekend for the Scot, but actually, Paul's race was one of the strongest out there. Qualifying is hurting the Force Indias badly, as their car does not seem to perform well on Saturday, but somewhat comes to life on raceday. A lowly 17th grid slot for Paul, while Adrian managed 15th, is not a true representation of where Force India are in the pecking order, and this was borne out by Paul's Sunday drive.

Immediately jumping up to 12th on the opening lap, while Adrian fell back two spots, Di Resta put in a mammoth twenty laps on his first set of supersofts, and managed to hold off a charging Fernando Alonso on fresher tyres for 5 laps. His tyre management was evidently excellent to achieve such a long stint relatively comfortably, and so he promptly embarked on another one, 22 laps on the supersofts, although this was helped by the safety car period in the middle of it. Switching to the mediums, he was right behind the McLarens and Hulkenberg, and on fresher tyres when he speared off into the barriers. What looked like a simple driver error has been denied by the man himself, although an alternative reason hasn't been offered by the team. 

Adrian scored a point as a result of Paul's retirement, but suffered far more with tyre degradation and was unable to make an impression. Interestingly though, immediately prior to the safety car and following both drivers first stops, the two drivers were only separated by two seconds, but between Paul's late first stop and the safety car aiding his second stint to last longer, Adrian fell twelve seconds behind Paul by the time the Scot crashed. A good show from Di Resta, but without another reason for his crash, that's another black mark against him, and as Vijay Mallya said afterwards 'This hasn't helped us in our battle with McLaren'.

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Adrian Sutil (10-3 to Adrian Sutil)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Adrian Sutil (21-18 to Paul Di Resta)
Race: 5-0 to Paul Di Resta (35-30 to Paul Di Resta)

Force India: 59-58 to Paul Di Resta

Alastair Staley/Lotus F1 Team


Jenson qualified well, Sergio didn't. 0.3 seconds difference in Q2 was enough to see Sergio down in 14th, while Jenson went on to line up a respectable 8th place. Sergio made a combative start, jumping up to 11th place, and pitted on Lap 14, one lap after Jenson. Unfortunately for McLaren, the safety car came a little bit too early in the second stint for them to realistically try a two stop strategy, unlike the more tyre friendly Lotus and Ferrari.

However, a two stop strategy is exactly what they both attempted, and while Jenson made a fair go of holding Raikkonen off for a podium, he admitted afterwards they they 'just didn't have the pace' borne out by Jenson getting swallowed up in the closing laps. 

Sergio clung gamely on to the back of the Button/Raikkonen duel, and seemed to have more life left in his tyres once the Finn got past, as he immediately was all over the back of Jenson. While both Mercedes & Massa managed to clear the McLarens, Perez remained solidly behind Jenson, but it's not clear whether this was by choice or not... Either way, it's split race points on this occasion, as I simply can't choose a driver who performed better than the other.

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Jenson Button (7-6 to Jenson Button)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Jenson Button (24-15 to Jenson Button)
Race: 2.5 - 2.5 each (42.5-22.5 to Jenson Button)

McLaren: 73.5-43.5 to Jenson Button

Jenson Button has scored 54 out of 76 points for McLaren, 71% of their points.
Sergio Perez has scored 22 out of 76 points for McLaren, 29% of their points.
Sergio Perez has scored 40% of Jenson Button’s points total.



This was one of the toughest teams to make judgement calls on this weekend, as a viable case can be made for both drivers performing well. Raikkonen's problems on Saturday are well documented by now, and the fact he was able to qualify the car at all is testimony to how serious the Finn is about wanting to race, pay or no pay. Unfortunately, the car may have been one of the frontrunners this weekend if he hadn't had his back problems, since Grosjean popped his car into third place, a heroic effort.

During the race, Grosjean couldn't hold Alonso behind, a fact that Lotus Trackside Director Alan Permane seemed unusually relaxed about, stating 'I defy anyone to hold Alonso behind on the opening lap. Mark Webber also got past him, while Raikkonen jumped from 13th to 11th before he pitted on Lap 10. After Grosjean pitted on Lap 15, he emerged about 7 seconds ahead of Raikkonen, a gap that remained constant until the safety car came out. Both pitted under the safety car to attempt the run to the flag, and while the two Lotuses were separated by mere seconds, Jenson Button was between them, the driver that ultimately seemed to hold Raikkonen back for a long period during the second half of the race. 

Grosjean was agonised to retire from the race, and seemed to take it far harder than he realistically should have, assuming his place is safe for next season. Grosjean's retirement meant that Raikkonen was given the podium instead, but the question mark would have been whether Romain could have kept his tyres intact as long as Kimi did. Raikkonen came perilously close to losing a podium, as another lap or two behind Jenson would have meant that he almost certainly would have been swamped by the Mercedes duo towards the end. Despite Romain's great performance, the points go to Raikkonen for some great overtakes when needed, as well as the mitigating circumstances of driving while suffering back pain. 

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Romain Grosjean (9-4 to Kimi Raikkonen)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Romain Grosjean (27-12 to Kimi Raikkonen)
Race: 5-0 to Kimi Raikkonen (50-15 to Kimi Raikkonen)

Lotus: 86-31 to Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen has scored 149 out of 206 points for Lotus, 72% of their points.
Romain Grosjean has scored 57 out of 206 points for Lotus, 28% of their points.
Romain Grosjean has scored 38% of Kimi Raikkonen’s points total.



Nico Rosberg recovered from a little dip in form over the past few races to be back mixing it up with Lewis Hamilton. Although he was over a second slower in Q1, he recovered to outqualify his Mercedes team-mate by three places. The story of the race could have and possibly should have been a slightly different story, had Nico managed to hold the lead through Turn 1. Making a better getaway than Vettel, having to be the one willing to brake later on a tighter line proved to be his undoing, as Vettel read the situation perfectly and recovered the lost position within 100 metres of losing it.

Lewis dropped to seventh on Lap 1, and had fallen over ten seconds behind Nico by the time the first stops were over and the safety car emerged. Both Mercedes were placed in the same predicament as the McLarens over whether to stay out, but they decided to err on the side of caution and plan a three stopper, admitting afterwards they probably couldn't have done a two stopper anyway.

Nico never shook off Lewis for the remainder of the race, with Hamilton sitting a resolute 2-3 seconds behind Rosberg, possbly due to Nico's front wing having some debris lodged in it, hampering his performance. Hamilton got frighteningly close to Nico on a few occasions during the closing stages, and one wonders if Nico had a different colour car, would Lewis have found a way past? Race points go to Nico on this occasion, although both drivers could possibly have done better if no safety car had interrupted the race.

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Lewis Hamilton (8-5 to Lewis Hamilton)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Nico Rosberg (24-15 to Lewis Hamilton)
Race: 5-0 to Nico Rosberg (37.5 - 27.5 to Lewis Hamilton)

Mercedes: 70.5 - 46.5 to Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has scored 151 out of 267 points for Mercedes, 56.5% of their points.
Nico Rosberg has scored 116 out of 267 points for Mercedes, 43.5% of their points.
Nico Rosberg has scored 77% of the points total of Lewis Hamilton.



Felipe got his first weekend as a pending ex-Ferrari driver off to a good start by outqualifying Fernando, but couldn't replicate the magic of Fernando's opening lap, getting boxed in at the start and falling to 6th place in the opening laps. Felipe fell to around eight seconds behind Fernando through the pitstops and prior to the safety car, but was lapping at a similar pace. When the safety car came out, the two drivers split their strategies, with Fernando opting to stay out on mediums til race end, and Felipe taking on mediums, but with the intention of another stop.

Felipe remained close to Fernando right up until his final stop, which he took on the same lap as Paul Di Resta. Emerging still behind the Scot, he couldn't clear him until the Force India driver crashed, which seemed to release Felipe, as he quickly caught and passed Hulkenberg, Perez & Button to claim 6th place.

Alonso had a quiet race, and while he couldn't get next or near to Sebastian Vettel, he again showed up as the closest competitor. His uncanny knack for finding places in the opening corners is saving him from the costly process of having to manually pick off competitors, but considering he likely couldn't have finished any higher than he did, maybe Fernando could have enjoyed himself more by having to do so!

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Felipe Massa (8-5 to Fernando Alonso)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Felipe Massa (21-18 to Fernando Alonso)
Race: 5-0 to Fernando Alonso (60-5 to Fernando Alonso)

Ferrari: 86-31 to Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso has scored 187 points out of 274 for Ferrari, 68% of their points.
Felipe Massa has scored 87 points out of 274 for Ferrari, 32% of their points.
Felipe Massa has scored 46% of the points total of Fernando Alonso.


Red Bull:

If ever there was a race to sum up the respective fortunes of Sebastian Vettel & Mark Webber, this was it. While Sebastian was crossing the line to a spectacular fireworks display hailing him as the victor, Mark was pulling his sister car into a dark layby, spectacularly on fire.

Mark's personality and character may be the popular one, but there is no reason to think that perhaps Mark deserves better. He cannot get next or near the performance levels of his team-mate, and the fact that he is constantly stuck behind other cars is possibly the reason why his Newey designed machine (infamously on a razor's edge when it comes to packaging and reliability) keeps breaking. 

Sebastian's one and only error came right at the start when he didn't get a particularly good getaway, and despite being in 2nd by the first corner, made up for it by reading Rosberg's line and situation perfectly. His pace relative to the pack at various stages of the race, was almost like the others were driving GP2 cars, as Vettel opened up a margin of a pitstop in less than 15 laps following the safety car. As Martin Whitmarsh said afterwards, his winning margin was flattered slightly by the field being held up by Nico Rosberg, but there is no doubt this was a show of utter dominance from a near flawless Vettel. 

At the other end of the spectrum, a great combative drive from Webber ended halfway around the final tour, and then ended with a penalty following another reprimand. While Webber obviously had great faith in the driving abilities of Hamilton & Rosberg to run onto the track to catch his lift, the stewards didn't share this faith, and slapped him as they saw appropriate. 6 races remain for Mark to earn an appropriate farewell.

Fastest Lap: 1-0 to Sebastian Vettel (9-4 to Sebastian Vettel)
Qualifying: 3-0 to Sebastian Vettel (39-0 to Sebastian Vettel)
Race: 5-0 to Sebastian Vettel (60-5 to Sebastian Vettel)

Red Bull: 108-9 to Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel has scored 247 points out of 377 for Red Bull, 65% of their points total.
Mark Webber has scored 130 points out of 377 for Red Bull, 35% of their points total.
Mark Webber has scored 53% of the points total of Sebastian Vettel

Team Mate Battles - Italian GP
Team Mate Battles - Belgian GP
Team Mate Battles - Hungarian GP
Team Mate Battles - German GP
Team Mate Battles - British GP
Team Mate Battles - Canadian GP
Team Mate Battles - Monaco GP
Team Mate Battles - Spanish GP
Team Mate Battles - Bahrain GP
Team Mate Battles - Chinese GP
Team Mate Battles - Malaysian GP
Team Mate Battles - Australian GP

Thomas Maher

Thomas Maher works in the Irish radio industry, and has been an F1 nut since 1998. He is one of the co-owners of and acts as writer and editor.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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