Nico and Lewis finished the Singapore Grand Prix in fourth and fifth places respectively this evening. Nico ran a two-stop strategy of option/prime/prime, stopping on laps 15 and 41.
Lewis mirrored this, also running option/prime/prime, with stops on laps 15 and 43. The decisive moment of the race came on lap 25 when the Safety Car was deployed and both drivers stayed out
Pitting would have committed them to a 36-lap stint on a single set of tyres to make the finish.
As was seen in the final laps, all but two cars were either forced to pit again or lost significant performance. The team retained P3 in the Constructors' Championship and is now seven points behind Ferrari.
Ross feels that it was a “frustrating race after the Safety Car came out at what was just the wrong time for us. It was a close decision whether or not to pit the cars in order to try and run over half the race distance on a single set of tyres.
Our view was that we couldn't make it, so we left both cars out on track - as did Red Bull - so that we could run a shorter final stint. In the end, we saw that two of the cars who pitted managed to make it work, but most others had to make an additional stop or fell out of the window of tyre performance in the closing laps.
The race was further complicated by a front wing problem for Nico, who suffered from rubber build-up at a critical stage of the race, which cost him performance through excessive understeer. Fourth and fifth positions allowed us to minimise the points loss to Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship but our car had the performance potential to score more points today.”
For Toto, “after starting from second and fifth positions on the grid, we cannot be satisfied to finish fourth and fifth this evening. Two of our rivals managed to complete over half the race distance on a single set of tyres, which was something we did not feel we would manage successfully.
Therefore both cars stayed out behind the Safety Car when it was deployed. Congratulations to Sebastian on a well-earned victory: he was in a different league for most of this evening's race. “