The Reds in the Dark
(AUTOHebdo n°2132, September 20, 2017)
Author of a pole which left little doubt on the outcome of the Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel passed under the extinguisher as soon as the lights went out. Involved in a collision with Kimi Räikkönen and Max Verstappen at the start, he lost his car a few hundred meters later. The spotlight was then on the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. In the light for the first time of the weekend, the Briton controlled Daniel Ricciardo’s surviving Red Bull as Valtteri Bottas completed the podium.
This 2017 Singapore Grand Prix will be his trip to the end of the night, he is now certain of that. Earlier, during Q3, he gave everything. In vain. Now his batteries are dead, he’s out of juice. On this Saturday evening of qualifying, Lewis Hamilton has the fever by measuring the 6/10ths which separate him from poleman Sebastian Vettel. A black hole in which he gets lost. “I produced a great effort, and I did not think that I would be so far, he mumbles. It’s a terrible track to overtake, and it’s going to be a long race. »
The Briton measures the chances he has left, and they are almost nil from 5th place on the grid. « We knew it was going to be difficult here, like every year, but I didn’t imagine such strong Ferraris, he stammers again. I thought the Red Bulls would be on their pace, but they are a bit behind. Me, I pulled everything I could out of the car, and even more. » In these moments, the one who leads the Drivers’ championship from Monza, notes that his three-point lead over Vettel will only be a distant memory when, on Monday, the city-state resumes its daily routine. « I’m a little blown awayhe repeats as if to get out of this bad dream. I don’t know where the hell the Ferraris are getting those last tenths. In the race, you will have to bet on the duration. Singapore is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s going to be long, physical and possibly boring. » In the middle of the night, can he even suspect that tomorrow will be another day?
When he opened the curtains, he probably said to himself that this Sunday might be less terrible than he thought yesterday. It is raining ! In the dry, in the heat of the night, he knew he was lost. But on a wet track, and in the freshness found, nothing is lost. Only, the time to put on his clothes, the wind has already chased the big clouds. At this moment