HomeFormula 12022 Singapore Grand Prix: The Onus Is On Ferrari...

2022 Singapore Grand Prix: The Onus Is On Ferrari To Deliver A Cracker Of A Race!

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In an age where no day passes by where sarcastic comments aren’t leveled at the Italian icon, just how good an idea is it to recollect Ferrari’s performance at the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix? 

In a year where Red Bull- not Ferrari- have clinched a plethora of wins, perhaps the Tifosi and maybe even the harshest Scuderia critic would find it compelling to rewind the clocks back to Singapore in 2019.

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For truth be told, Ferrari were anything but crappy as many slang-obsessed individuals call them in this driven-by-vitriol sort of age.

To put it simply, Ferrari were in a league of their own at Singapore when an F1 race last happened there three years back in time.

Therefore, it’s worthwhile to remember that the Maranello-based team won the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull and Mercedes, the very teams that have in 2022, particularly, of late, posed a huge challenge to the Leclerc and Sainz pairing.

In winning at Southeast Asia with astonishing ease, Vettel, due to retire after just six races, clinched a fantastic win.

Unless he wins another, the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix will go down as the famous German’s final F1 win.

And that’s not all; Leclerc wasn’t too far behind the German on September 22, 2022; the Monegasque finished the Singapore run just a touch over 2.5 seconds after his teammate in second. 

In so doing, Ferrari scored a cracker of a 1-2 and in a way, Verstappen’s P3 only exacerbated Mercedes’s woes.

Hamilton and Bottas, meanwhile, had to settle for a lowly fourth and fifth.

But do you know what?

It’s Formula 1. It’s a sport where destinies change as rapidly as the pace with which the WhatsApp-obsessed changes his “DP.”

Just what do we find three years down the line from that great win at the Marina Bay?

It appears as though Ferrari’s fortunes have changed for the worse for the lack of a better expression.

The very team that, believe it or not, was owning headlines for all the right reasons at the start is being booed, well almost. 

And Ferrari have earned it.

Whether it was throwing away the fantastic chance of winning at Monaco where a strategic call- rather the lack of it- botched up Leclerc’s near-certain win or Leclerc sliding away at Le Castellet (France), 2022 has unfurled a team that looks more awful than astonishing.

Though make no mistake; it’s not that Ferrari have been consistently terrible this year. On the contrary, at venues like Australia, Azerbaijan, Monaco, Ferrari either shot themselves in the foot or were down and out thanks to last-minute reliability issues.

When Leclerc was leading the contest at Baku, circa lap 21, a power unit issue did him in that none saw coming. Not that he was the only casualty on an afternoon where it seemed a win was in the bag; Sainz too soon followed his teammate with a strange and sad DNF.

At Monaco, god only knows why Leclerc was called into the pits for a tyre change when that could have been avoided?

At Australia, Sainz faced anti-stall issues not long after the race-start, which dropped him down to fourteenth by lap 2. But he made an erroneous move whilst trying a comeback, doing no better than contacting the Haas of Mick Schumacher. The end result, however, culminated in no points, whatsoever, thanks to a spin at turn 10.

As the season wore on, so too did Ferrari. They, lest it is forgotten, began like kings in winning the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix all thanks to a sensational Leclerc at Sakhir.

It’s partly sad, partly strange but purely disappointing that the very driver who had the answer and still very much, the pace to counter Red Bull with just a handful of races to go is nowhere close to challenging Verstappen.

The 139-point gap that currently exists between Christian Horner’s table-topping side and Matia Binotto’s rather forlorn looking one points to an area that maybe we’ve seen before as have Ferrari but learnt perhaps nothing from.

And it’s that despite having the upperhand on certain occasions back in 2017 and 2018, two seasons where it did seem that the horse was prancing, Ferrari shot themselves in the foot much to the chagrin of the Tifosi.

Which is why it makes perfect sense to maybe examine some evidence.

How comfortable did Hamilton and in effect, Mercedes seem at the conclusion of the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix, for instance, where Wolff’s side had just no answer to match the Italian team’s race pace?

Who’d have thought that despite backstabbing Raikkonen at Monaco (Kimi was called to pit a lap before the halfway stage to give Vettel the track position) in a bid to favour Vettel, where the Finn was certain to win, Ferrari would still concede the championship to Mercedes?

In similar vein, who’d have thought that despite the faultless wins by Vettel at the 2017 and 2018 races at Australia, Ferrari would still find a way to lose the grasp of the world championship despite beginning the season in commanding fashion?

Was the 2018 Italian Grand Prix not (sufficiently) evident of the fact that despite having a great car, which wasn’t the case in 2016, all that Vettel succeeded in doing was to spin instead of keeping cool under pressure much like Lewis?

Oh, the Tifosi’s pain at hearing the commentators exclaim, “Lewis.. the master of Monza,” which is when it was supposed to have been Ferrari’s hunting ground!

Did “second fiddle” Raikkonen not fight it out by taking upon himself the challenge of stopping Hamilton at Monza when Vettel could perhaps have led the charge instead of buckling under pressure?

Surely, Ferrari did win and win big by taking battleground Silverstone, especially the 2018 contest all thanks to Seb and later, sparkled at Spa Franchorchamps. But just how wide a gap were the Italian side able to create over Mercedes on the mental side of things?

Did it not come down to which of the two among Ferrari and Mercedes tackled pressure better?

Anyhow, three years have gone by since the massively interesting 2019 Singapore Grand Prix, an event that saw Ferrari deliver a red-letter day.

But just what do we see today?

The Ferrari predicament is majorly all thanks to Verstappen’s Max-imum attack and the relentlessness shown by George Russell and Sergio Perez, in parts.

It’s not that the Italian legend isn’t trying; it’s just that their main opponents are competing on a different plane this year.

Verstappen’s dauntless drives, whether at Imola or Zandvoort, have left nothing to the imagination

Moreover, to emerge second best, which can only be accepted with glee by anyone who’s either given up competing or has nothing else left to offer after a series of dismal attempts, Ferrari should chin up and hold their heads high.

They’ve actually pushed Red Bull at events like Sakhir, Baku, Miami, Le Castellet, and Spielberg in a way few others can. And that’s when not all these races carried a Ferrari hot stepper on the podium.

Having said so, akin to how a championship would seem uninteresting in the absence of Ferrari, imagine the side’s woes when it did  that by virtue of several mistakes  Now, how about this: Imagine how 2022 would have been for the die-hard fan, who‘s had to put up with “mediocre Ferrari” on so many occasions?

Imagine seeing the strategy department struggling to put together one on an evening where wearing grievously low-rise denim wasn’t already annoying enough?

Why Ferrari must bounce back and aim for ideally a 1-2 at Singapore is also down to the fact that they’d not like to lose the faith of those who’ve unabashedly stuck to them.

And that’s not just the Tifosi, but also Formula 1’s noted commentators. Experts, who despite being at loss of words in seeing several wins simply conceded to Red Bull, cannot hide the passion for red and the curiosity with which they follow Leclerc and Sainz on track!

While the Italians revel – and rightly so- each time they say “Forza Ferrari,” when will the globetrotting Motorsport fan experience that moment, which convinces him to join the chorus?

Over to Charles and Carlos for Singapore now!

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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