Just back from the mega city-state that is Singapore, which is, once a year, taken over by Grand Prix fever.
I’m always struck by the diversity of the attendees of this Grand Prix in particular: perhaps by its setting at the heart of the city, the event is more accessible to less-committed, and would-be fans of the sport, rather than the die-hards who attend The Red Bull Ring for example who have to journey out into the hills to get there.
Perhaps too, it’s thanks to the nature of the event itself, which puts more emphasis on off-track activities than does anywhere else, with its no-expense spared, world-class line-up of musical acts. This year we were treated to Liam Gallagher, The Killers and Dua Lipa (something for everyone there) all of which are a huge draw in their own right. Oh, and there’s a Grand Prix on too!
So, the Grand Prix. The Williams duo of Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin started at the back: Sergey being caught up, not for the last time on Sunday evening, in a melee caused by the overzealous Sergio Perez, a Force India wheel-rim attaching itself to his front wing resulting in an early pitstop under the safety car.
Lance was able to keep himself away from the chaos, and steadily made his way through the field to 14th in what was, and is always, a gruelling slog to the finish.
Sergey did a fine job of managing his tyres with the intention of going to the end, but another clash with Perez, for which the Mexican rightly received a penalty, damaged his Williams and what looked like a strong recovery drive turned into limp to a 19th place finish, his car falling to pieces around him.
Next up is Sergey Sirotkin’s home Grand Prix in Sochi, Russia, where he can surely hope for better luck!