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Shocking Boost in Ferrari Performance in Singapore


Photo by Shawn Ang, License

Three races have been run since the summer break, all three have been won by Ferrari. The first two Grands Prix at Spa and Monza were not surprises; these are circuits in which lower downforce levels are run, and therefore the intricate aero packages have a lower level of influence in the outcome of the race. Ferrari was almost expected to beat the Mercedes cars, but going into the Singapore Grand Prix most were expecting the tables to be turned and for Hamilton and Bottas to return to their domination of the sport.

However, this was not what happened. Charles Leclerc got on to pole position during Saturday’s qualifying session, and the race was won on Sunday by his teammate Sebastian Vettel. Leclerc was surprised he managed to set the fastest time during the Q3 session after making several mistakes in his lap. Several mistakes by Vettel led him to decide to abandon his second flying lap. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume, two trouble free laps from the scarlet cars would have resulted in a front row lock out.

The surprise performance from Ferrari means that the World Drivers Championship, which had seemed like it was almost certainly going Hamilton's way, is now going to be a lot closer, with possibly a season-ending title decider. Fans hoping for a Brazil 2008 style showdown may now get what they wish for, with many choosing to place bets to add an additional level of excitement to the battle, with savvy fans making the most of free bet options too.

The boost in performance is down to a significant upgrade they brought to the Singapore race, which was a significant step up in performance around the slow speed circuit compared to their dismal performance in Hungary.

The upgrade includes a revised nose cone, floor and diffuser, and rear wing. The most visible of these upgrades is a set of “nostrils” that have been added to the nose with draws air into a section underneath the car. The “cape” section under the nose slows the air flow down, and then connects it to the barge boards. This creates an area of lower pressure that reduces lift effects.

Overall, the upgrades to the Ferrari provided a shock that few were expecting. The big step up in performance could make a more exciting second half of the season, but it may be just a few races too late to be able to challenge Hamilton. Only time will tell if Singapore was a fluke, but it doesn’t currently look that way.

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