Once again, the Singapore Grand Prix
extended its record of never having gone without a safety car. This year the cause for the mid-race interval was Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo who ended up locking up and crashing into the wall at turn 18 at the point where the track turns underneath the main grandstand.
“The crash was my error, trying to make up for lost ground," admitted Ricciardo afterwards. "It's a delicate corner with not much run-off and I went too deep into the apex. I then braked a bit harder, locked a wheel and went into the wall.
"It's not a mistake I'm used to making," he added. "I will learn from this."
Having qualified in the top ten and aiming to get some points out of the race for Toro Rosso, Ricciardo had already been disappointed to lose five positions at the very start when the lights went out.
"At the start, my car just seemed to sit there without moving off the line," he said. "It was very frustrating to lose so many places right away. I think I went down five places from ninth on the grid to fourteenth.
"I was on the back foot from then on, just trying to do the best I could," he continued. "In the second stint, my engineer came on the radio and said 'the pace is good, keep pushing.'
"I was aware that for the pace we had, we were not doing too badly and maybe at the end I was just trying to get too much out of it and made that mistake," he sighed.
His team mate Jean-Eric Vergne stayed in the race to the end, which he finished s the last man on the lead lap in 14th place, which team principal Franz Tost agreed was significantly less return on the team's investment in the Singapore race weekend than they had been hoping for.
"A very disappointing evening for us, especially after we had produced a good qualifying performance yesterday," Tost said. "Unfortunately, the benefit of our grid positions was cancelled out immediately, as both drivers got poor starts, with Daniel dropping five places and Jean-Eric three.
When Ricciardi's accident triggered the safety car, the Toro Rosso
team opted to change Vergne from a two- to a three-stop strategy to get around the problem with overtaking on the Marina Bay