F1 Raceweek: Pole vital in thwarting Leclerc hat-trick - Singapore GP in numbers

By Sports Desk September 18, 2019

Charles Leclerc is aiming for a third straight Formula One victory at the Singapore Grand Prix after leading Ferrari to glory in Belgium and Italy.

Lewis Hamilton will want to reassert his dominance at the top of the drivers' standings and the slow corners of the Marina Bay Street Circuit could play back into Mercedes hands after Leclerc made hay in the high-octane surroundings of Spa and Monza.

Pole position in Singapore can be both crucial and hard to come by, as our key raceweek numbers from Opta illustrate.

So, will the season revert to type or can Leclerc and Ferrari seal the team's hottest run of form for more than a decade?


23 – Marina Bay has more corners than any other circuit on the F1 calendar.

0 – No driver has been able to claim back-to-back poles in the 11 editions of the race. This could be a bad omen for Hamilton, who sat at the front of the grid in 2018.

8 – Eight of the 11 Singapore Grands Prix have been won by the driver on pole (73 per cent).

2008 – You have to go back 11 years for the last time Ferrari won three races in a row.

3 – Mercedes are a Grand Prix away from equalling their longest run without a victory in the hybrid era. Post-2014, they have only gone winless three times in row over the opening races of last season.

22 – The combined points haul returned by Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg finishing fourth and fifth respectively at Monza gave Renault the most from a single race in their history.

19 – Ayrton Senna holds the record for Grand Prix wins having led from start to finish. Hamilton is currently on 18.

27 – Team-mate Leclerc might have been making the headlines recently but Sebastian Vettel has won more races in Asia than any other F1 driver. Hamilton is on 24.

7 – Leclerc has bested Vettel in each of the past seven Saturday qualifying sessions and collected four poles this season. Only Niki Lauda (nine in 1974) and Juan Manuel Fangio (six in 1956) have taken more poles in their maiden Ferrari campaigns.

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    Arguably the most unpredictable side in world rugby, Les Bleus showed the best side of themselves for so long in a contest few expected them to have the better of, against a Wales team briefly ranked number one in the world this year.

    France were aggressive, fluent with ball in hand and produced the kind of aesthetically pleasing play that is synonymous with their country's finest in full flight.

    As Virimi Vakatawa stepped past Josh Navidi and found Romain Ntamack, who then fed Antoine Dupont to set up Charles Ollivon to cruise under the posts and put France 12-0 up, even the most ardent of Wales fan will have feared a vintage display from the side that controversially denied them in the semi-finals in 2011.

    Even after an error allowed Adam Wainwright to get Wales on the board, France remained the superior outfit and, despite a pair of missed kicks from Ntamack, it would have been tough to find too many tipping Warren Gatland's men to make a comeback akin to the one they produced at the Stade de France in the Six Nations this year.

    However, France are as well known for their meltdowns as they are for their free-flowing style, and it was a moment of madness nine minutes into the second half that ultimately proved crucial in condemning them to a heart-breaking 20-19 defeat.

    Guilhem Guirado was recalled to the starting XV for France despite rumours of a bust-up with coach Jacques Brunel, and the atmosphere in the dressing room is unlikely to have been a pleasant one after Sebastien Vahaamahina made a telling contribution to his own side's downfall.

    It is unclear whether we will ever be able to understand the method behind the back-row's decision to launch a swinging elbow into the side of Wainwright's head, and his dismissal will go down in World Cup infamy as it proved the turning point in a French failure.

    To their credit, Brunel's men held up well despite their man disadvantage and still led 19-13 going into the final six minutes.

    Yet Tomos Williams ripped the ball from Ollivon's grasp yards out from the France line and it was collected by Justin Tipuric before Ross Moriarty, whose yellow card preceded the Vakatawa try, turned from villain to hero by scoring the winning try.

    France may feel aggrieved, with the try awarded by the TMO despite the suggestion the ball went forward after being stolen from Ollivon, while many in the Wales camp will feel luck has evened out after Sam Warburton's contentious red card in the semi eight years ago.

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    Gatland conceded the best team lost in Oita, but succinctly summed up the continued issue for a side that now infuriate more than they inspire.

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    1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
    2. Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) +0.870secs
    3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) +1.325s
    4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) +2.608s
    5. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) +9.140s
    6. Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) +9.187s
    7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +9.306s
    8. Joar Mir (Suzuku Ecstar) +10.695s
    9. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) +14.216s
    10. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +18.909s

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    1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 350
    2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 231 (-119)
    3. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 176 (-174)
    4. Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) 176 (-174)
    5. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 169 (-181)

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    2. Repsol Honda 383 (-17)
    3. Monster Energy Yamaha 321 (-79)
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