Vettel wins Singaporean GP, no title yet
Sebastian Vettel couldn't be bothered by anyone today as he started from pole and led every single lap in this race to secure a perfect result at the Singaporean GP. As Jenson Button finished second and Mark Webber third, Vettel will have to wait until Japan to be sure of his world championship title.
Like in all previous 3 events held here, temperatures are high and humidity is extreme. Combined with this race being the longest of the calendar, it is without doubt the toughest on the drivers. For the cars, the most problems will come from braking and keeping tyre degradation under control, mainly due to the highly abrasive surface at Singapore.
One of the cars to watch will be Di Resta who is starting on Soft from 10th. Everybody else in the top 15 is starting on the super softs.
At the start of this race, ambient temperature is 31°C, track is 34°C. Vettel is of course on pole, ahead of Webber, Button, Hamilton, Alonso and Massa.
As the lights go out the clean racing line shows to be a major advantage on the starting grid. Sebastian Vettel had the best start and easily kept ahead. Button moved up to second, ahead of Alonso who took the outside into turn 1 and managed to pass 2 cars there.
Mark Webber dropped to 4th while Massa moved up to 5th through turn 5. Rosberg is 6th, Schumacher 7th and Hamilton only 8 after having started from 4th. Hamilton actually had a good launch off the line but he got locked behind Webber on the inside of turn 1 and lost several places there.
At the back of the pack Daniel Ricciardo emerged with a broken front wing and slowly completed his first lap to take on a new front wing in the pits.
Halfway through lap 5, Hamilton has passed Schumacher in the DRS zone on lap 4 and does the exact same move on Rosberg one lap later. Neither of the Mercedes GP's defended their positions, allowing Hamilton to move up to P6 now.
By the end of lap 7, Vettel is already 9 seconds ahead of Button. There's another gap of 2 seconds to Alonso, followed a second further down by Webber and another second later by Massa. Alonso at the moment appears to suffer difficulties with brake bias as he gets instructions by his race engineer on how to best adjust this on his car. He is as such increasingly struggling to keep Webber behind.
The other Ferrari with Massa at the wheel has also got company of Hamilton, the latter having caught the Ferrari by a full second per lap.
On lap 10 Webber gets past Alonso who is struggling badly with his rear tyres. Rosberg pitted one lap before, and at the end of lap 10 Alonso also decided to switch to primes.
One lap later Massa and Hamilton are into the pitlane simultaneously. As they come out in unchanged order, Hamilton tries to pass Massa on the outside of turn 7 but runs into Massa and breaks his front wing. Massa's right rear is punctured so he had to run slowly and into the pitlane for a new set op primes.
Hamilton though had taken on the options and continued for another lap, a very strange decision given the left part of his front wing was entirely gone. As he pits on lap 13, he switches to primes, just like the other front runners. Both Mercedes cars however are running their second stints on options.
Vettel and Button make their stops at the end of lap 14, both taking on primes.
After these first series of stops, Vettel is still in the lead, ahead of Button, Di Resta who hasn't stopped yet, Alonso, Webber and Rosberg. Interestingly, Alonso has gained 7 seconds on Webber only by taking on a set of option tyres 2 laps earlier than Webber did.
On lap 15 Hamilton does a drive through as he got penalised for causing an avoidable collision. Hamilton rejoins the track in 16th position. 41 laps still to go though.
On lap 19 Alonso get past Di Resta in the DRS zone, but his 2 laps behind the Force India have allowed Webber to regain several seconds on the Ferrari. By the end of that lap Di Resta goes into the pits, giving Webber a free chance to start chasing the Ferrari.
The second Ferrari meanwhile is slowly moving up the field after the tyre puncture. Massa is 12th on lap 22 with Hamilton not distant behind him in 14th.
On lap 25 Hamilton gets past Massa, triggering Massa to go into the pits that same lap. Alonso follows suit and gets a new set of primes. It appears that Ferrari's rear tyre wear is a considerable issue here, with both Ferrari's now set for a 3 stopper.
2 laps later Sutil easily allows his teammate past, showing how well that team is working together to secure the maximum possible amount of points at the end of the championship. Their battle in the constructors' standings is tense, so they can use every single point.
On lap 31, exactly halfway through the race, the safety car is out as Michael Schumacher is off the track. Schumacher tried to take the inside of turn 8 to pass Pérez, but the latter kept on the outside of turn 7 longer than Schumacher expected. His Mercedes GP car took off and hit the armco barriers straight on, leaving a lot of debris on the track.
The SC period immediately triggered stops by Webber, Button and Vettel. Hamilton took on a set of options. Di Resta, Rosberg and Sutil also made stops, all changing to new primes. They are currently in P5, P6 and P7.
The racing is on again on lap 34, with Vettel easily getting away of everybody else due to Trulli, Kobayashi and Liuzzi queuing in between him and closest follower Button.
One lap later Alonso gets passed by Webber into turn 10. The queue caused by the SC required Alonso to brake early for the slower man ahead of him, while Webber just took the opportunity and braked late, taking Alonso's third place.
The fight for P5 is extremely close, led by Di Resta, then Rosberg, Sutil and Hamilton. All four are seperated each by less than a second.
Hamilton's super softs are paying off at the moment as he gets past Sutil on lap 38 and passes Rosberg on lap 39. It really is an easy catch with better tyres and a far better car. A single lap later he passes Di Resta in the DRS zone.
On lap 41, with 20 laps to go Button posts his best lap of the race so far. He definitely got a wake up call as Mark Webber was quickly closing on him. Button is now 12.5s behind Vettel and 3.5s ahead of Webber.
On lap 48 Webber makes his final stop to change to super softs. He rejoins the track behind Hamilton, but the Briton will likely also have to stop, given he's on old options.
That same lap Webber passes Hamilton easily while Button pits, followed by Lewis Hamilton.
On lap 50 Vettel makes his final stop as well, taking on super softs. Alonso stops as well to take on softs, just like Hamilton did.
2 laps later Trulli's Renault engine gives up and ends the Italian's race.
By lap 54 Hamilton is back into 5th after passing Pérez, Sutil, Rosberg and Di Resta. All four are running on old prime tyres whereas Hamilton has a lot more grip on the new primes fitted to his McLaren MP4-26.
Even with the late race traffic Vettel had to battle, nothing could really beat Vettel today. A perfect result with pole, fastest lap, leading all laps and finishing ahead of everyone else.
|2||4||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||61||+1.7 secs||3||18|
|3||2||Mark Webber||RBR-Renault||61||+29.2 secs||2||15|
|4||5||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||61||+55.4 secs||5||12|
|5||3||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||61||+67.7 secs||4||10|
|6||15||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||61||+ secs||10||8|
|7||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||60||+1 Lap||7||6|
|8||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||60||+1 Lap||9||4|
|9||6||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||60||+1 Lap||6||2|
|10||17||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||60||+1 Lap||11||1|
|11||12||Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Cosworth||60||+1 Lap||13|
|12||18||Sebastien Buemi||STR-Ferrari||60||+1 Lap||14|
|13||11||Rubens Barrichello||Williams-Cosworth||60||+1 Lap||12|
|14||16||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||59||+2 Laps||17|
|15||9||Bruno Senna||Renault||59||+2 Laps||15|
|16||20||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus-Renault||59||+2 Laps||19|
|17||10||Vitaly Petrov||Renault||59||+2 Laps||18|
|18||25||Jerome d'Ambrosio||Virgin-Cosworth||59||+2 Laps||22|
|19||22||Daniel Ricciardo||HRT-Cosworth||57||+4 Laps||23|
|20||23||Vitantonio Liuzzi||HRT-Cosworth||57||+4 Laps||24|
|Ret||21||Jarno Trulli||Lotus-Renault||47||+14 Laps||20|
|Ret||7||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG||28||Accident||8|
|Ret||24||Timo Glock||Virgin-Cosworth||9||+52 Laps||21|