Vettel wins eventful Singaporean GP

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Singapore, Marina Bay Street Circuitsg

Sebastian Vettel has won the Singaporean Grand Prix for the second time in a row, benefiting from the retirement of pole sitter Lewis Hamilton. The German was left unchallenged for the remainder of the race and is joined on the podium by Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

The temperature at Singapore at the start of the race is 29°C, just as well as the race track itself.

All top 10 drivers are starting on the super soft tyres, even Mercedes who were able to choose their tyres after not setting a flying lap in the final part of qualifying yesterday. Both cars however are able to start on brand new super softs, contrary to the cars ahead of them as they are using the qualifying tyres.

As the lights went out, Hamilton made a decent start and could easily retain his advantage from pole position. Vettel and Button got past Maldonado after turn 2 while Fernando Alonso first lost a place to Di Resta at the start but regained it 4 turns into the first lap.

At the back of the field, Petrov lost his front wing and had to get back to the pits. There he was also fitted new prime tyres. Felipe Massa meanwhile also dropped to the back of the field after getting a rear puncture. He got fitted with new prime, soft tyres and rejoined in last position.

On lap 9, Webber is the first to make a regular stop, changing his super softs to soft tyres. The Australian set two fastest sectors on his in-lap but was stuck behind Di Resta. Webber got back on track in 20th position and moved up to 19th that same lap after passing a Marussia.

At the end of lap 10 Vettel is also in the pits and rejoins in 12th, passing Pérez half a lap later to move up into 11th. Vettel is now just behind the group of Rosberg, Schumacher, Raikkonen and Hulkenberg. Vettel passes the Force India on the next lap while the Mercedes cars are disappearing as they make their stops in the next few laps.

In lap 12 Hamilton pits and rejoins 2 seconds ahead of Raikkonen and Vettel. That same lap Vettel passes Raikkonen with DRS into turn 7.

One lap later Maldonado also pits while Button continues on the super soft tyre, managing his tyres seemingly better than the other front runners.

At the start of lap 16, Hamilton leads 1.5 seconds on Vettel. Button is 3rd, then Maldonado who has just passed Hulkenberg. The latter is still running on the prime tyres he started with. Behind him is Alonso who is somewhat in the same situation as Maldonado after passing Pérez, the latter also in his first stint.

Another lap later Alonso also passes Hulkenberg after his gap to Maldonado increased to 5 seconds.

In lap 19 both Hulkenberg and Pérez make their first stops. Both were really struggling badly with the rear tyres.


3 corners after starting lap 23 however, Hamilton is unable to get into gear after his car switched to neutral. His gearbox released a plume of smoke right after entering turn 1, leaving the Briton helpless and consequently out of the race.

Maldonado meanwhile is locking wheels while his Wililams car is releasing a lot of brake dust frequently. This signifies brake wear and could become an issue for Maldonado later on in the race.

In lap 29 Webber is the first to make his second stop, switching to super soft. One lap later Maldonado pits and changes to super soft as well while Alonso at the same time gets fitted with a brand new set of primes. Ferrari's stop however was considerably faster than that of Wiliams, putting Alonso on the tail of Maldonado when they exit the pitlane. The two also soon got stuck behind Rosberg and Grosjean who are running 4th and 5th.

As Maldonado appeared unable to put a lot of pressure on Grosjean, Alonso repeatedly attempted to pass the Williams in lap 32, but as Maldonado went defensive each time, gaining a position proved to be impossilbe.

On lap 33 the safety car is out as Karthikeyan slid into the barriers in turn 18.

The SC triggers pitstops for many drivers, including Raikkonen, Vettel, Button and Maldonado.

On lap 36, behind the safety car, the positions are VET BUT ALO DIR HUL WEB PER ROS GRO MAL VER SCH RAI RIC SEN KOV MAS KOB GLO PIC PET DLR.

Maldonado meanwhile is ordered to retire as there is a hydraulic problem on his car. The driver however kept running for a few more laps and finally parks his car in the pits at the end of lap 36.

The racing is back on at the start of lap 39, but just before that Button nearly crashed into Vettel. The Red Bull driver was still warming his tyres while Button thought Vettel was going full throttle to launch the restart. The mixup triggered Vettel to effectively launch away, causing Alonso to be caught out and lost 2 seconds to Button by the time they started lap 39.

In that same lap, Vergne battled for position with Pérez, going into turn 14 side by side. The required them to brake early, something Schumacher did not expect. The German locked up the front brakes and hit Vergne, causing a retirement for both of them. The incident of course triggers another safety car period.

Schumacher's crash will be investigated after the race, but there's a remarkable resemblance to his crash of last year, which was in the exact same corner.

On lap 41, Webber, Hulkenberg and both Saubers pitted for what is likely their last stop. Vitaly Petrov also pitted but stalled at the pitlane exit. The team's mechanics went to get him, pushed him back in, restarted the car and allowed Petrov to get on with his race.

2 laps later, the safety car is in again, this time without incidents. Raikkonen however tried to get past his team mate into turn 1 but backed out of it.

Halfway through lap 43, Massa attempts to pass Senna but got squeezed behind the Williams and the wall. Senna likely didn't realise Massa was on his left, but the Brazilian's right front tyre touched with the Williams sidepod. This nearly brought Massa into a spin, but he just managed to keep in on track, and as he was on the inside of the next turn, he also rightfully gained the position on Senna.

Massa interestingly is running on the supersoft tyres and could still get in trouble towards the end of the race as his tyres will wear out rapidly.

On lap 46 Massa gets past Ricciardo and hence moves up into 8th.

Two laps later Raikkonen moves up a spot as Grosjean is asked to let his team mate pass since Raikkonen is faster at this moment in the race.

In lap 50 Webber finally passes Kobayashi and Hulkenberg follows him through. The German though went a little wide on the exit of the turn, squeezing Kobayashi and knocking off the front wing of the Sauber, followed by a puncture for Hulkenberg. This allowed Pérez to move up into 12th.

One lap later Senna slightly touches the tecpro barrier in turn 18 but seems to get away with it as no obvious damage was done to his car.

Webber then moves on to pass Senna with Ricciardo only 3 seconds further up, but Ricciardo proved to be a much harder nut to crack, one that eventually didn't crash. Senna meanwhile retired from the race after he reported a loss of power one lap earlier.


11Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault59Winner325
23Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes59+8.9 secs418
35Fernando AlonsoFerrari59+15.2 secs515
411Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes59+19.0 secs612
58Nico RosbergMercedes59+34.7 secs1010
69Kimi RäikkönenLotus-Renault59+35.7 secs128
710Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault59+36.6 secs86
86Felipe MassaFerrari59+42.8 secs134
916Daniel RicciardoStr-Ferrari59+45.8 secs152
1015Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari59+50.6 secs141
112Mark Webber(*)Red Bull Racing-Renault59+47.1 secs (+20)7
1224Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth59+91.9 secs20
1314Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari59+97.1 secs17
1412Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes59+99.4 secs11
1520Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault59+107.9 secs19
1625Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth59+112.8 secs (+20)21
1722Pedro de la RosaHrt-Cosworth58+1 Lap24
1819Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault57+2 Lap22
1921Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault57+2 Lap18
Ret17Jean-Eric VergneStr-Ferrari38+21 Laps16
Ret7Michael SchumacherMercedes38+21 Laps9
Ret18Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault36+23 Laps2
Ret23Narain KarthikeyanHrt-Cosworth30+29 Laps23
Ret4Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes22+37 Laps1

(*) A penalty adds 20 seconds to Mark Webber's finish time due to a penalty for gaining an advantage by driving off-track. He was therefore demoted from 10th to 11th in the results
(*) Charles Pic was given a 20 second penalty, dropping from 15th to 16th