From Europe, teams moved to Asia, for the last leg of the season. The SingaporeGrand Prix has become a fixture in Asia since it was introduced in 2007 and the only night race in the F1 season line-up. Singapore is known for its hot and humid racing conditions, which not only makes it a technologically difficult race, but a physically challenging one too.
Some changes were made to the track this season, removing the Singapore Slingthree-turn corners, which slowed down the race unnecessarily. The Singapore Grand Prix is already one of the slowest races on the line-up, with little opportunity for overtaking, similar to the Monaco Grand Prix. Fans will be watching Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso battle for first place. The weekend was exciting, but in the end it was Vettel who dominated from start to finish taking his third career win in Singapore. Alonso takes second place, followed by Kimi Raikkonen.
Qualifying was exciting, for a change, and extremely tight. Lewis Hamilton took the fastest lap in the first round of qualifying, but Vettel took pole position by taking the fastest laps in the second and third qualifying rounds. However, it was only with a margin of one tenth of a second!
The race was pretty much dominated by Vettel, who went from strength to strength from his pole position. By lap two he had already built a 4 second lead, increasing to 7 seconds by lap six. In the end, Vettel took the chequered flag with a 32 second lead over second place Alonso. Up until lap 24, the race was about pit-stops and tyre strategy, then Daniel Ricciardo hit the wall at Marina Bay, triggering the safety carroll out. Most drivers took the opportunity to pit and this event looked like it could significantly impact Vettel’s lead. Lap 30 safety car is off the track and the race is back on. Vettel right off the bat takes a 3 second lead, so the safety car in the end didn’t have much impact on Vettel.
Romain Grosjean is the next victim, retiring with technical problems in lap 37. By lap 42 it is Vettel in the lead, followed by Hamilton and Alonso. Top ten drivers are vying for positions, making the second half of the race more exciting than the first half – some fans are calling the first half of the race a “snooze fest”. Lap 54 sees Paul di Resta out in an accident. Mark Webber was driving well until lap 59, when his gearbox fails and starts a fire – frustrating weekend for him. He is out, but since he’s competed 90% of the race, he places 15th.
Post-race, Webber, whose car is stranded in mid-circuit after his breakdown, gets picked up by Alonso and gets a ride back. Stewards were not amused about this stunt and both Alonso and Webber received a reprimand. However, for Webber this was his third reprimand for the season, which saddles him with an automatic 10-place grid penalty for the next race, the Korean Grand Prix.
In the Drivers’ Championship standings Vettel continues to charge ahead with his win in Singapore and there are no changes in the standings. Now with 247 points, Vettel has a 60 point lead over second place Alonso – with six races remaining in the season, this lead does not yet guarantee the Drivers’ Championship title for Vettel. Alonso remains in second place with 187 points, followed by Lewis Hamilton with 151 points and Kimi Raikkonen in 249 points. Six drivers have yet to score a point this season.
The Constructors’ Championship standings remain unchanged, with Red Bull increasing their lead. Red Bull is firmly in the lead with 377 points. This is a 103 points gap with second place Ferrari, which has 274 points, but it is still too early concede a win for Red Bull. Mercedes is in third place with 267 points and Lotus in fourth place with 206 points. There is still potential for movement among the constructors. McLaren is pretty much out of the running, with just 76 points. Two teams have yet to win any points this season: Marussia and Caterham.
Full Race Results