Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel has extended his lead further in the Drivers’ Championship after taking the chequered flag as the winner of the FIA Formula One 2013 Singapore Grand Prix.
The reigning World Champion remains in control in the hunt for his fourth Drivers title, despite momentarily losing the lead at the start of the race to Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg before taking it back again until the end of the 61 lap marathon.
Lotus Renault’s Kimi Raikkonen had a surprising end result to the race, in which he overcame his disappointing qualifying position yesterday of 13th place, to move through the field improving by 10 places and he picked up the third and final spot on the podium for himself.
Rosberg managed to get back on track after his temporary hold on first place on lap one and he showed good form as he made his way to the front of the field in the closing stages of the race. The German just missed out on a podium finish to take fourth place, but he did pip his team mate, Lewis Hamilton who followed just behind to grab fifth place for himself. Hamilton also had a bit of a disappointing start to his race, when the stewards deemed that the Englishman had left the track and gained an advantage over Alonso’s team mate, Felipe Massa and the pair soon swapped their places back.
Hamilton overcame the bumpy beginning in the end and also finished ahead of Massa, who crossed the line to secure sixth place for himself.
Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg was beaten by his team mate, Esteban Gutierrez in qualifying yesterday, who made it through to Q3 and the top 10 shootout. Hulkenberg appeared on a mission during the race as he fought for position between his midfield rivals and in the end swapped positions with Gutierrez. Hulkenberg picked up a top 10 point scoring position as he secured ninth place for himself and his Mexican team mate finished out of the points.
Hulkenberg was not only in the limelight for where he finished in the race, but caught the attention of the stewards on lap 19, when they declared that he had left the track and gained an advantage over Perez. Hulkenberg gave the place back to Perez and the pair carried on racing.
Di Resta was also joined in the small list of retirements by Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian had reportedly locked up his front left tyre under braking which led him swiftly into the wall and out of the race on lap 25. The safety car was deployed from lap 25 to 30 to allow the race marshals to clear the debris from the track and Ricciardo’s car.
Raikkonen’s team mate, Romain Grosjean was another driver who failed to cross the finish line. The French man visited the pits on lap 34 and it was reported that his car had an air consumption problem linked to the engine and this led to a long delay in the pits for him. Grosjean finally got back on track and inevitably ended up at the back of the field, but then returned to the pits on lap 38 and parked his car up in the garage which spelt the end of his race.
Vettel’s team mate, Mark Webber also experienced problems with his car which particularly came to light in the latter stages of the race. The Australian reported via the team radio that he was having problems with the gears and on the last lap he lost power which then led to his car to catch fire and he made a swift exit from it at Turn seven. Webber still appeared in the final classification to take 15th place in the end.
The drivers and teams now have two weeks to prepare themselves for their next challenge when the Korean Grand Prix takes place. Vettel seems to be the one in charge at the front of the field, but it remains to be seen whether Alonso will catch him, as the end of the season is fast approaching and so too the crowning of the 2013 World Champion.