Lights-to-flag win for Hamilton at Singapore

Lewis Hamilton took his second Grand Prix victory of the season with a faultless display of racing under the lights at Singapore. Toyota’s Timo Glock finished in an impressive second with last year’s winner Fernando Alonso third for Renault.

As for Sebastian Vettel, who had the opportunity to challenge the race win with Hamilton, the Red Bull driver was disappointed to come home in fourth. That penalty in which he was caught speeding in the pitlane and that moment on the kerbs, which damaged his double diffuser while chasing the leading McLaren, means the German is now out of contention for the championship.

Jenson Button was able to recover from his mid-field starting position to record a fifth place finish, which is crucial as the season reaches its conclusion. Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello struggled with brake wear and could only manage sixth.

By finishing in fifth, Jenson extends his lead in the drivers’ standings ahead of Rubens by 15 points. With only three races left, the Brawn GP driver is looking odds on in taking that elusive title.

In fact, Jenson Button could actually win the drivers’ title in the following race at Suzuka in a week’s time if he takes five more off Barrichello.

Heikki Kovalainen came home seventh for McLaren with Robert Kubica taking the remaining point finish for BMW Sauber.

It was a frustrating race for Nico Rosberg, who made a great start on the opening lap to pass Vettel, but that moment leaving the pitlane after his first stop, in which the Williams driver ran off the track meant he had to serve a drive-through penalty for crossing the white line. Without that, Rosberg would have achieved a solid result for Williams at the Singapore Grand Prix.

The same can be said to the Red Bull-sponsored teams with both Toro Rosso out on the same lap with separate mechanical problems while Mark Webber crashed at Turn 1 with brake problems 15 laps from the chequered flag. Only Vettel was able to record a points finish with fourth. Though the margin of 25 points behind championship leader Button means Vettel’s chances to overhaul his title rival is now over.

Ferrari had an anonymous race, with Kimi Raikkonen chasing Kubica and Kazuki Nakajima (Williams) home in P10 ahead of the delayed Rosberg, and Giancarlo Fisichella P13 after a race-long duel with his Force India replacement Tonio Liuzzi.

While Glock achieved his best-ever result with a podium finish, his Toyota team-mate Jarno Trulli compounded his poor qualifying with a poor start and only finished P12.

The second running of Formula One’s night-race at Marina Bay didn’t deliver in terms of on-track action bar drive-through penalties and a safety car period when Adrian Sutil colliding into Nick Heidfeld after a desperate bid to pass Jaime Alguersuari.

But in terms of the championship, for both the drivers’ and constructors’, this race has played a significant pact. Suzuka is the next event in this dramatic season of Formula One racing. Will we see Jenson Button crown champion next Sunday? Following this great recovery drive, he is the favourite to take the honour over current champion Lewis Hamilton, the winner of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Singapore Grand Prix race results, 61 laps:

1.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      1h56:06.337
2.  Glock         Toyota                +9.634
3.  Alonso        Renault               +16.624
4.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault      +20.261
5.  Button        Brawn-Mercedes        +30.015
6.  Barrichello   Brawn-Mercedes        +31.858
7.  Kovalainen    McLaren-Mercedes      +36.157
8.  Kubica        BMW Sauber            +55.054
9.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota       +56.054
10. Raikkonen     Ferrari               +58.892
11. Rosberg       Williams-Toyota       +59.777
12. Trulli        Toyota                +1:13.009
13. Fisichella    Ferrari               +1:19.890
14. Liuzzi        Force India-Mercedes  +1:33.502

Fastest lap: Alonso, 1:48.240

Not classified/retirements:

Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari    48 laps
Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari    48 laps
Webber        Red Bull-Renault      46 laps
Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  24 laps
Heidfeld      BMW Sauber            20 laps
Grosjean      Renault               4 laps

World Championship standings, round 14:

1.  Button        84
2.  Barrichello   69
3.  Vettel        59
4.  Webber        51.5
5.  Raikkonen     40
6.  Hamilton      37
7.  Rosberg       30.5
8.  Alonso        26
9.  Glock         24
10. Trulli        22.5
11. Kovalainen    22
12. Massa         22
13. Heidfeld      12
14. Kubica         9
15. Fisichella     8
16. Sutil          5
17. Buemi          3
18. Bourdais       2

1.  Brawn-Mercedes        153
2.  Red Bull-Renault      110.5
3.  Ferrari                62
4.  McLaren-Mercedes       59
5.  Toyota                 46.5
6.  Williams-Toyota        30.5
7.  Renault                26
8.  BMW Sauber             21
9.  Force India-Mercedes   13
10. Toro Rosso-Ferrari      5

Next race: Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka. October 2-4.

10 thoughts to “Lights-to-flag win for Hamilton at Singapore”

  1. The top three drivers after 61 laps around the demanding Marina Bay street circuit. Articles taken from

    Lewis Hamilton dismissed suggestions that his Singapore Grand Prix win was easy despite a commanding performance in Formula 1’s second night race.

    The McLaren driver scored his second win of the season at the Marina Bay circuit after leading for almost every lap of the race, having started from pole position.

    Although Hamilton was challenged by Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, he eventually finished nearly 10 seconds ahead of Toyota’s Timo Glock.

    The Briton admitted the conditions had made the race very difficult.

    “It was a tough race, not easy that is for sure,” Hamilton said. “There is no break, so the focus is as much as you could possibly get. The track is fantastic and the fans here are amazing

    “I came here hoping to have a good result and hoping to redeem myself after the last race, I did it, we did it and very, very happy.”

    He added: “It was a very very tough race, I think I could speak for all of us. Conditions made it very tough. Generally the race was pretty straightforward for me. I got a good start and managed to bridge a good enough gap. I knew I was longer than the guys behind me.

    “I had a lot of serious pressure. I knew I was five laps longer, so I looking after tyres and it was a nicely controlled race.”

    Hamilton had a scared early on when his team informed him that he could be having a problem with his KERS, but the world champion said he never noticed anything.

    “I don’t know what lap it was. I had no problem in the car with KERS but the team said there was possibly a fault but it was still working. I had to disable it and re-engage it. There were quite a few switch changes. There was never a problem after that.

    “I did have a bit of pressure from Nico and the cars behind at the beginning. They seemed to be quick at the beginning, I was looking after tyres but paid dividends in the end.”

    The McLaren driver is now hoping to carry his momentum into the Japanese Grand Prix next weekend.

    “I’ve never been to Suzuka but I’ve heard apart from Monaco it is the best circuit. I grew up watching it and I always wanted to go there.

    “I am excited to be there. It will be a very tough weekend. It’s tough to learn and master it in one weekend. We are going with the momentum from this race and hopefully we will have a competitive car again.”

    Timo Glock admitted he was surprised by his result at the Singapore Grand Prix after scoring his first podium of the season.

    The Toyota driver had started from sixth position but worked his way trough the field and finished in second place behind McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

    The result was Glock’s best this season and his first podium since the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix.

    It was also Toyota’s first top-three finish since Jarno Trulli finished third in Bahrain.

    “It was a really good race for me,” said Glock. “The start was a bit of a mess in the first corner. I knew I could not have the pace of the first two or three guys, so I just settled down and concentrated on me and what I could do with my car.

    “I knew before coming here we were good last that the driver can make a difference, and from practice we just picked up. We concentrated on the car and my crew.

    “In qualifying I thought we could easily get into Q3 but we struggled in Q1. Then got better and better in qualifying, shame to not use last set of tyres.

    “I lost the view of where the others guys were, and then I changed to the Option tyre and they said I was P2 and I was really surprised.”

    Team-mate Trulli finished down in 12th position.

    Fernando Alonso dedicated his podium finish in the Singapore Grand Prix to his former Renault team boss Flavio Briatore – who has been given an indefinite ban from involvement in international motorsport for his role in the race-fixing scandal.

    Alonso’s third place in Singapore was his first and Renault’s first podium of a very tough 2009 season. The double champion praised his crew’s resilience through recent efforts, but also credited Briatore for today’s success.

    “The team has been fantastic, all season, we had a fantastic team,” said Alonso. “The mechanics and engineers, everyone in the factory, did the maximum, and sometimes we got some good results and sometimes were a bit unlucky.

    “But this podium in a particular moment after what happened… it has been a difficult time for the team, now we put it behind us and we concentrate on the remaining races.

    “And I dedicate this podium to Flavio – he is at home but he is part of the success we had today.”

    The Renault had emerged unscathed from an eventful first lap that saw Alonso challenge Sebastian Vettel for third, run wide when battling with Mark Webber – who was later ordered to relinquish his place because he had gone off-course to pass Alonso – and also get overtaken by Timo Glock.

    “The first lap was a little bit stressful, running to Turn 7 side-by-side with Mark, we both ran wide over the kerb and Timo took the benefit there and overtook me there in Turn 8,” said Alonso.

    “With the battle with Webber I lost position with Timo and finished the race behind him. No real complaints, it is fantastic for us. We didn’t have the pace all weekend to be on the podium but we are on the podium so better than expected.”

  2. Even though he finished fifth in the Singapore Grand Prix. Championship leader Jenson Button is happy his points lead over rival Rubens Barrichello and Vettel. Read on for his views after the race as taken from

    Jenson Button says he is happy with his fifth place in the Singapore Grand Prix after extending his lead in the drivers’ championship to 15 points over team-mate Rubens Barrichello.

    The 29-year-old started 11th on the grid, but despite being caught behind McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen in the first stint, recovered to finish ahead of the Brazilian.

    “It was a good day for us,” Button told BBC Sport. “I’m happy to get fifth, which is four points and pull one of Rubens and only lose one to Sebastian Vettel. It was a good race. I go to Japan very positive for the next race.”

    Button that he was frustrated that his qualifying performance had made life more difficult for him in the race.

    “I wish I did those laps in qualifying,” he said of his late race charge that allowed him to get ahead of Barrichello. “That’s the frustrating thing.

    “It would have made life easier for me in the race. I got stuck behind Heikki Kovalainen for quite a few laps, but when he pitted I was able to get past him.

    “I could see Rubens pulling away because he was stopping four or five laps shorter than me but I couldn’t do anything. It’s difficult because when you’re that close behind someone you lose downforce.

    “The first safety car was frustrating because I was going three or four laps longer than Heikki. When he pitted I should have had three full laps and would have done Rubens and maybe Mark Webber, so it didn’t work for me.

    “But I’m very happy with the result.”

    Team principal Ross Brawn was also delighted with the result after the team salvaged seven points despite a disappointing qualifying.

    “It was a recovery for us,” he said. “It looked pretty grim yesterday afternoon but the team did a great job to salvage what we did yesterday. Our main competitors did not do that.”

    Brawn stopped short of claiming victory in the championship despite Vettel now being the only non-Brawn GP driver who can win the title, a massive 25 points down with 30 to play for.

    The team is also on the cusp of winning the Constructors’ Championship, needing only 12 points in the final three races to clinch it.

    “I’ve been to many world titles where I have lost them at the last race, so until it is done it is not done,” said Brawn.

  3. As for Sebastian Vettel, the German was surprised by that pitlane penalty. That incident in which he was caught speeding in his Red Bull Racing resulted in losing out the opportunity to fight with Lewis for the win. Here are his views on the race courtesy of

    Sebastian Vettel was left surprised by the drive-through penalty that cost him a chance of fighting for victory at the Singapore Grand Prix.

    Red Bull driver Vettel went on to finish in fourth position, 20 seconds behind winner Lewis Hamilton, after being caught speeding during his second pitstop.

    Up until then Vettel was fighting Hamilton for the race lead.

    The German said the team will need to look at the incident, as he was unsure why it had happened.

    “That’s all we could do in the end, fourth place,” Vettel told BBC Sport. “Obviously I had a chance today to get at least a podium. I think, especially in the second stint we were quite quick, able to push to put some pressure on Lewis.

    “Obviously I knew I would pit earlier, so there was no chance to get him at the pitstop, so I wasn’t in a rush really and then I was very surprised when I got the call ‘drive-through for speeding in the pitlane.’

    “My point of view… As I said I wasn’t in a rush and therefore can’t really explain why I got caught. We have to check if it’s maybe an electronic issue, but it was working before and afterwards so it’s difficult to say.

    “For sure disappointment because the car was quick. I was a bit unlucky with the start and then got traffic in both first and second stint. After that, obviously with the drive through, I think it was the best that we could do.

    Vettel had to complete a big part of the race with a damaged car, first having lost one of his mirrors and then damaging the rear diffuser when running over a kerb.

    “It was falling apart,” he said. “It’s a very tough race for the car, with a lot of bumps. At some point my mirror started to vibrate and then shake more and more up to the point where it fell off completely, so after that I felt that the car wasn’t exactly the same.

    “Nowadays every single bit of downforce is useful and, on top of that, towards the end we had a problem with the diffuser. I think I went a bit wide, exit of Turn 5, hit the kerb and damaged the strakes.”

    The Red Bull driver still managed to finish ahead of Brawn rivals Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, but he’s 25 points behind the Briton with just 30 to play for.

    Vettel said he will still try to win the remaining races.

    “We will do the same as this race. We try to attack the maximum, try to win, I think we were quite close today and definitely had a chance. Would have been difficult of course to pass Lewis because of the straights, with the KERS, it’s not really exciting when you are behind. We keep pushing and try to win races.”

  4. And what about the collision involving Adrian Sutil and Nick Heidfeld? The BMW Sauber driver has labelled his Force India rival ‘stupid’ which ended his impressive run of finishing a race for the past 41 Grands Prix… Article taken from

    Nick Heidfeld described Adrian Sutil as ‘completely stupid’ after their collision early in the Singapore Grand Prix.

    The Force India driver spun while trying to pass Jaime Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso, and then accelerated into Heidfeld’s BMW Sauber as he tried to rejoin.

    Heidfeld had to park his car immediately, while Sutil pitted for a new front wing then had to retire in the pits with brake damage.

    “I think it was quite obvious from the TV,” said Heidfeld.

    “I still think it was completely stupid of Sutil, he kept going and went back onto the circuit without looking. I was past him with my front and he accelerated into my car.

    “Obviously I thought he would stop. I took a gap and when I saw moving I moved to the left. He should look where he goes.”

    When asked if there was any action BMW should take over the incident, Heidfeld replied: “Maybe we try to find a brain for him!”

    Sutil apologised to Heidfeld for the tangle.

    “After the start I was stuck behind Jaime and I could not find a way past,” he said. “In the end I had several opportunities to pass and it was not enough.

    “I saw a gap, tried it again, he closed the door, we touched a bit and spun, then Nick came around the corner and hit my front wing.

    “I am sorry for him. I tried to keep the engine running – I didn’t see there were cars coming because it was right next to barrier in front of me, cars flying around the corner.”

    The accident meant Heidfeld’s record run of race finishes has finally ended. The German last retired from a grand prix 41 races ago at Indianapolis in 2007.

    “Obviously it is disappointing,” he said. “I hope it is a record that will stay for a while. Still disappointing not to finish a race like this.”

  5. Rubens Barrichello says he is staying positive about his championship chances despite Jenson Button increasing his lead at the Singapore Grand Prix.

    Barrichello, starting from places ahead of Button, finished in sixth position after a difficult day in which he had a costly problem during one of his pitstops.

    The Brazilian crossed the finish line less than two seconds behind Button, who increased his lead to 15 points with three races remaining.

    Despite failing to reduce the gap to Button, Barrichello insisted he remains optimistic.

    “It was a pretty eventful weekend for me and a tough race today,” said Barrichello. “I had a great start to make up two places and everything was going well in the first stint. It’s a shame that the safety car didn’t play into my hands but I was in a good position.

    “Unfortunately I had a problem on my second pitstop when I couldn’t engage neutral and the engine stalled which lost me the crucial time needed to stay ahead of Jenson. After that my brakes were struggling and I couldn’t fight anymore so we came home with sixth position.

    “It could have been a better weekend but I only lost a point to Jenson in the championship despite everything that happened so I’m staying positive.”


  6. Nico Rosberg said he was hugely disappointed after missing out on the chance to score his first podium finish of the season in Singapore.

    The Williams driver was fighting for the lead with Lewis Hamilton until his first pitstop, when he overshot the pit exit and crossed over the white line, a mistake that cost him a drive-through penalty.

    He then had to serve the penalty when the safety car was on track, which meant he dropped down to the bottom of the field.

    From there, Rosberg managed to climb up 11th place.

    “Today’s outcome was hugely disappointing,” said Rosberg. “I made an unnecessary mistake by braking too late and running over the white line on the pitlane exit. Then the safety car came out at the worst possible moment.

    “It left me with a really horrible feeling, also for the team, knowing that I wouldn’t be second when I have served my drive-through penalty and I would have to spend the rest of the race at the back.

    “The team gave me such a good car this weekend having put more effort into development than anyone else, and I am now determined to use this to best advantage in Japan.”

    Team-mate Kazuki Nakajima also had a difficult day on his way to ninth position.

    “It was a difficult race and I think I did the best job I could, but it was disappointing not to be able to claim any points,” he said.

    “There seemed to be a possibility in the last stint as the car in front of me was struggling with its tyres but as much as focus on the car ahead, I also had to defend from behind, so it was tough to find the balance.

    “The car has been good here and hopefully we can carry this with us to Japan.”


  7. Renault boss Bob Bell says the French squad was buoyed by its first podium finish of the season after such a difficult week for the team.

    Fernando Alonso finished in third place in Singapore on Sunday, less than a week after his team was handed a suspended two-year ban for having being involved in a race-fixing scandal in last year’s race.

    The Spaniard dedicated his podium to former Renault boss Flavio Briatore, banned from Formula 1 after the row.

    Bell, the man replacing Briatore, said the result was wonderful for the team after such a difficult period.

    “Today was absolutely fantastic,” said Bell. “It’s wonderful to get a podium at any time but to get one after what the team has just been through is really positive and gives us great strength to move on now.

    “Unfortunately Romain had more brake problems which put him out of the race early on. It’s clear he has a lot of potential for the future and he just needs to move on from this race and make sure he completes a solid race in Japan.

    “Everybody in the team will now go to the final three races very buoyed by this result because it shows that the team can fight for the podium.”

    Managing director Jean-Francois Caubet added: “To end the weekend with a podium is a great result. When we arrived here on Wednesday we did not think it was achievable, but little-by-little we have made it possible. In the end the race team put together a strategy that worked very well today.

    “It’s great to get a podium here and it’s extremely important for Renault, for our partner TOTAL and for our sponsors, and for Renault F1 team. We showed that Renault F1 has what it takes to fight at the front.”


  8. Renault’s podium finish in the Singapore Grand Prix will help makes it future in Formula 1 even more secure, claims its stand-in managing director Jean-Francois Caubet.

    After a turbulent few weeks for the team in the wake of the race-fix controversy from Singapore 12 months ago, Fernando Alonso helped deliver the French car manufacturer an emotional and crucial first podium finish of the season in Sunday’s race.

    And although Renault had already decided several weeks ago that its involvement in the race-fix matter would not force it out of the sport, Caubet admits that the third placed finish will be a big boost in convincing chiefs that remaining in F1 was the right decision.

    “For Renault it’s important to keep going because everybody asked the question, is Renault stopping or not?” Caubet told AUTOSPORT shortly after speaking to Renault F1 president Bernard Rey by telephone.

    “It’s not the question for the headquarters it is a question of the team. I think in F1 if you have good results you have no problem, if you start to have bad results then it is a full stop. And we were at the limit.”

    Caubet praised the motivation and attitude of team members in delivering such a strong result in difficult circumstances in Singapore – and thinks the situation can only improve under its new temporary management structure.

    “[Team principal] Bob Bell is managing very well,” said Caubet. “Okay, Pat [Symonds] has left but we’ve got a number two, so it’s not a big change.

    “Flavio is a big character. I think we won two titles with him and we must respect him. But the problem is not this one. The problem is to build the future a little bit differently, more in the Renault culture because we have been in F1 for 35 years now and the Renault culture is probably different – not fundamentally different, but different. And we must share with Renault a lot of things that we did not share.”

    Caubet also said that he had no problem with Alonso dedicating his podium finish to Flavio Briatore – even though the former team principal has been banned from F1 for life by the FIA for fixing last year’s Singapore GP.

    “Not at all,” he said when asked if it was a problem what Alonso did. “We won two world championships with Flavio and we will keep a very good relationship with Flavio.

    “A few people made a mistake and that is the price of the mistake, that is all. We are here because Flavio built the team and Fernando. That’s the reality and we don’t want to suggest anything else. But we want to turn the page.”


  9. Jenson Button says he has no regrets about Formula 1 having abandoned the proposed ‘winner takes all’ medal system on the eve of this season – even though if it had remained he would now be world champion.

    Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the Singapore Grand Prix has left Button’s rivals unable to match the Brawn GP’s tally of six wins before the end of the campaign – something that would have given him the crown under Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA’s original plan to award the title to the man with the most triumphs.

    Although F1 teams overturned that plan because the new rule was not introduced properly, Button says he is happy to be fighting for a world title still based on points.

    “The ‘winner takes all’ system was an unusual idea but F1 is always the way it has been now with points,” he told AUTOSPORT about the situation. “So that is the world championship, and that is what I want to win.”

    Brawn GP’s CEO Nick Fry also said he was happy that the title fight was still ongoing, and felt it correct teams had put pressure on the FIA to abandon the rule change.

    “I think it will be much more fun going to the last race,” he told AUTOSPORT. “I think it is the still the right decision to continue as we were. Personally I am not convinced that copying from something else, like the Olympics, is necessarily the right thing to do. So I am not unhappy.”

    The points under the ‘winner takes all’ system would now be:

    Jenson Button 6
    Sebastian Vettel 2
    Lewis Hamilton 2
    Rubens Barrichello 2
    Mark Webber 1
    Kimi Raikkonen 1


  10. Jenson Button has now done enough to assure himself of the world championship after taking a decent haul of points in the Singapore Grand Prix.

    That is the view of McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh, who thinks that the 15-point advantage that Button holds as he heads into Japan is big enough to ensure he is the man who will succeed Lewis Hamilton as title winner.

    “It is not the most exciting way to win the championship, but I think you have got to score the points,” said Whitmarsh about the impact on Button’s fifth placed finish in Singapore.

    “Jenson is under a lot of pressure and when you have not won a world championship there is enormous pressure there, especially if it is your team-mate who is challenging you.

    “I think he did a solid job here and one has to say, I don’t think it is mathematically done yet, but it looks like he has got the championship, which is a fantastic achievement.”

    He added: “It is not easy to win a championship, whatever advantage you start with by way of a car. He obviously had a decent flying start to the season, but he did a real solid job to make sure he was in a position to take that championship.”

    Button’s season has experienced greats highs and lows during the season – with a dominant start to the season that saw him win six of the first seven races followed by a poor spell where he has struggled to finish on the podium.

    Although that form has not been helped by his Brawn GP car struggling to get heat into its tyres, Button has also had to keep his nerve as his title rivals started cutting away at his lead.

    Whitmarsh has acknowledged that things have not been totally straightforward for Button, but says that does not detract from the job he has done in 2009.

    “I think he has wavered a little bit in truth, but I think he has been around some time, he is a very smooth driver, an intelligent driver and all he had to do was keep his head and he was going to win the championship given the start he had,” explained Whitmarsh.

    “I am sure he will go away from this event feeling more relaxed. He will still have some tension, as it is very easy to crash out at the next event with Rubens winning, which will be a 10-point swing – and we’ve been there, the last two seasons have been like that for us. He just has to stay calm, and if he does not make any mistakes he will win, but that in itself brings tension to you.”

    Whitmarsh has also said that he is not surprised Button has found it hard at times to keep up the form he showed at the start of the year.

    “With a championship, particularly for someone like Jenson who has been around a long time and may feel that this is his one opportunity ever in his life to fulfil his childhood ambition, that is enormous, enormous pressure,” he explained. “I am pleased for him, it will be great for him to relax and I am sure he can cruise to the championship win.”


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