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
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.