Victorious Vettel in Singapore as Hamilton retires

Vettel Singapore GP 2015

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel won the Singapore Grand Prix from pole as championship leader Lewis Hamilton retired with an engine problem.

The Ferrari driver led away from the start and negotiated one virtual safety car period and two full safety car deployments to achieve his third victory of the season and fourth in Marina Bay.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo finished second with Kimi Raikkonen completing the podium in the other Ferrari.

The second safety car reacted to a fan getting on the track, walking on the straight after the Anderson Bridge before climbing over the barriers.

Hamilton was running in fourth position when he reported a loss of power and though his Mercedes team spent several laps trying to find a solution, it decided to retire the car after the reigning champion dropped to P16.

It was Hamilton’s first retirement in twenty races, and Mercedes’ second engine problem in as many races following Nico Rosberg’s non-finish at Monza.

Rosberg finished fourth, 14.2 seconds adrift of Vettel, to cut Hamilton’s lead to 41 points, with Vettel now just eight points further back in third position.

After a quiet opening stint of the race, and with Ricciardo starting to close on Vettel as the leader’s pace dropped away, the virtual safety car was called into action when Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg collided at Turn 3.

Massa had just pitted and was rejoining the track when he met with Hulkenberg at the apex, with the Force India crashing into the barriers.

The race stewards deemed Hulkenberg was at fault and handed him a three-place grid drop for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Massa continued, but had to pit because of a puncture to his front-right tyre before he later retired with gearbox issues.

His Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas survived a gearbox glitch in the closing stages to finish fifth, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat who pitted before the virtual safety car and dropped out of contention for a podium as a result.

Force India’s Sergio Perez was seventh place, holding off Max Verstappen, who fought back after failing to get away from the grid.

Toro Rosso got him going again and though he was a lap down, he fought back into the points. Was able to unlap himself when the safety car was deployed.

Following the second round of pit-stops, Verstappen was up in ninth and fought his way past Romain Grosjean to finish eighth.

His team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr lost several places when his car dropped into neutral, something that affected Massa and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso too, but Sainz rescued points with ninth after also passing Grosjean.

Verstappen was told by his Toro Rosso team to swap positions with Sainz on the final lap but did not do so.

Felipe Nasr scored the final point in the heavily-updated Sauber after a late pass on Grosjean with team-mate Marcus Ericsson P11.

Pastor Maldonado’s survived contact with Jenson Button to finish P12 with Grosjean stopping before the end but classified as P13.

It was a difficult day for McLaren-Honda, with Button and Alonso failing to finish. Both drivers forced to retire with gearbox problems.

The Manors were the last of the finishers with Alexander Rossi beating his team-mate Will Stevens to finish P14 on his Formula 1 debut.

So a brilliant victory for Sebastian Vettel. His fourth at the Marina Bay street circuit and the 42nd career in the sport.

Ferrari Singapore GP 2015 race

Singapore Grand Prix, race results after 61 laps:

1    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    2h01m22.118s
2    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1.478s
3    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    17.154s
4    Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    24.720s
5    Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    34.204s
6    Daniil Kvyat    Red Bull-Renault    35.508s
7    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    50.836s
8    Max Verstappen    Toro Rosso-Renault    51.450s
9    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    52.860s
10    Felipe Nasr    Sauber-Ferrari    1m30.045s
11    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m37.507s
12    Pastor Maldonado    Lotus-Mercedes    1m37.718s
13    Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Mercedes    Not running
14    Alexander Rossi    Marussia-Ferrari    2 Laps
15    Will Stevens    Marussia-Ferrari    2 Laps
–    Jenson Button    McLaren-Honda    Gearbox
–    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    Retirement
–    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    Power Unit
–    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    Power Unit
–    Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    Collision

Fastest lap Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 1m 50.041s (lap 52)

Drivers’ standings:

1    Lewis Hamilton    252
2    Nico Rosberg    211
3    Sebastian Vettel    203
4    Kimi Raikkonen    107
5    Felipe Massa   101
6    Valtteri Bottas    97
7     Daniel Ricciardo   73
8    Daniil Kvyat    66
9     Sergio Perez   39
10    Romain Grosjean    38
11     Max Verstappen   30
12    Nico Hulkenberg    30
13    Felipe Nasr    17
14    Pastor Maldonado    12
15    Fernando Alonso    11
16    Carlos Sainz    11
17    Marcus Ericsson    9
18    Jenson Button    6
19    Roberto Merhi    0
20    Will Stevens    0
21     Alexander Rossi 0

Constructors’ standings:

1    Mercedes    463
2    Ferrari    310
3    Williams-Mercedes    198
4    Red Bull-Renault    139
5    Force India-Mercedes    69
6    Lotus-Mercedes    50
7    Toro Rosso-Renault    41
8    Sauber-Ferrari    26
9    McLaren-Honda    17
10    Marussia-Ferrari    0

Next race: Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka. September 25-27.

4 thoughts to “Victorious Vettel in Singapore as Hamilton retires”

  1. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg has been given a three-place grid penalty for next weekend’s Grand Prix in Japan for causing a collision with Williams’ Felipe Massa during Sunday’s Singapore race.

    Hulkenberg came together with Massa on lap 13 as the Williams exited the pit lane. While Massa was able to continue, the Force India was pitched into the air and side on into the wall, causing its German driver’s instant retirement.

    It took the Singapore stewards just six minutes from the time they announced their investigation into the incident to decide that Hulkenberg was at fault, reaching their verdict without feeling the need to speak to either driver.


  2. McLaren’s Jenson Button has labelled Pastor Maldonado’s driving ‘very strange’ as the two clash during the race. has the details.

    Jenson Button has called Pastor Maldonado’s driving “very strange” in the moments that led to their collision in the Singapore Grand Prix.

    The McLaren driver suffered a broken front wing when he ran into the back of Maldonado’s Lotus on the exit of Turn 17.

    The incident was investigated by the stewards with no further action taken, and Button, who later retired with a gearbox problem, said Maldonado “won’t ever change”.

    “The Lotuses were so slow,” said Button. “I tried down the inside, but I don’t know where Maldonado thought I was going to go.

    “I don’t think he brake tested me but he didn’t accelerate.

    “I drove into the back of him so you could say it was my fault, but he didn’t accelerate out of the corner – very very strange.

    “He was obviously trying to block the inside line – and the corner before that he just drove me off the circuit.

    “If there had been a brick wall there I would have been in it.

    “I don’t know what he was trying to do – maybe put me in the grandstands. He gave me no room.

    “You can’t do that in F1, especially around a circuit like this – but it’s not the last time he’ll do it.

    “Here, you’ve got to have two people that understand distances in battle, and the people I was racing with didn’t seem to know that in terms of giving space.

    “Very strange. He hasn’t changed, and he won’t ever change.”

    Button said a top 10 finish was on the cards for McLaren, but a pitstop problem, the clash with Maldonado and the gearbox issue ruined his chances, while team-mate Fernando Alonso also retired.

    “The car was OK to drive – we could look after the tyres better than anyone else,” he added.

    “There’s lots of ‘ifs’, but we would have scored points. It’s tough, and it’s not getting any easier.

    “Everyone is feeling the pain, but it’s not slowing us down in terms of how much effort everyone’s putting in.”

  3. Singapore Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel has called the man who walked onto the track during the Formula 1 race “crazy”.

    The safety car was called immediately when a person was spotted walking next to the barriers on the straight between Turns 13 and 14.

    Vettel shouted on the radio when he saw the man, who climbed back over the barrier after the race was neutralised.

    “I think I saw him take a picture,” said Vettel. “I hope it was a good one at least, in focus.

    “It was pretty crazy – we are approaching that corner at 280(km/h). I wouldn’t cross the track if I was him.

    “I don’t know, maybe we need to block the grandstand a bit better. Fortunately nothing happened to me or to him.

    “It was pretty odd, obviously that is not what you expect.”

    With nobody harmed, both Vettel and second place finisher Daniel Ricciardo were able to see the lighter side of the situation afterwards.

    “He did a pretty good job – a quick runner,” said the Ferrari driver.

    Ricciardo, who felt both safety car periods in the race hurt his chances of fighting for victory, added: “Thanks to the guy on the track – appreciate it.

    “I was tempted to swerve – clip him! Anyway, that was it.”


  4. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton suffered his first retirement of the season and this was one of poorest Mercedes weekend for quite time. Reuters provides the news story.

    Formula One world championship leader Lewis Hamilton retired from the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday after encountering power problems in his Mercedes to cap a disappointing weekend for the dominant team.

    The British driver, who had not suffered a retirement since Belgium last year, drove into the pits at the end of lap 32 after his team failed to resolve the issue over six laps.

    “I was feeling super optimistic and easily keeping up. I was hoping for a quick fix but it never came,” the Briton, who was chasing a 41st career win to equal the mark of his late idol Ayrton Senna, told the BBC.

    Hamilton, the reigning world drivers’ champion, was riding in fourth having picked up a place from his third-row starting position when he complained over his team radio about issues with his car.

    “Lost power guys, lost power,” the 30-year-old said on lap 26 before tumbling down the field as his team tried in vain to figure out the cause of the problem.

    The double world champion fell to the back of the pack over the next laps before his team eventually called him in after the driver asked to be stopped.

    “They (the team) were telling me to change all these things and then I was overtaken by two Manors so I knew I was last,” he told Sky Sports. “When they started to pull away, I knew it was over.”

    Hamilton has enjoyed mixed fortunes under the floodlights of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, winning in 2009 and last year but also being forced to retire while leading in 2012 with former team McLaren.

    Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took the chequered flag for his 42nd career win, with Nico Rosberg fourth for Mercedes which allowed him to cut the gap on Hamilton to 41 points in the title race with six races remaining.

    Vettel’s victory left the quadruple world champion 49 points behind Hamilton.

    Rosberg, though, was unhappy with how the weekend had gone in Singapore where he struggled for pace behind the Red Bulls and Ferrari as Mercedes finished off the podium for only the second time this year.

    “Of course there is the small positive of closing the gap, but the big one is that it has been such a disappointing weekend for all of us,” he told SkySports.

    “To be so far off the pace and not understand it – that is really bad, because then how are you going to improve it?

    “You just hope that at the next track it’s going to come towards us again. The chances are extremely good because at all other tracks we’ve been so fast, but who knows? As a team it’s been very disappointing.”

    Rosberg was unsure whether Mercedes could recover for next weekend’s Japan Grand Prix.

    “Today is very worrying, particularly because we don’t know why it is like that. So who knows if it will be like that at the next race or not.”

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