Singapore GP: Sebastian Vettel leaves action behind as he dominates

Sebastian Vettel produced his most dominant performance of the 2013 Formula 1 season so far to win the Singapore Grand Prix

Singapore GP: Sebastian Vettel leaves action behind as he dominates

Red Bull's world champion left the rest of the field to entertain in his wake, as differing pit tactics following a mid-race safety car shuffled the distant chasing pack.

In the end it was Fernando Alonso who tigered through yet again to give Ferrari second place, as Kimi Raikkonen shrugged off his back problem to turn 13th on the grid into third position.

Mercedes gained fourth and fifth for Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton when the second Red Bull of Mark Webber ground to a halt on the final lap.

Rosberg did his best to make a race of it at the start as he edged ahead of poleman Vettel and outbraked him into Turn 1.

But the Mercedes ran slightly wide and Vettel slipped back through, with Rosberg's retaliation attempt on the outside of Turn 3 failing to come off.

Vettel was not going to take any more chances and began storming away from Rosberg and the rest, leading by six seconds after as many laps.

Alonso made another amazing start, but it was his late-braking move down the outside into the first corner then gained him most ground, as he surged into third place.

Up front, Vettel was not only able to outpace the pack with ease, but could also make his tyres last longer.

Rosberg's second place became a little more secure when Alonso emerged from his first pitstop behind Paul di Resta's yet-to-stop Force India, which would stay in front for six laps.

That delay would have stymied Alonso's chances of making further progress had Daniel Ricciardo not crashed his Toro Rosso and prompted a long safety car just before half-distance.

Most of the frontrunners, led by Alonso, came in for tyres, while Vettel, Rosberg, Webber and Hamilton stayed out.

As it turned out, most of those who had stopped could make their tyres last the rest of the distance.

While this was no problem for Vettel, who pulled away at such a ferocious rate he could easily pit again and stay ahead, the other three tumbled into the midfield traffic when they had to come in again in the final part of the race.

That elevated Alonso to second, ahead of Jenson Button and Raikkonen. Romain Grosjean fell out of this group when his Lotus developed a pneumatic problem.

NEWS UPDATE: Lotus reprimanded over pitstop

Alonso's Ferrari pulled well clear of Button and Raikkonen, who engaged in an increasingly spectacular battle as the McLaren's tyres faded.

With seven laps to go, Raikkonen pulled off a sublime move around the outside of Button to deny McLaren a podium and get himself into third from 13th on the grid.

Webber had jumped Rosberg in the final stops. The Australian then led the two Mercedes as they hacked back through the field, overtaking the Saubers and McLarens and setting their sights on the podium.

Alonso and Raikkonen were always likely to be out of reach though, and then Red Bull ordered Webber to back off amid a growing technical problem in the final laps.

Singapore GP weekend gallery

He was powerless to prevent the two Mercedes easing past him and his car then came to a stand with an apparent engine failure with half a lap of the race to go.

Felipe Massa had to make three pitstops and finished sixth, ahead of a train of tyre-troubled cars in Button, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, chased by three-stopper Adrian Sutil.

Di Resta crashed out late on, while qualifying star Esteban Gutierrez fell back to 12th behind Pastor Maldonado as his tyres faded.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The Singapore Grand Prix Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore; 61 laps; 309.316km; Weather: Dry. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time  1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h59m13.132s 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari  +32.627s 3. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault +43.920s 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +51.155s 5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +53.159s 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari +1m03.877s 7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +1m23.354s 8. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes +1m23.820s 9. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari +1m24.2261s 10. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes +1m24.668s 11. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault +1m28.479s 12. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1m37.894s 13. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault +1m45.161s 14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1m53.512 15. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault +1 lap 16. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault +1 lap 17. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap 19. Chales Pic Caterham-Renault +1 lap 20. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes +6 laps Fastest lap: Vettel, 1m48.574s Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Grosjean Lotus-Renault 38 Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 24 World Championship standings, round 13: Drivers: Constructors:  1. Vettel 247 1. Red Bull-Renault 377 2. Alonso 187 2. Ferrari 274 3. Hamilton 151 3. Mercedes 267 4. Raikkonen 149 4. Lotus-Renault 206 5. Webber 130 5. McLaren-Mercedes 76 6. Rosberg 116 6. Force India-Mercedes 62 7. Massa 87 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 31 8. Grosjean 57 8. Sauber-Ferrari 19 9. Button 54 9. Williams-Renault 1 10. Di Resta 36 11. Sutil 26 12. Perez 22 13. Hulkenberg 19 14. Ricciardo 18 15. Vergne 13 16. Maldonado 1 All timing unofficial 
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Author Matt Beer
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