Vettel on brink of title after Singapore Grand Prix victory

Sebastian Vettel moved to the brink of a second title by winning the Singapore Grand Prix, but Jenson Button's runner-up finish meant the German was one point shy of the championship lead he required to wrap things up for 2011

Vettel on brink of title after Singapore Grand Prix victory

Vettel utterly dominated the majority of the race. The Red Bull man was a second per lap faster than his pursuers at first, and though the pack closed up with a mid-race safety car after Michael Schumacher clipped Sergio Perez and was launched into a violent accident - from which he emerged unhurt - Vettel had a cushion of backmarkers behind him at the restart and was eight seconds clear again after just one lap.

McLaren driver Button started closing in with some very rapid late laps, but Vettel always appeared to have everything under control as he clinched his ninth win of the season.

Button had claimed second with a quick start, while Vettel's front row partner team-mate Mark Webber got away slowly. Lewis Hamilton challenged Webber down the inside in the second McLaren but ran out of space and fell as low as eighth, while Fernando Alonso took his Ferrari around the outside of everyone to grab third from fifth on the grid.

Webber twice passed Alonso on the road, having to get back ahead after the Ferrari reclaimed third in the first pitstops following an on-track exchange. But a bold dive into the Turn 10 chicane amid traffic on the restart lap secured Webber's third place and he pulled away thereafter.

Hamilton had a highly eventful run to fifth. He quickly recovered from being wrong-footed on the first lap but then clipped Felipe Massa while racing with the Ferrari immediately after the first stops. The McLaren picked up both wing damage and a penalty, while Massa was left with a puncture.

A fightback charge from Hamilton took him from a post-drive-through 15th to fifth in the end, helped by the safety car closing him onto the lead pack again. A string of DRS passes got him back into the top five, though having to pit for another set of tyres while those behind him did not meant Hamilton had to make a lot of his moves twice before his top five finish was secure.

Paul di Resta secured the best result of his Formula 1 career so far in sixth for Force India. A very long first stint and the ability to make his second and final stop just as the safety car came out got him ahead of Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and the second Force India of Adrian Sutil.

Massa fell to 20th following the clash with Hamilton, before clawing his way back through to salvage some points in ninth.

Perez's Sauber was undamaged in the incident with Schumacher, which happened when the Mercedes was coming back through after a pitstop, and he finished 10th.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The Singapore Grand Prix Singapore, Singapore; 61 laps; 309.087km; Weather: Dry. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h59:06.537 2. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1.737 3. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 29.279 4. Alonso Ferrari + 55.449 5. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 1:07.766 6. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1:51.067 7. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap 8. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap 9. Massa Ferrari + 1 lap 10. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 11. Maldonado Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap 12. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 13. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap 14. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 2 laps 15. Senna Renault + 2 laps 16. Kovalainen Lotus-Renault + 2 laps 17. Petrov Renault + 2 laps 18. D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps 19. Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps 20. Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps 21. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 5 laps Fastest lap: Button, 1:48.454 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Trulli Lotus-Renault 48 Schumacher Mercedes 29 Glock Virgin-Cosworth 10 World Championship standings, round 14: Drivers: Constructors:  1. Vettel 309 1. Red Bull-Renault 491 2. Button 185 2. McLaren-Mercedes 353 3. Alonso 184 3. Ferrari 268 4. Webber 182 4. Mercedes 114 5. Hamilton 168 5. Renault 70 6. Massa 84 6. Force India-Mercedes 48 7. Rosberg 62 7. Sauber-Ferrari 36 8. Schumacher 52 8. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 29 9. Heidfeld 34 9. Williams-Cosworth 5 10. Petrov 34 11. Sutil 28 12. Kobayashi 27 13. Di Resta 20 14. Alguersuari 16 15. Buemi 13 16. Perez 9 17. Barrichello 4 18. Senna 2 19. Maldonado 1 All timing unofficial 
shares
comments
Formula 1 teams seek clarification over 2012 calendar issues

Previous article

Formula 1 teams seek clarification over 2012 calendar issues

Next article

Felipe Massa enraged after collision with Lewis Hamilton in Singapore Grand Prix

Felipe Massa enraged after collision with Lewis Hamilton in Singapore Grand Prix
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Author Matt Beer
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021