Vettel victorious following Hamilton retirement
Sebastian Vettel won Sunday’s race at the Singapore Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren suffered a gearbox failure.
Hamilton, who had qualified in pole position, looked likely to secure victory until the problem forced him to retire on the 22nd lap, allowing Vettel to take the win and move into second place in the world championship battle.
Points leader Fernando Alonso came home third, behind Jenson Button, who gave McLaren some cheer with second place.
Pastor Maldonado started from second but, after battling the Ferrari of Alonso for a spot on the podium, the Williams was struck by a hydraulic failure, resulting in the Venezuelan’s retirement.
Two safety car periods – Narain Karthikeyan hit the barriers in his HRT before Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes smashed into the rear of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso – midway through the race ensured that Vettel was under almost constant pressure after inheriting the lead, but the Red Bull man was unfazed.
Alonso, meanwhile, benefitted from being left out by Ferrari during the opening full-course caution, on his way to achieving what he felt was the best result that he could secure this weekend.
Force India’s Paul di Resta finished less than four seconds behind Alonso in taking a superb fourth place, having started sixth, as Nico Rosberg grabbed fifth for Mercedes.
Lotus suffered an unusually uncompetitive weekend but managed to take sixth and seventh places, with Kimi Raikkonen edging Romain Grosjean.
Felipe Massa’s Ferrari, starting 13th, was struck by a puncture on the opening lap. The Brazilian, however, battled his way through the field to finish eighth, with his most thrilling moment coming when he passed Bruno Senna despite making contact with both the Williams and a wall.
Daniel Ricciardo ensured a double-points finish for Toro Rosso by taking ninth, ahead of Mark Webber, who secured the final available point after his strategy had been compromised by the safety car’s appearances.
Singapore Grand Prix: Provisional race results.
Pos. Driver, Team, Time
1. Vettel, Red Bull-Renault, 2h00:26.144
2. Button, McLaren-Mercedes, +8.959
3. Alonso, Ferrari, +15.227
4. Di Resta, Force India-Mercedes, +19.063
5. Rosberg, Mercedes, +34.759
6. Raikkonen, Lotus-Renault, +35.700
7. Grosjean, Lotus-Renault, +36.600
8. Massa, Ferrari, +42.800
9. Ricciardo, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, +45.800
10. Webber, Red Bull-Renault, +47.100
11. Perez, Sauber-Ferrari, +50.600
12. Glock, Marussia-Cosworth, +1 lap
13. Kobayashi, Sauber-Ferrari, +1 lap
14. Hulkenberg, Force India-Mercedes, +1 lap
15. Pic, Marussia-Cosworth, +1 lap
16. Kovalainen, Caterham-Renault, + 1 lap
17. De la Rosa, HRT-Cosworth, +1 lap
18. Senna, Williams-Renault, +2 laps
19. Petrov, Caterham-Renault, +2 laps
Driver, Team, Lap of Retirement.
Vergne, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, 41
Schumacher, Mercedes, 41
Maldonado, Williams-Renault, 41
Karthikeyan, HRT-Cosworth, 33
Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, 25