Vettel wins as Hamilton suffers from a box of neutrals in Singapore

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took victory at a time limited Singapore Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton suffered from a gearbox failure while leading the race on lap 23. McLaren team mate Jenson Button inherited second place, briefly challenged with a handful of fastest laps but couldn’t manage to keep closing the gap on Vettel. Ferrari’s Mr dependable, Fernando Alonso came home in third place to protect his world championship lead, claiming his eighth podium finish of the season.

Then we come to driver of the day for me; Force India’s Paul di Resta finishing in fourth place, up two places from his starting place of sixth, although he did inherit those positions through Hamilton’s and Maldonado’s mechanical issues. This equals Force India’s best finish, Nico Hulkenberg’s fourth place finish at the Belgian Grand Prix. Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg completed an anonymous race in fifth place ahead of Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen who was gifted sixth place by team mate Romain Grosjean at the behest of the team; team orders allowed this season of course!

Felipe Massa brought his Ferrari home in eighth place after dropping to the back of the field; suffering damage at the start of the race. I was actually pretty impressed with Massa today, some very aggressive driving from the Brazilian, muscling his way past compatriot Bruno Senna’s Williams. STR’s Daniel Ricciardo held off Red Bull’s Mark Webber to claim ninth place; I’m surprised that parent team Red Bull didn’t require Ricciardo to move aside, Webber having to settle for 10th.

Even both crash kids had a good race; neither getting involved in any controversy; Pastor Maldonado was on for a top six finish before retiring with hydraulic issues during the second of three safety car periods, Grosjean kept his nose clean to finish seventh overall. Michael Schumacher was the crash-old-man today, completely getting his braking wrong, smashing into the back of Toro Rosso’s Jean Eric Vergne while the Frenchman was overtaking the Sauber of Perez.

This race does bring up question marks about McLaren’s reliability, this is the second retirement in two races for McLaren, last time out in Monza it was Button that suffered mechanical failure, this time it was Hamilton’s turn to suffer a failure. Another thing of note was Marussia’s Timo Glock finishing the race in 12th place which moves the Marussia team ahead of Caterham in the constructors championship for the first time ever, Caterham have been disappointing this season!

There are a couple of investigations happening right now, so results could change, hopefully not though, the big one is Webber’s pass on Senna, the Aussie had all four wheels outside the confines of the track while making the overtake but Senna did give him a push, so I put that down to six of one, half dozen of the other, a racing incident in my view, hopefully the stewards feel the same!

Should things stay as they are; Lewis Hamilton drops back to fourth place in the drivers championship, 52 points behind leader Alonso, Sebastian Vettel moves into second place, 29 points behind Alonso while Kimi Raikkonen remains in third place overall, 45 points adrift of the Spaniard.

Update: Sergio Perez has been promoted to 10th place after Mark Webber was handed a 20 second post race penalty for overtaking with four wheels off the track; Webber falls back to 11th. Michael Schumacher received a 10 place grid drop for rear ending Vergne at Marina Bay.

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