Sebastian Vettel took his 33rd career win in Singapore this weekend, putting him firmly ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in the championship standings with a gap of 60 points.
Photo: The Motor Report
Qualifying was full of surprises as Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen failed to make it into the final session whilst Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez started 10th on the grid. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa also out-qualified Alonso for the fifth time this season, despite losing his seat with the team for next season.
Vettel landed himself another pole with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Lotus’ Romain Grosjean following hot on his heels.
Rosberg made an extremely strong start, leading into the first corner but a mistake cost him the place as Vettel pushed ahead.
After Red Bull’s announcement earlier this month that Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo will be Mark Webber’s replacement next season all eyes have been on the young Australian. Sadly, he crashed into a barrier early on in the race causing a safety car deployment.
Räikkönen fought well to make a strong comeback from 13th to finish on the podium; back pain had plagued the Finn during qualifying but he stormed round the track to finish behind Vettel and Alonso.
Red Bull’s chance of a double podium faded out of sight in the last few laps as engine trouble dogged Webber. The Australian’s car caught fire half a lap from the end of the race and he was forced to stop at the side of the road before stealing a lift back to the pits with Alonso. The pair were both reprimanded and due to previous misdemeanours Webber was given a 10 place grid penalty.
In a fortnight Formula 1 moves to Korea, where the 2012 win was taken by Vettel. At this stage in the season it seems highly unlikely that anyone will be able to stop Vettel’s domination as he stays on course for that fourth championship title.