The Singapore GP on Sunday witnessed another of Vettel’s seamless driving in the not-so-easy Singaporean street track that took him close to winning the 2011 drivers’ Championship and also his superb 9th win of an amazing dream season he’s had so far.
Sebastian Vettel qualified on pole position on Saturday for the main race on Sunday. He could have easily won the Championship on Sunday, but because of McLaren Mercedes’ Jenson Button finishing 2nd and teammate Webber finishing 3rd, he would have to race again for that ‘single point’ to claim Championship. Vettel is now on top of the table again after the Singapore GP at 309 points and requires 1 point to claim his 2nd consecutive F1 title while Red Bull have to wait for the GP of Japan starting from October 7, 2011, for Vettel to officially claim the title.
There are 5 more races remaining of this year’s F1 season with Vettel having to score just a point in 5 races, which undoubtedly isn’t hard for the German except if he fails to score any points in the 5 races or Jenson Button winning all the 5 races. If this happens, we could expect another tsunami, but fortunately it isn’t going to happen.
After the race, Vettel told he was very pleased with his performance in a very good car that took him to the chequered flag. He told having made it to pole position it was easy for him to pull away easily initially and stretch the gap behind other drivers, but safety car wasn’t in their plans. Vettel tells he was lucky to get a good start again after the safety car’s intervention and found his rhythm back and extended the gap again, even though he had to drive through a lot of traffic. He told he was in control when he finished and felt great to win the GP saying he loved the challenging track. Vettel says he still has another chance to win the Championship, and we probably could see it in Japan.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, on the other hand, was the most hard-working driver on the track who was thought to be very tired after the race due to the challenging Singapore GP track. Alonso had to be on the podium to fight with Vettel for Championship, but since he finished 4th, he’s not in contention to fight against Vettel in the remaining races and Jenson Button now is the driver to challenge Vettel for title if he wins all the races of this season.
McLaren Mercedes Brit driver, Lewis Hamilton, finished 5th behind Alonso, while teammate Jenson Button finished 2nd. Button had an amazing race that saw him pitting 5 times, an accident and charging again from 16th.
Force India Mercedes driver, Paul di Resta, British driver, finished an amazing 6th, his top result in his rookie season for Force India. Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg, finished 7th and teammate Adrian Sutil of Force India finished 8th. This would have really made Vijay Mallya proud given the improvement the team’s making after switching from Ferrari engines to Mercedes now.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa finished 9th in a race that saw him collide with Hamilton initially.
Sauber’s Sergio Perez finished 10th in a race that saw him collide with Michael Schumacher who got eliminated after the collision.
All the 3 podium finishers looked drained with sweat dripping all over after the race.
Sebastian Vettel started the race brilliantly on his eleventh pole position, and it wasn’t surprising to see him pulling off quickly from the rest of the pack after the first turn. Vettel drove easily for quite a few laps; meanwhile, Hamilton produced 2 quick laps when he passed both the Mercedes GP drivers Rosberg and Michael Schumacher.
On the 11th lap, Vettel was driving at his best while all others were battling their way out. Webber claimed 3rd from a fighting Alonso who was not in a good position with his rear tyres degraded and allowing Webber to sneak past him. At the same time, Rosberg pitted and later Alonso followed him.
Vettel stormed his way through when after lap 18 he was ahead by 10 seconds from the 2nd driver. This gap was further stretched to 20 secs on the 30th lap. Just at a time when Vettel was cruising very fast, Sergio Perez was hit by Schumacher from behind ending Schumacher’s race and entry of the safety car.
The collision reminded us of last year’s race when Jarno Trulli hit the rear of Webber’s Red Bull that saw the Lotus car airborne for some time.
Schumacher says he thought Sergio would make way for him, but then Sergio didn’t and he had no way to go and couldn’t control his Mercedes car and had to hit Sergio’s Sauber ending his race prematurely. Sergio Perez, however, wasn’t affected much due to the collision and finished 10th in the race.
The Singapore GP saw many racing incidents apart from Schumacher and Sergio’s that necessitated red flagging the race and entry of safety car for some laps. There was another incident when the speeding Brit Hamilton collided with Ferrari’s Massa clipping his own front wings that left Massa frustrated and later criticised Hamilton’s tactics. Hamilton soon forgot about it and got back to his rhythm finishing just behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso at 5th.
The street track in Singapore is very challenging according to many drivers as drivers need to negotiate the long 61-lap race with so many high speed corners and tricky entry and exits. All the 3 drivers who finished on the podium were weary after the race. Vettel who had to remain focused throughout, a job he normally does quite brilliantly, finished very well that saw him battle with the backmarkers while muscling his way through traffic to reach the chequered flag. Jenson Button would have challenged Vettel if there were a few laps more, but the clause ‘if’ was too much for Button to handle as he had to pass a lot of lapped drivers too.
Vettel lapping so many drivers in the Singapore GP really shows how good a car Red Bull is with a Renault engine. Vettel needs just a single point for his second successive F1 title and hopefully he will get his title in Japan next month.
German, Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, won his career’s 19th GP race followed by bright fireworks in Singapore.