Fernando Alonso has won the Singapore Grand Prix, F1’s first ever night right, after holding off Williams F1’s Nico Rosberg who finished second and Lewis Hamilton who completed the top three podium finishers.A race that saw two Safety Cars sessions and a host of race strategies that provide a unique, if not odd race.
The ambiance and mystique of the night race was certainly a feast for the eyes as a television viewer and the track was an interesting combination of turns and kinks that caught a few drivers out on several occasions. It even ended World Champion Kimi Raikkonen’s race as he clouted the wall after taking turn 10 curbing very aggressively in the waning moments of the race.
Perhaps the most pivotal moment in the race was the pit stops immediately after the first Safety Car was deployed in which several drivers pitted and took on fuel which imposed a 10-second penalty. When the pitlane was officially opened, cars dived in to their pit stalls for fuel and tires. Ferrari stacking Massa and Raikkonen for the first stop seemed the right thing to do but the controversial Electronic ‘lollipop’ system Ferrari utilizes released Massa too early seeing him rip the entire fuel hose from the rig and drag it down to pit exit before he stopped. This effectively ruined Felipe’s race.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa looked dominant for the first half of the race and was clearly outpacing all the rivals until the pit stop incident. Is it time to use the old system? A man holding the ‘lollipop’ sign? Lewis Hamilton seemed content with a third place as both Ferrari’s were out of the points and there was no reason to press Nico Rosberg for 2nd place. I would be remiss to not suggest that Lewis looked off pace all weekend…not specifically Lewis but McLaren’s car. I tihnk Lewis drove his backside off but oddly, the car looked nervous around the city streets. This was also evidenced by the lack of pace of Lewis’s teammate Heikki.
Be sure to listen to Podcast #72 for the complete run-down of the race as Grace and I share our thoughts on F1’s first ever night race.
1. Alonso Renault (B) 1h57:16.304
2. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 2.957
3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 5.917
4. Glock Toyota (B) + 8.155
5. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 10.268
6. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 11.101
7. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) + 16.387
8. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) + 18.489
9. Button Honda (B) + 19.885
10. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 26.902
11. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) + 27.975
12. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 29.432
13. Massa Ferrari (B) + 35.170
14. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) + 43.571
15. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) + 4 laps