Lewis Hamilton entered this Singapore Grand Prix weekend on the back of a lead-shaving victory in Monza having reduced teammate Nico Rosberg’s advantage to just 22 points.

It was always going to be important for Lewis to convert his pole position in Singapore to victory and reduce Rosberg’s lead further but what he most likely hadn’t planned on was a DNF from Nico—that misfortune, coupled with some superb driving during the race, has handed the world championship lead to Hamilton.

The Singapore Grand Prix has had a Safety Car period ever since it came back on the calendar in 2007 and this year was no change. It was this Safety Car period that added some drama as Lewis still had one stop to make in order to comply with tire regulations and it was up to Hamilton to make the strategy work regardless of the hand he was dealt in the timing of the Safety Car period. He did make it work and won the race with time to spare.

For Rosberg, the race was over before it started. Having steering wheel issues just prior to the start meant he was no able to make the formation lap and started from pit lane. During the first 14 laps of the race, Nico’s car was up-shifting two gears at a time.

On lap 14 Rosberg pitted and even though the team changed the steering wheel, the car would not select a gear to continue the race. It was game over and Nico joined Jenson Button, Adrian Sutil, Esteban Gutierrez and Kamui Kobayashi as non-finishers in Singapore.

Red Bull felt they had a shot at a win or at worst a podium finish and while Lewis held them at bay, the duo were able to hold off the charging Ferrari of Fernando Alonso to secure second and third. The reversal of fortune for Sebastian Vettel was responsible for a smile on the German’s face that we haven’t seen in 2014. Having been bested by his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, for most of the year, it was a performance Vettel is most likely pleased with.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso secured fourth place while Williams corrected their Friday practice pace to deliver a car capable of claiming fifth in the hands of veteran Felipe Massa.

The feel-good story of Singapore could be the performance of Scuderia Toro Rosso who enjoyed a sixth-place finish in the hands of a driver who has already been given notice of his sacking for 2015. Jean-Eric Vergne was driving a career-best race and even suffered two 5-second stop/go penalties but still managed to take advantage of fresh tires to claw back up to 6th.

Win

Win

It has to be a win for Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and while I am sure he’d say he isn’t too jazzed about getting the championship lead via a mechanical DNF by his teammate, he’s had enough of those himself this year and most likely feels that this is racing and those things happen. He’s two race wins away from tying Nigel Mansell in the history books and the momentum will surely give the British driver serious motivation for the balance of the year. It also must be said that Lewis did exactly what he needed to do from a strategy standpoint and drove a terrific and measured race.

Red Bull has to be in the win column with an inspired performance from both drivers and in particular Sebasitan Vettel who needed to remind the world, and perhaps himself, that he is a champion and can beat his teammate when his car works the way he wants it to. Vetetl had a great start and was setting fast laps early on and seemed seriously inspired this weekend. It was also a very impressive stacked pit stop on lap 13 too as both drivers were serviced and sent on their way.

Force India got both cars home in the top ten and have 5th place in the Constructor’s Championship over McLaren. It’s also a win for Sergio Perez who seems to have the measure of his teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, of late.

While not a points position, Lotus secured 12th and 13th and given the recent struggle—not too mention Romain Grosjean’s tirade over his Renault engine on Saturday—it’s kind of a win.

McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen was being slow-roasted in his car and was treated for burns after the race. Even his water bottle was so hot that it was undrinkable! Holding his arms out of the car trying to get relief, the rookie managed a single point for the team in what team boss Eric Boullier called an “impressively plucky drive”.

Fail

Fail

Mercedes and Nico Rosberg suffered a wiring loom issue that cost Nico his championship lead by erasing 22 points from his lead sheet and also, most likely, costing the team constructor’s points as well—not that they need them for anything at this point.

McLaren had a fail while Jenson Button was making a race of it. His DNF was caused when his car just shut off while going over the bridge ending his race. He had saved his tires for a 5-lap battle with Williams F1’s Valtteri Bottas.

Sauber had a dual DNF and the frustration was so tangible that driver Esteban Gutierrez had a full-on temper melt down in the garage after exiting his stricken car. Kicking trollies, throwing driver paraphernalia was just some of the fireworks in the Sauber garage. In fairness, I think I’d kick something too at this point…it couldn’t hurt efforts.

Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat who had a miserable race. He was begging the team to pull him in for new tires on lap 45 and said he was dying in the cockpit for a lack of water. That’s a bad weekend by anyone’s measure.

WTH

I am not quite sure of the reasons, as I write this, as to why it took seven laps to clear debris for a front wing that fell off nor am I privy to why the marshals in that corner had no brooms in which to sweep the debris from the track. The 7-lap Safety Car period had a major impact on several drivers’ races and for a moment, I thought it may have caught Lewis Hamilton out as well but he reversed that misfortune through chirpy driving.

Just what was up with Kevin Magnussen’s car? Being slow-roasted in a car isn’t part of his job description and McLaren need to look at their reliability while they’re designing ways to use the 2015 Honda power unit.

While Lewis drove a great race, his choice in passing zones in Singapore were a bit unorthodox. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel wasn’t quite sure what he was doing passing at the quick turn 6 kink at the beginning of the DRS zone. Vettel said apparently Hamilton couldn’t wait to get back in the lead and he had to back off or they would have collided. Even Lewis said it was tight and that he now thinks another location would have been better but praised Sebstian for being very fair about it.

Back in 2008, Felipe Massa dragged half of his refueling rig down pitlane and it seems that Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado seemed to try to one-up the Brazilian by leaving his pit stop with a wheel gun still secured on his front-left wheel. Thankfully it came off his wheel and no one was injured but oddly there was no unsafe release penalty that I know of. Usually the FIA take wheel securing very strictly and while the wheel seemed to be secured on the hub, the process was not complete but maybe that isn’t penalty-worthy. Not that I’m advocating more penalties in F1 mind you.

NBC Sports…enough said.

Race Results:

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2h00m04.795s
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull/Renault 13.534s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 14.273s
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 15.389s
5 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 42.161s
6 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso/Renault 56.801s
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 59.038s
8 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m00.641s
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m01.661s
10 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes 1m02.230s
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m05.065s
12 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault 1m06.915s
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Renault 1m08.029s
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m12.008s
15 Marcus Ericsson Caterham/Renault 1m34.188s
16 Jules Bianchi Marussia/Ferrari 1m34.543s
17 Max Chilton Marussia/Ferrari 1 Lap
Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes Electrical
Adrian Sutil Sauber/Ferrari Water leak
Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari Electrical
Nico Rosberg Mercedes Steering wheel
Kamui Kobayashi Caterham/Renault Not started

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Houston
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Houston

My least favorite thing about NBC Sports is the commercials. I was so mad during qualy because they played two rounds of commercials during Q2. I mean can they not wait the 15 minutes and then play the commercials? The race is just as bad.

lewymp4
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lewymp4

NBC Sports here in the states coverage of F1 racing leaves alot to be desired, especially if you compare it to that of a Sky F1 production in Great Britain.

telfish
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telfish

I got so fed up with the commercials in the last race that this time I watched Deportivo for the video. (No Commercials) and listened to the commentary from BBC radio 5 live online.

Together they make a great team. You do get Soccer updates on the BBC but not to have constant adverts in the video was great.

lewymp4
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lewymp4

A great performance and win from Lewis today, especially when Hammer Time was really needed for Lewis to call on all the way to the race’s end, especially due to very long safety car period.

Chuck C
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Chuck C

I noticed that Nico was out on the pit wall after his retirement. On Lewis’ penultimate stint, while he was calling in asking how much longer he needed to stay out, I was half expecting the team to say, “We asked Nico and he said that you’re fine and should just stay out a while longer. We’re going to let call the rest of your race.” :)

runnah
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runnah

I think it showed good character to be there. I think some drivers would have just sulked off to their trailer and had a good cry.

Ben
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Ben

This weekend was a big win for JEV’s hopes for securing a seat for 2015. Based on his comments earlier in the week, he seemed fired up and he delivered. I wish I understood why Red Bull/STR are letting him go.

Cody
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Cody

I said it in a previous post, but I think NBC should look to model their commentary after ESPN’s post race and midweek coverage with Ricky Craven. NBC has had F1 long enough to begin assuming the public is more educated and should adjust accordingly. Hobbs would probably have to go but Steve stays current with technology. An immediate available option would be Paul Tracy (save thoughts as it’s just an example), but stay away from Mario Andretti. It’s good to see Ferrari and Red Bull making the races closer. While Mercedes still has the control, they are at least… Read more »

Schmorbraten
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Schmorbraten

Unbelievable decision by the stewards to let Alonso get away with overtaking 2 drivers at the start by braking too late and cutting the corner, and to then only give back 1 place.