Prime & Option: the week in review, September 23

After a week off of racing, it is a delight to have actual on-track action in the form of the Singapore Grand Prix. Even with a number of empty seats, there has not been much news in the 2014 driver market, only speculation. Still, some news of Kimi Raikkonen’s reasoning for leaving Lotus came to light this week, as has fascinating information regarding the Indian Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel Takes Victory in Alternatively Tense and Relaxed Singapore GP
Vettel led from the exit of Turn 1 to the checkered flag, fighting off fellow front row starter Nico Rosberg’s charge into the lead into the first turn and never bothered looking behind him for the rest of the race. Fernando Alonso finished second after flying around the outside from seventh to third into the first turn, and stayed on the podium with a quick-thinking strategy call from Ferrari to pit for fresh tyres when Daniel Ricciardo locked up his Toro Rosso into the barriers. Kimi Raikkonen also pitted, and fought with Jenson Button over third, to complete the podium. Though the race looked boring enough at times from the outside, the final points positions were well fought over by a number of drivers in some intense and clean racing. The drivers spoke to the press after the race.

Vettel led all the qualifying sessions on Saturday and took pole while sitting in the Red Bull garage, though he looked rather nervous as Rosberg posted a fast lap just nine hundredths off his fellow German’s time. The drivers spoke to the press after qualifying and after the practice sessions.

Webber and Alonso get Hard Knocks for Taxi Ride
Mark Webber looked set for some decent point until his flagging engine failed on the final lap. He hailed Alonso for a lift, with the Spaniard chivalrously driving the Australian back to parc ferme. Unfortunately, Webber ran out onto the track after the marshals told him to remain in place and hopped into the Ferrari, which had been perilously parked on the racing line on the cool-down lap. Rosberg barely missed Webber as he came around the blind turn, and Lewis Hamilton had to run over the kerbs to miss the car and drivers. The stewards reprimanded both Webber and Alonso, leading to a ten place grid penalty in two week’s time at Korea for the former for his third reprimand of the season.

Raikkonen Left Lotus At Least Partially Over Unpaid Checks
The Finn said, “The reasons why I left from the team are purely on the money side, and the things I haven’t got, my salary.” Apparently Lotus has not paid the world champion for his second season with the team, including, it is rumored, a bonus per point scored.

Interest High in Participating in Indian GP
Though India may or may not be on the calendar next year, the organizers have been forced to wade through seven thousand applications for volunteer marshals for the race next month. Six hundred and fifty will be chosen for the first all-Indian marshaling crew in the event’s short history. While this might indicate a high Indian interest in keeping the race, it could as easily be an indication as to how far out of reach an attendance ticket is for most of the population of countries hosting a F1 grand prix. Applying for and receiving a volunteer marshal position, no matter the hard work and dedication it requires, would be a dream come true for many F1 fans.

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