The night time Singapore Grand Prix promised to be even more exciting this season.
The night time Singapore Grand Prix promised to be even more exciting this season. With the battling Mercedes cars and a 100 per cent chance of a safety car at the race track struggles and skirmishes were obvious from the off.
The weekend got off to a good start for Mercedes, especially Lewis Hamilton as he qualified in pole, a mere 0.007 seconds ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg. With Rosberg leading in the championship standings both drivers knew they had to up their game, and win the race, to stand a chance of leading the title.
As the formation lap began it became apparent that Rosberg was suffering with issues. He failed to move and was forced to start form the pit lane after mechanics worked on the problem. Electronic failure hampered his race, leaving him floundering at the back behind even the Caterham’s and Marussia’s and forcing him to retire.
With everyone aware of Rosberg unable to score any points in Singapore it was more important than ever for Hamilton to capitalise on this by securing the win. But the race was far from over. Hamilton had a strong start and began leading the race with the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel following hot on his heels.
Seventh Singapore Safety Car
Some spectacular, and somewhat dramatic, action came from Sergio Perez in his Force India. A collision between himself and Adrian Sutil left his front wing broken and, as Perez continued on his lap, the wing caught underneath his car, leaving a trail of debris in his wake.
Luckily for the Mexican it was easily repairable but a safety car was deployed, the seventh in a row at the Singapore circuit. Hamilton made an excellent restart and continued to lead the race.
The Caterham of Kamui Kobayashi had failed to even start the race and the Sauber’s of Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez joined him in retirement. McLaren’s Jenson Button was making good progress throughout the race but electronic failure was also his downfall as he retired on the 52nd lap.
During that same lap Hamilton went into the pits and emerged hoping to retain the lead but Vettel just snatched it from the Brit. As the next few laps progressed it was clear that the Mercedes was stronger than the Red Bull and that Hamilton would soon regain the lead.
As the chequered flag appeared Hamilton crossed the line to take his seventh win of the season and his 25 points have now given him a 3 point lead over Rosberg in the championship standings. Vettel stayed in second, his best finish of the entire season with teammate Ricciardo rounding off the podium.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished in 4th followed by Felipe Massa’s Williams. Sadly for the team their other driver Valtteri Bottas failed to make the top ten after his tyres let him down on the final lap and he was overtaken by the cars of Perez, Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen.
The Dane did an extraordinary job to finish in the points as, due to an overheating bottle, he was unable to drink water and suffered with cramps and dehydration which he was treated for after the race.
It was a strong race for the Toro Rosso of Jean Eric Vergne who will not be staying with the team next season. The importance for Vergne to do well over the next few races is crucial if he wants to find a good drive for 2015. The Frenchman worked his way from 12th up to 6th, way ahead of his teammate Daniil Kvyat who finished down in 15th.
The next race is in two weeks’ time at the Suzuka track of Japan. Hamilton has never won at the circuit and if anything of late is to judge by then a first win at the track will be on the cards. But with no points to show from Singapore’s outing Rosberg will most certainly be back with a vengeance.
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