29 September 2009
Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on winning the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix! Flawless driving by the defending world champion over the course of 61 grueling laps at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. I have driven a hundred laps or so on the Singtel Simulator last year, (I was the 3rd fastest in Singapore, but not eligible for prizes since I was a staff) what a pity. Trust me, its tiring to complete 5 smooth laps in a row without losing concentration, not to mention 61 of them in the real thing!
Let start things off with qualifying. I was surprised Raikkonen failed to make it into Q3. The highlight of qualifying would be Barricello's crash which brought out the red flag. The Brawn's crash not only helped Hamilton clinch a pole, but also enabled the Briton to start the race with relatively heavier fuel load compared to the rest of other Q3 participants.
KERS gave Hamilton a smooth start off the line, but later had to be disengaged and restarted due to some technical difficulty. Overtaking on this narrow & twisty track proved near impossible. Lap 20, Adrian Sutil tried to take Alguersuari on the inside which end up in collision & taking out the innocent Nick Heidfeld in his BMW, effectively ending the latter's 35-Classified-Race stint, also brought out the safety car.
Rosberg & Vettel, *sigh* what can I say? Both made silly mistakes which cost them their podiums. The Williams driver out-braked himself & crossed the white line while exiting the pit lane on lap 18. Drive-thru penalty stripped him of any point scoring chances. Then we saw the Redbull driver suffered a similar penalty where he was caught speeding in the pit lane on lap 40.
Another blow to the Redbull Racing team came shortly on lap 47, when Mark Webber's brake disc failure resulted in a high speed crash in Turn 1. Felt sad for him, it wasn't entirely his fault. Fast-thinking McLaren brought Kovalainen in for an early pit stop following the crash, gambled their chances for a second safety car session which never did materialized.
Drama continues as the infamous Ferrari pit lane incident nearly repeated itself, on Toro Rosso! This time it was Alguersuari speeding off before the lollipop man gave him the go, nearly pulled off the refueling hose like Massa did last year!
Overall, it was a great race, full of actions, you just wouldn't know what's going to happen at the next turn! I'm glad Hamilton learnt his lesson from Monza. But ultimately, Brawn got the most out of Singapore as they emerge one step closer to both Driver & Constructor titles. Next, Japanese Grand Prix!
photos from: PaddockTalk & SingaporeGP