Lewis Hamilton was the first driver to cross the finish line after 61 laps at the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix. He started off with pole position. Hamilton finished ahead of Toyota’s Timo Glock and Fernando Alonso, so that’s at least some good news for Renault after the whole crash-gate fiasco.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel managed to finish in 4th place ahead of current championship leader Jenson Button despite getting a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits. Sixth place was snapped up by Button’s team mate, Rubens Barrichello.
The rest of the top ten are made up by McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen, BMW’s Robert Kubica, Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. The Ferrari boys did not do very well this race. Nico Rosberg from Williams who was challenging for victory before getting a drive through penalty for crossing the white line on his way exiting the pits only managed 11th place.
6 drivers failed to cross the finish line. First to finish prematurely was Romain Grosjean (Renault) due to brake issues. Nick Heidfeld and Adrian Sutil both retired due the same accident. Mark Webber (Red Bull) also retired after suffering a crash due to (again) brake failure, followed by both Toro Rosso drivers.
Vettel was the first to pit with 44 laps to go, followed by Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. With 41 laps to go, Adrian Sutil had a spin and picked up Nick Heidfeld. The latter lost his rear right wheel and the safety car was deployed. Sutil pitted and changed his front wing, but eventually retired a couple of laps later. The race re-started and Nico Rosberg served his drive-through penalty about two laps later and came out in 14th position, since the penalty was served right after the safety car situation.
With 34 laps to go, Hamilton was up in front, followed closely by Vettel. Vettel, who lost his right rear-view mirror pitted with 22 laps to go, and came out behind Button in seventh. He was then given a drive through penalty for speeding in the pits. After serving the penalty, he rejoined in ninth, in front of Raikkonen.
A couple of laps later his team mate Mark Webber pitted for a re-fuel, but just before that on the way into the pits you could see brake dust from his front right tire, indicating severe wear. Just a lap after exiting the pits, Webber suffered from a brake failure and crashed his car. After all this dram, both Toro Rosso drivers pitted and retired, probably due to the fear of brake failure as well since the Toro Rosso cars would most likely share certain components with the Red Bull cars.
In the Drivers Championship, Button leads with 84 points. 15 points behind him is his Brazilian team mate Barrichello. Another 10 points behind is Sebastian Vettel with 59 points. Mark Webber is fourth with 51.5 points. Raikkonen is in fifth with 40 points and race winner Lewis Hamilton is currently in sixth place, just 3 points behind.
As for the Constructors Championship, Brawn is still leading with 153 points, followed by Red Bull with 110.5 points. Ferrari is third with 62 points, but McLaren is closing in with 59 points now. With 3 races remaining, it looks as though Button and Brawn will bag both titles. All 20 drivers will now head to Suzuka, for the Japanese GP.
In the meanwhile, here’s a bit of juicy rumour. Word from Germany’s Sport Bild is that Ferrari’s new sponsor Santander (a current sponsor of McLaren) is willing to offer the McLaren up to 25 million Euros to take Ferrari’s current front man Kimi Raikkonen. This will make space for Alonso to join Ferrari next year.