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Hamilton strolls to win as rivals make mistakes
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Hamilton strolls to win as rivals make mistakes
Posted By: James Allen  |  27 Sep 2009   |  3:54 pm GMT  |  145 comments

Lewis Hamilton won the Singapore Grand Prix with a faultless drive from pole position to redeem himself after his last lap crash in Monza. But his task was made easier by key errors made by his two main rivals, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.
Picture 33

Both made mistakes in pit stops which brought them drive through penalties; Rosberg had done the hard work at the start, passing Vettel off the line to take second place, but then he got into trouble when he made a slip after his pit stop and crossed the white line on the pit exit.

Vettel was penalised for speeding in the pit lane. Rosberg was doubly unlucky as his penalty was handed out just as a safety car was deployed and it meant that he had to serve it when the field was all bunched up, which dropped him down to 14th place. Any hope of that first victory were gone.

Vettel had a little more luck. Although he lost second place through his error, his drive-through happened later on in the race and he was able to rejoin in seventh place and then pick off other cars when they made their second stops. He ended up fourth. “It’s all we could do in the end. I had a chance of a podium. I was surprised when I got the call for speeding in the pit lane. It’s disappointing because the car was quick.”

Apart from Hamilton, the happiest man in Singapore tonight will be Jenson Button. He extended his lead over Rubens Barrichello in the points table to 15 with three races remaining thanks to a strong recovery drive from 12th on the grid. He had quite severe brake problems at the end of the race and had to nurse the car home, but managed to finish in fifth place, one spot ahead of Barrichello. Button was helped by a call from the pits not to pit after Mark Webber had a crash. Many drivers thought that a safety car might come out so they dived into the pits, but Button stayed out, correctly as it turned out and jumped both Heikki Kovalainen and Barrichello.

For Hamilton it was a second victory of the season and proof that he and McLaren are ending the season as consistent front runners, “I came here wanting to redeem myself after the last race and I did it, ” he said. “The race was straightforward for me. I built a big enough gap and was never under serious pressure. I felt it was a nicely controlled race. I had not problems in the car but the team came on the radio and said there was a fault with the KERS so I had to disable and then re-engage it but it was no problem. The focus you need here is as much as you can get, it’s just corner after corner, there is no let up and it’s bumpy.”

Arguably the driver of the day was Toyota’s Timo Glock, who equalled his best ever result in second place. He drove a perfect race, which was made by his audacious pass on Alonso at the start. His luck was really in as Mark Webber was told to let Alonso through as he had retained his position by going off the race track and in order to do that he had to let Glock through first. So Glock gained two key places.

Alonso being passed by Glock was a decisive moment because he was never able to get back on terms with the Toyota driver. Nevertheless after the two weeks Renault has just endured, it is appropriate that they should get their first podium of the season here.

“The result is great for us, first podium of the season and it was a great race, ” said Alonso.

Webber didn’t finish the race, he clearly had brake problems when he made his second stop, but the mechanics inspected his right front brake and sent him back out. Shortly afterwards he had a brake failure which pitched him off the circuit.

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145 Comments
  1. Personally I found this Grand Prix very dull – good for jenson but as a spectator/tv viewer it was dull.

    The good news is that I thought the cars looked fantastic under the lights.

    Roll on the next Grand Prix.

    1. PaulL says:

      I still think the cars look too unimpressive for F1. The cars looked more like race cars last year.

    2. **Paul** says:

      Couldn’t have put it better myself. Dull race even with all those lights.

    3. M__E says:

      Agreed, but thats because we were robbed of the key battle prospect namely Rosberg, and Vettels daft mistakes ruining their races :(
      and ours :D

      anyone happen to notice did the safety car come out just after his penalty being announced? or did the Penalty come after the crash itself?
      In the interest of sport they could have held off the announcement?

      and so Hamilton just disappeared off, and then what a save by Brawn, talk about a rollercoaster weekend for about half of the field.

      As for Sutils ‘shennangins’ [face palm]

    4. knoxploration says:

      Couldn’t agree more, that was one of the most boring races in recent memory. Utterly tasteless of Alonso to dedicate his result to a cheat, as well (but at the same time quite apropos, given that he still believes his win last year was legitimate – incredible, when in fact it wouldn’t have been possible without the team having cheated on his behalf).

    5. John M says:

      Totally agree.

      Dull race.

      The circuit is spectacular (as was repeated ad nasuem on Speed TV), but it’s only spectacular from the aerial shots. On the ground and the on-board shots, it’s boring as all get out. It’s hard to tell where on the track a car is, given the ever-present barriers all around the circuit.

      The other problem with the circuit is that there’s virtually no place to pass. It’s too tight and has few, if any, good braking points for overtaking. There were a couple points in the race where trains developed simply because of the inability of anyone to pass on track.

      Oh well, I guess we’re stuck with it. Pity tracks like this are replacing the classic circtuits more and more.

  2. Kedar says:

    I think the Singapore race track is much better in terms of ontrack action compared to Valencia and even Monaco. James, Do you think Alonso will get into trouble for dedicating the podium to Flavio? Besides always wanted to know why are the drivers told to pick up rubber on the way back?
    Is it to add to the overall weight?

    1. James Allen says:

      No he won’t get into trouble. Yes the rubber adds a lot of weight at the end

      1. Phil says:

        isn’t it around 1-2 kg you can add picking up rubber?

      2. Kedar says:

        James,
        Dont want say “I told you so” but I read this
        http://www.f1complete.com/content/view/14623/900/ where some journos think Alonso will get into trouble for praising Briatorie

    2. David Hodge says:

      And I guess Vettel needed to pick up even more after leaving various bits of his car around the track. How much does a mirror assembly weigh?

      Actually – serious question there James. Do they take that sort of thing into account when weighing the cars? For example, if he is a kilo light, will they put it down to er… on-track modifications

  3. artorwar says:

    Not a classic, actually quite a dull show this weekend. Great work by Ham, didnt miss a beat. Likewise Timo and Alonso. Rubens fumbled it a bit today and Vettel really screwed himself to the floor too. Seems Button is going to drag himself across the line and take the title, which sums up his abilities in my opinion. Fingers crosseed a more worthy driver makes a move in the last few races.

    1. Craig March says:

      I’m sorry but I just don’t buy that attitude towards Button. If (and it is still ‘if’) he wins the title then it will be because he deserved it over the course of 17 races. You don’t win much as a mediocre driver, you might win a race, but not enough points to win a world title. I’ll agree that he has had a lot of luck with other drivers and teams making mistakes throughout the season (especially at the start), but *that* is F1, where man and machine are pushed to the limits until one or the other breaks.

      1. Bevan says:

        One mustn’t forget the highly contentious double decker diffuser advantage that BGP enjoyed for up to 6 events earlier in the season that was good for up to 2 secs a lap.This point alone is one reason I’m looking forward to the end of the Mosley led FIA era and the numerous daft rulings we’ve all had to endure,fans and teams alike during his (Max’s) tenure.

      2. Smellyden says:

        While im not one to normally stand up for Max, the diffuser row was one of the teams own making. Ross Brawn supposely told the team that a loophole could be interpreted to make a double diffuser, and suggest to close the loophole. But the teams said no!

    2. krad says:

      That kind of talk really anoys me.

      If his race wins had been distributed across the season more evenly and everything had been closer people would be saying he is doing well.

      If he was nowhere by the mid season and went on to win the last 6 races again everyone would be saying he was brilliant.

      The fact is he and his team have done the best job throughout the season so far as his points show. Its also looking even more so that this will be the end result as well.

      Also does the near decade of hard work not count for anything?

      Finally think about what you are actually suggesting. Is it better to have a season where you dont know what is going to happen next and is interesting or would you prefer one where one driver totally dominates and the race results are to a large part a forgone conclusion? Been there done that don’t want to go back thanks

      1. ah1 says:

        couldnt agree more with your last statement!
        this season has been great because every race has thrown up different teams being on form, especially in the last half of the season. this is why jenson hasnt got the straight sweep like other drivers may have in previous years. jenson has come through it all still on top by a good margin which proves his abilities without question.

      2. PaulL says:

        2008 – was that one of Button’s seasons of hard work? I thought it was Barrichello that scored most of the points whilst Button kept crashing.

        Also – you could construe that Button won when it was easy this year, now when other teams have caught up what have his results been like? I think unless he wins another race, it could be seen as a half championship.

    3. Carl Craven says:

      I also thought the race was dull, barely a significant overtaking effort after the first lap but it was a great show from Hamilton.

      I thought Vettel put on a good show, but really overdrove his car resulting in the loss of a wing mirror and damaging his diffuser which pretty much compromised his pace. Plus despite his denials, he probably was responsible for his speeding in the pit lane. Entertaining for sure, feisty, but driving like that won’t really win him a great deal over a season.

      On the other hand, I thought Button drove well. He wasn’t driving from the front, he was in traffic and put on a good show considering, with some great laps when he needed to and to great effect, leapfrogging his nearest rival and Kova at the same time. He didn’t go off, didn’t put it in the wall, didn’t damage his diffuser etc, he scored points against his rivals on a day when he needed to.

      Last years winner nearly lost it on the last lap and the luck of changing weather gifted him the title. I do however consider Lewis and Alonso to be the best in F1 right now, so kudos to Jenson for stealing it from under their noses. He’s a damn fine racer.

    4. Patrickl says:

      More worthy drivers would be Hamilton, Alonso or Raikkonen. Neither of those still have a mathematical chance to become WDC though.

      Of the four remaining drivers in contention for the title, Button has peformed best and blundered the least by far.

      With the medals system, he would have been WDC today!

      1. Alistair says:

        Some part of me still wants to see Rubens pull it out and win. After today, I think that’s pretty unlikely. I had been a bit bothered that Jenson seemed to be slouching towards the WDC, but his form has been good in the last couple of races.

        If he is to win it, and I think he well, it would be nice for Jenson to win one of the final races. If he’s in the midpack and just squeaks by for the WDC, it will all be a bit of a letdown.

      2. **Paul** says:

        Equally look back at last season where Lewis made plenty of driver errors and Ferrari made plenty of team errors (thats what cost Massa), it was blunder’orama’! This season has seen fast cars come and go yet JB still sits pretty racking up the points steadily. Both his and Brawns consistency make him a very worthy champion in my opinion. He could easily have thrown the car off the road in several situations like Hamilton and Raikkonen have, but he didn’t. It really does remind me of a certain Red Baron called Schumacher who made the best of his car at all tracks. Binning it on the last lap is not the way of the greats of the sport, maximising the car where possible is. It’s great to see Button get a chance to shine in a fairly decent car for once. Beating the Red Bulls this year is a fair feat given that they’ve had the quicker car at more tracks than the Brawn.

      3. Patrickl says:

        True, the previous season was pretty bad too.

        Massa made big errors in the first two races, had his spinfest at Silverstone and an incredibly poor drive at Fuji. So a total of 4 blundered races (which cost him the title) and then 2 more lost by team errors.

        Hamilton had 3 bad races (Bahrain, Canada and Fuji) and one more by team blunders (Brazil).

        With Raikkonen had a few good races at the beginning of the season, but after that …

        Button hasn’t made many mistakes really. Just that he had some subpar races. That costs almost just as much points though. That’s 5 bad races and at Singapore a good race, but poor qualy.

        Vettel has had an abysmal season. 4 blundered races already (2 crashes, 2 spins) and then the dumb penalty in the last race. Plus a rather poor performance at Monza and an engine failure.

        That’s like half the season binned!

        Indeed, I’d agree that the Red Bull has been the faster car for more races this season. It’s amazing that Button is still so far ahead.

      4. **Paul** says:

        Patrikl I can’t reply directly, but I feel your anaylsis is somewhat harsh on Massa there. His self-blundered races were Malaysia(spin) and Fuji. In Australia his engine blew and Ferrari gave both drivers a completely undrivable car for Silverstone, I don’t think he can be at fault for either of those.

        Lewis also blundered in France, although starting lower down the grid cutting the chicane where he did cost him points that day, and one could argue cutting that rather more infamous chicane at Spa was also a driver error given he could have passed Kimi without any issue at all a corner or two later. Additionally there was Hungary, do you class hitting the kerbs so hard you damage a tyre a driver error? Possibly so given he had an easy 2nd place that day.

        Thus I conclude that Massa made less driver errors than Lewis last season(2 vs 4/5/6), but McLaren made far far less team errors than Ferrari (which is also why I feel a McLaren team championship and a Massa driver champion would have reflected the seasons performances), and to get back to point (the bit we do agree on) Button and BrawnGP have made fewer still.

    5. Hammad says:

      I’ll agree with you there, solely for the reason that I don’t like Button at all. Hmmm….

      1. Stevie P says:

        Well, that’s most objective…

        So what is it you don’t like about Button?

      2. Hammad says:

        I dunno… just his attitude I guess. For one thing, he doesn’t take well to pressure, even in the media… And I seriously believe he’s overrated.

      3. Stevie P says:

        Cheers for responding Hammad; I’m not knocking you, everyone has their own opinion (and has a right to have that opinion). I was looking for something more specific.

        I think anyone in their first season of pushing for the WDC will feel the pressure; Hamilton certainly did in 07 – in China his team messed up with the tyres and then in Brazil he (allegedly) hit the wrong buttons. Hamilton learnt from that in 08 and brought the title home :-)

        JB has always been quite open with the media – as far as I know – but this year he has far more to do than normal; that must be a grind. Check Alonso out, the past-master of smiling and saying “no comment” all the time; I would prefer to hear someone make a comment, than not.

        As for over-rating someone… well Ross Brawn wasn’t sure about Button, until Ross joined Honda and then he was surprised by Jensons’ ability – that’s good enough for me, I think Ross knows better than most of us, how good or bad a driver is :-)

      4. Cliff says:

        The last time I looked, the season lasted from March to November and to say that there are more worthy drivers ignores the fact that Button did a better job at the start of the season (and let’s not use the DD as a valid excuse). As in football or any other sport you try to get your points on the board early as it gives you a chance at the end of the season. I too would have liked LH to win the WDC, but this argument of whether JB is a worthy winner ignores the fact that other drivers & teams have not made the most of JB’s bad days. JB also managed to consistently keep his points tally moving upwards (apart from Spa)and that is the reason why now finds himself on the verge of the WDC.

    6. Stevie P says:

      Everyone is entitled to their own opinion :-)

      I thought Jenson was immense he didn’t panic, he tried to make some moves and then didn’t get flustered that they hadn’t come off or damage his car with a botched pass. He was waiting for the first round of pit-stops, where he would have made ground on those in-front; it didn’t happen due to the safety-car. [Tsk, tsk, Mr Sutil] He still didn’t panic, so he took on a similar fuel load to those close in-front of him (thus keeping his fuel advantage) waited for the second round of pitstops and then absolutely floored it for those 4 or 5 laps where he had clean air (purple sector followed by purple sector). Schumi-esque in my humble opinion!

      I feel Rubens should be for in some criticism… he just didn’t pull away enough from Heikki – when he should of! People talk about Jenson falling over the line re: the WDC – but he makes places in a race; moves forward. This is about the third or fourth time that Rubens has moved backwards, from a good position in the race… I notice this time he wasn’t whining at the team re: losing the race or losing out to Button.

      Webber messed up in mid-field (it happens and it’s happened to all the championship protagonists, so why Button’s driving in mid-field gets panned is beyond me). But Mark has a point about consistency of decisions. He tried to make it fair between him and Alonso. Kimi in Spa, went wide deliberately (no effort AT ALL, to stay within the white lines) and made up places as a consequence… yet, no penalty there.

      Vettel, the young charger charged a tad too far. Even without his mistakes, he wouldn’t have made up too much ground on Button in the WDC. Good to see him still going for it though.

      You’ve got to remember that this season is unique in it’s inconsistency – cars at the back are at the front at one venue, but not the next. Force India and Williams seem to alternate, where one team is fast, the other team is slow and vice versa.

      In the past decade or so, it’s been a silver or red car consistently at the front, with the odd Renault excursion. It’s not like that this year and I find that an even greater reason to big up Brawn and Buttons achievments. Rubens too, but at the start of the season he missed his chance to collect enough points (which may explain his emotional outbursts at times).

      Button may well take the title without recording another win – so be it!! It’s the person\team with the most points at the end of a season who takes the titles.

    7. iceman says:

      A lot of people (who are saying that Button is an unworthy champion) seem to think that races at the start of the season are worth less than races at the end. Even if, say, Hamilton won the final 3 races I don’t see how that would make him a more worthy champion than Button who won 6 races earlier.

    8. artorwar says:

      I just dont like the guy. He has had a lack of serious oposition. Would be a different story if he had to race against Kimi, Lewis or Felipe. Rubens is providing some good oposition but the Red Bulls have been no real challenge. To clarify I have never liked Button, he has never been anything more than a journeyman and this season will all be about the car on reflection.

      1. Cliff says:

        Would be a different story if he had to race against Kimi, Lewis or Felipe.

        Unless I’ve been dreaming I think thay you’ll find that he did have to race Kimi, Lewis & Felipe(up to Hungary in Massa’s case) You could have spared us the rubbish and just wrote the last sentence.

  4. teamworkf1 says:

    First, another well done teamwork from McLaren!! \o/

    Second, i’m getting that commentators can’t comment on fa’s remarks at the press conference today? That showed once again the poor soul, honor, dignity, humility and not shame at ALL that this “thing” has!!! Absolutely outrageous!! so, are we assuming that Renault’s PR have encouraged that thing to say something about flavio?? or that thing has no DIGNITY whatsoever!!! Absolutely stanning!!!

    1. Brace says:

      Talking about overreacting…

      1. teamworkf1 (toronto-ON) says:

        I’m not surprise with your answer.
        Nowadays there is no RESPECT anymore.

        The word “respect” starts with yourself.
        How come the world is gonna have respect, if fa doesn’t respect himself!

        Thanks to that thinking, we are in this messy world!

    2. You say that about Alonso, but are not bothered to reference Webber at all – hmmmm…

  5. Peter says:

    What`s the point having “race” circuits where it is impossible to overtake? Meanwhile circuits like Spa are struggling to host a race. I want to see real racing and not nice scenery I can watch Discovery Channel to do that. The sport is now losing its ground it is just about politics and commercial interests. Real shame.

    1. James H. says:

      Agreed. This track seems like a video game, and has no reasonable place to overtake. Apart from that odd chicane, I have difficulty telling one corner from the next. Concrete barriers all look the same when your hung over at five in the morning.

    2. Chris says:

      Singapore is a Scalextric circuit with only one slot. Take it back to the toyshop where it belongs.

    3. Trixie says:

      My thoughts exactly! Close to dozing off during the race… What’s the point in forming the Overtaking Working Group to look at ways to improve more overtaking in races when the powers that be end up taking the show to new street tracks like Valencia & Singapore, where it’s more like a procession rather than racing.
      In my opinion, if you want to see a light show, then go to Las Vegas, but if you want exciting races, then please continue racing at classic circuits like Spa & Silverstone.

  6. Spyros says:

    Not as exciting as last year’s race, right? Still, it’s nice to have GPs that test drivers, cars (and their brakes) to the limits…

    And here’s a question: if it was appropriate for Renault to be punished for allowing Alonso’s car to leave the pits with an unsecured wheel, does this mean that someone could argue for Red Bull to be eligible for punishment, for checking but failing to note that Webber’s car’s brakes were close to giving up the ghost?

    (nothing against Mark or RBR, just trying to guess how FIA works on things…)

    1. Patrickl says:

      Indeed. I was thinking the same.

      Then add that Sutil first crashed into Alguersuari and then into Heidfeld and he only gets a reprimand and $20,000 fine.

      People like Webber (vs Raikkonen) and Vettel (vs Kubica) got a drive-through penalty or 10 place grid penalty for just one of those offences. Sutil commits 2 in a row and basically gets off with virtually no penalty.

    2. Brace says:

      I thought about that too. I was also wondering (and hoping :) ) they will order Brawn to retire Button out of precaution.
      Still, I hope Barrichello wins the title. :)

  7. Craig says:

    Quite an interesting race from a results point of view. The Championship has to be Jenson’s now surely!

    Was real shame for Willaims though with Rosberg getting that penalty for crossing the white line, but rules are rules and his penalty was given mainly on safety grounds as it was clear he didn’t gain any advantage.

    Role on Japan!

  8. Mari says:

    Good race, well done to Lewis. Pity it’s not the start of the season. Jenson seems to have it in the bag. Hope he wins the last few races, to give him some street cred as champ.

  9. Dan says:

    How funny was it when Alonso dedicated the podium for Flavio and then he stopped speaking? And you could almost hear Peter Windsor reeling in shock and struggling for words.

    1. Peter Freeman says:

      I think what FB did was not right, but he has been a fantastic F1 man and has contributed loads over the years. Alonso (who I am not a fan of) was brave and right to dedicate his podium to FB in honour of FB has done RIGHT over so many years! A wise man once said “Let he who is without sin, throw the first stone.” This does not mean FB should be let go free, but before anyone throws anyone else to the dogs, just look at yourself and ask if only everyone knew about you, would you be condemned too?

      Well done Alonso!

      1. P Byrne says:

        It would have been much easier and more ‘politically correct’ for Alonso to keep his mouth shut. Whatever you think of Flavio, Alonso showed some loyalty towards the guy who gave him his chance in F1 and whom he has worked with all these years. Bear in mind also that Piquet and Symonds were offered immunity whilst Briatore was scapegoated because he’s stood up to Max one time too often. Renault were let off the hook altogether foe eh…commercial reasons… Flavio’s far from blameless but there was more to this than meets the eye.

        Webber also said that Briatore did a fantastic job as his manager.

  10. Mary says:

    Great faultless drive by the world champion, makes you wonder what could have been had Maclaren started the season with a half decent car.

    Good drive by Jenson but i have to agree with Martin Brundle he really needs to start winning races to make his championship crown worthy. Some would argue he only won races when there was no competition and he had by far the best car on the grid.

    1. Monktonnik says:

      They would be wrong. He has one at least 2 races on the strength of his driving when the car wasn’t fastest by overtaking and consistently fast driving. His ability to pull laps out of the bag when required has been Schumacheresque. I feel he will be a worthy champion, probably more so than Raikkonen in 2007. Also I think that Brundle actually stated that he felt that JB would be aworthy champ in the BBC forum.

    2. iceman says:

      Needs to start winning races? I think I already saw him win 6 races and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t hallucinating.

    3. **Paul** says:

      I’ve got disagree Mary, looking at Jensons performances he’s won races when others have had faster or equally fast cars. The Toyotas were the fastest in Bahrain and Ferrari were virtaulyl identical in pace to the Brawns in Monaco, and in Malaysia it rained at which point the Red Bulls are about 2s a lap faster than any other car out there. JB won all of those races. He has won most of the races where his car was the fastest though, but that’s not expectional in F1. Lewis won most of the races where his car was fastest last year, and didn’t win many where Massa’s Ferrari was quicker, I don’t see people suggesting F1′s golden boy is unworthy?

  11. Bloke says:

    Pivotal race for the championship today – JB put in those superb few laps before pitting – that did it and thats more like the Button that we have seen this year. Excellent job, in my opinion, recovering from probably his worst ever qualifying effort. He deserves the title.

    I have to agree though – take away the night race aspect and this is one dull race track for the spectators.

  12. Dave says:

    Boring race but a faultless drive by Hamilton. He did what he had to do and others making mistakes around him certainly helped.

    James, do you think Sutil will get a grid penalty for Suzuka, as alluded to by Martin, for his clumsy spin-crash on Heidfeld ?

  13. Spenny says:

    I wondered whether the early incident with Webber was really fair.

    Although Webber gained the place off track, he was crowded entirely off the track by Alonso (unlike the start lap Kimi Spa manoeuvre for which he got away unpenalised).

    The Sorting Code (Annex L to be precise) got revised in July to clarify the rules (which previously seemed to refer to some form of motor racing based in the 50s as far as I could tell).

    Although you must stay on the track (defined as some of the car not crossing the white line) he other things was that you must not deliberately crowd a car off the track (it used to say simply crowding towards the edge of the track was an offence, but that has been ignored for decades).

    Without watching the replays yet again, I got the impression that Webber was nicely alongside and Alonso simply took up the whole of the track.

    If F1 wants overtaking, perhaps the stewards should enforce the Sporting Code more harshly so if someone leaves the door open, they have to leave room – disadvantaging themselves (but knowing that the lunging car must leave them room also).

    (So Webber fell foul of: L IV.2.c Should a car leave the track for any reason, and without prejudice to 2(d) below, the driver may rejoin. However, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any
    advantage.

    but Alonso L IV.2.b:

    However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited. Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences will be reported to the stewards of the meeting.

  14. Jason C says:

    It was very disappointing to see Rosberg make that pit-stop error, then the safety car came at exactly the wrong time for him. He was making a fight of the race and that little mistake denied us all something more entertaining.

    The Vettel decided he’d like to have a go, and again his mistake denied us something.

    I did quite enjoy it though, and I’ve got to say Singapore really seems a good fit for F1: it feels ‘right’, unlike say Valencia or Bahrain.

  15. Harveyeight says:

    There has been a bit of a post race argument at 8 Harvey Towers.

    We were trying to work out whether the pace car interludes helped or hindered Alonso, Hamilton, Button and Barrichello. We are unlikely to come to a decision amongst ourselves as it has become rather heated and things have been said that cannot be retracted.

    It seems rather remarkable that there can be so many different opinions on a simple Yes/No question – budding politicians no doubt – but I was wondering what everyone else thought. Please give reasons or, better still, evidence.

    Just to make it clear, I’m talking about this season’s race.

    1. Brace says:

      Well, at first I thought they are all screwed but after all the dust settled down, they were in pretty much the same positions as they were before the stops. So I guess it didn’t have as much influence, not least because this year cars are allowed to pit immediately during the safety car, so they don’t loose as much time and positions while being queued up behind safe car.

  16. Amritraj says:

    The driver of the day has to be Hamilton. He controlled the race right from the start. He never looked troubled.

    Bad errors from Rosberg and Vettel. Threw away points. Like you said James – Glock was the luckiest guy today; passed Alonso when Alonso had a moment after being unfairly passed by Mark and then with all the retirements and penalties. But he drove a great race. He is developing into a sharp, shrewd grand prix driver.

    Alonso drove a great race himself. Stayed out of trouble and applied his experience that this is a race where there will be incidents so he should drive the car as quickly and safely as possible. Though, he could have been more aggressive with Glock after the SC restart. Also, he also looked most tired of the drivers on the podium. I remember him looking exhausted on the podium on the Singapore GP last year as well (though he mentioned that he had a water pump failure) and then in Bahrain this year (again another problem with an overheating cockpit). But it has to be a great coincidence that we find Alonso not in comparable physical shape to other drivers after a known physically tough GP. James, may be you could shed some light on how Alonso is placed with regard to fitness against other drivers.

    Button would be a happy man. Extended his lead, though it is far from over. 3 races to go, we should have an electric finish to a most unpredictable season.

    Thanks for the excellent coverage through out the weekend James.

  17. VV says:

    Very dull race, I thought. Not helped by the red button not working properly and being stuck with the standard BBC commentary! I turned the TV off half-way through and went for a walk. I saw a rabbit. Much more interesting.

    Singapore may look fantastic, but the track is dreadful.

  18. Ed says:

    I wish people would stop all the JB bashing! I think it is worth point out that Lewis last year won 5 races. Kimi was 6 the year before. Alonso in 05/6 was 7 each time. Consistency is the key.

    Whether he wins them all at the beginning, all at the end, or spread out across the season it doesn’t matter, he has won the most races of anybody this year and that is how it will stay.

    He has only failed to score a point in Belgium when he was booted off by Grosjean!

    Rant over…

    James,

    anymore on JB’s contract situation for 2010?

    1. Mary says:

      Actually Lewis won 6 races on the track last year

    2. Cliff says:

      The voice of reasoning.

      Well done Ed!

  19. Will Rook says:

    Good race, I certainly enjoyed it, although spent the entire race expecting Lewis to make an error and stick it in the wall again! Anyway, just wondered, are you surprised that Sutil has only been fined for his crash with NH? Seems quite dangerous to me, and yet no point penalty or grid drop?

    1. AlexD says:

      Sorry to ask. What did you like in this race?

      1. Will Rook says:

        I liked seeing the drivers really work for it. No mistakes, precision driving etc. F1 is about pushing limits, and here you needed to do that, but without putting a foot wrong. The night race is a hell of a spectacle as well!

  20. raffamuffin says:

    Bah. just makes me think – what if?! If the Australian GP didn’t happen the way it did, Lewis had got some good points in Spa and binned it at the last GP. Still it’s nice to see he could hold it together and do this for the team. Here’s hoping McLaren can get 3rd in the constructors and kick some ass next year :)

  21. raffamuffin says:

    Bah. just makes me think – what if?! If the Australian GP didn’t happen the way it did, Lewis had got some good points in Spa and not binned it at the last GP. Still it’s nice to see he could hold it together and do this for the team. Here’s hoping McLaren can get 3rd in the constructors and kick some ass next year

    1. Paige Michael-Shetley says:

      Not to mention not binning it in Q1 at Monaco. He was a serious threat for a podium that weekend.

      If we just take the Oz, Monaco, Spa (yeah, he was caught up in a mess, but he got a bad start there), and Monza incidents, we’re talking potentially about another 20 points or so that Hamilton has left on the table this season. So he’d be challenging Vettel for third in the standings, which would have been an impressive feat for someone who drove a dog for the first half of the year.

      1. Stevie P says:

        I’d agree with that; yet hindsight is such a wonderful thing.

  22. ati says:

    There are only 2 drivers at the moment who would be worthy of carrying the title Corld Champion, and those are Hamilton and Raikkonnen. Because they fight and drive on the edge at all times like a real champion would do.

    Not Button, who drives around like a scared little mouse since Turkey…he will be the weakest champion F1 has known.

  23. mag says:

    I’ve just seen on French television an interview with Renault’s managing director Jean-Francois Caubet after the race. He actually confirms that Alonso will leave Renault after this season and switch to Ferrari. Finally an “official” statement after all the rumors about Alonso-Ferrari. When do you think Ferrari will announce their new driver, James?

  24. Paul Mc says:

    Jenson needs to be doing what Lewis is doing at the moment. A champions drive from start to finish. I really hope its not a case of getting it home in every race to secure the championship.

    The only highlight on track for me this year has been the qualifying sessions. The races are more boring than ever it seems.

    1. Richard Mee says:

      I don’t agree… He’s about 5.5 hour’s racing time away from achieving his professional life’s singular goal. If he has an ounce of brain at this stage he’ll do whatever is necessary to achieve it. Throwing it away in a blaze of glory would be perhaps more impressive to watch but would be spectacularly stupid. And if he did that no doubt he’d receive massive criticism for not doing only what needed to be done. Let him bring the title home his way. If he finds himself in a similar position in the future and is still Mr Jitters then the case for criticism becomes stronger. I don’t think it can be overestimated how much this title means to him.

      ps. agree this race was pretty dull though. Could the tv commentators introduce some kind of alarm to wake up the sleeping viewers with 3-4 laps remaining?

      1. Just A Bloke (Martin) says:

        Re Sleeping viewers, glad its not just me !

    2. Phil says:

      Eh? You’re saying JB didn’t drive like a champion? So, you missed him doing his first lap charge and, crucially, getting past Nakajima on a track where overtaking is nigh-on impossible? You missed him putting in the fast laps when he really, absolutely had to? You missed him having a proper go at Vettel towards the end? You missed him nursing a very sick set of brakes through the last eight laps or so? You failed to spot that he kept out of all the walls, did not stray across any white lines, did not speed in the pit lane, or make an illegal off-track overtaking manoeuvre? Are none of these achievements the mark of a champion?

      The reason JB didn’t drive like Lewis yesterday is because he and/or the team screwed up in qualifying, landing him in the middle of the field. This happens to everyone at some point and from there Button made the best of a compromised situation. That’s what champions are made of.

      1. Paul Mc says:

        So your criteria for a drive of a champion is not crashing into the walls, driving a few fast laps, not going over the white lines on a pit lane exit? Are you serious? My point was that i would much prefer to see Jenson put in a commanding win rather than making the best of a compromised situation after compromised situation. Lewis did the job in qualifying and in the race, its something we have not seen from JB in a good while. I hope he does win the WDC but as an F1 fan i dont want to see him tip toe over the line, i wanna see him finish it off in style. Im not taking anything away from JB or his abilities he has shown in the first half of the season that he is pure class. Id love to see him seal the WDC with a win

      2. Phil says:

        No, you have missed my point (and ignored crucial parts of my argument in your reply).

        You think racing is about domination. I do not.

        That is all.

  25. Antoine says:

    Hi James, have two off topic questions,

    - Sine Singapore is a night race I believe drivers’ time management to be differently [Everything is moved 6 hours ahead] They arrive at the track around 4pm local time… Is that the case for the rest of the Paddock [including you]?

    - About how old is the youngest mechanic in the Paddock.

    Thanks JA.

  26. Brian Morrison says:

    It never fails to amaze me how people seem to expect drivers to run away with titles, that is only a relatively recent phenomenon, in the 70s and 80s reliability problems often led to knife edge championships.

    Today, Jenson Button showed that he has the ability to recover from poor qualifying by extending his championship lead on a bad day for Brawn. He has already demonstrated his class with his early season 6 wins.

    That’s what it’s about, finishing the season with the most points. I’d love to see another dominant weekend, but even if he doesn’t manage that he’s already seen off the other drivers through a combination of factors, one of which is making hay while the sun shines!

  27. Silverstoned says:

    James, just a word about Ferrari.
    Could this have been their year and they just didn’t know it?
    That decision after Massa’s accident to stop developing the car came at just the moment when the Brawns and Red Bulls started to falter. Granted that the points deficit was massive. Still Raikkonen is a driver who likes being the underdog and being sent out to reel in a massive deficit. If his run of good results was allowed to continue who’s to say he would not have run one or both of the Brawns close? I guess they just don’t want to win with anyone whose name begins with R and ends with N.

  28. Matt W says:

    It wasn’t a great race. Somehow Monaco still seems to be the grand daddy of the street circuits as it usually provides an exciting race even without much overtaking. Having said that, there have been a few good moves at Monaco over the last few years and I’m surprised it still keeps that reputation so strongly.

    Alonso’s comments about Briatore surprised me and kind of highlighted why I don’t think Ferrari should have signed him. He is too much of a trouble maker and being involved in the two biggest scandals of the last few years can be no coincidence. I fear we have seen the last of Massa being allowed equal treatment.

    Things had better go well for Alonso at Ferrari because his options won’t be great otherwise.

    1. Fausta says:

      It is nice to see Alonso not playing the political correct game.

      1. Matt W says:

        I don’t think political correctness comes into it. It was incredibly inappropriate to endorse Briatore at the same venue that the scandal started, in the same week that Briatore was given a life ban.

        What transpired in Singapore 2008 was incredibly damaging to the sport, and Alonso would have been wise to keep quiet rather than dedicate a podium to a cheat.

      2. Fausto Cunha says:

        Maybe he´s not a correct guy himself.

  29. Terry Edwards says:

    Having visited the Singapore race circuit as a long term F1 and Lewis Hamilton follower, I then proceeded with my brother to Newton Food Market for a celebratory meal. When leaving the establishment we walked past and found yourself, some other TV crew and Mr Eddie Jordan. Whilst leaving, Mr Jordan was highly disrespectful to me and my brother, and it appeared you all had had a little too much to drink. I find this, even though not your personal behaviour a stain on your own reputation, and believe you in future should think about the company you keep.
    Ted Kravitz was also present and had previously chatted with us and shared our enthusiasm for the sport. This has happened upon chance meetings on more than one occasion. I feel you and Mr Jordan should take heed of this, and think about how you represent the sport in general. After all F1 needs all the fans it can get! Having travelled 9000 miles this has left me deeply saddened, and if yourself or other respective parties wish to reply to my contact e-mail address I would gladly hear your comments.

    Thanks in anticipation of a reply.

    Terry.

    1. James Allen says:

      Sorry, I have no idea what you are referring to. I wasn’t there. Are you confusing me with Joe Saward, who posted on his blog that he’d been out with Eddie Jordan and the BBC guys?

  30. rpaco says:

    Sutil’s fine is not what we want, we need another form of penalty that means something. I suggest a second added to his complete race time in the following race or a 5 place on the grid penalty.
    Also I would like to know who calibrates the pit lane speed radar and how they do it, Vettel was obviously very surprised at his speeding infringement, which ruined a possible exciting later part of the race as did Rosberg’s stupid mistake. Two front runners kicked out undoubtedly changed the colour of the race. Although the right bloke won.

    Alonso first refusing to admit that he won by his team cheating last year and then dedicating this race to the one who led the cheating is basically sticking two fingers up at the FIA (one finger if you’re USA based)

    Agreed that Timo Glock’s was the drive of the day, but Lewis held it together very nicely too as did both Brawns after a shambles of quali.

    It was notable that of the Red Bull teams only Vettel survived with usable brakes. Even the McLarens were starting to have high brake temperatures. Yet this has not been a visible issue to date this year. James, is it possible to find out and list which teams are using brakes please.
    As was said afterwards by Martin Whitmarsh, the brake sizes allowed in the current regs will be not sufficient to cope with the extra loads next season (No refuelling, cars starting with 2-3 times the current fuel load)

    1. krad says:

      “James, is it possible to find out and list which teams are using brakes please.”

      All of them I hope 8)

    2. George says:

      Alonso owes a lot to Flabbio, it didn’t surprise me when he dedicated the podium to him.

      People slag Hamilton off for being too political, then do the same to Alonso for speaking his mind, they cant win.

      Kudos to Glock, I cant believe how far ahead of Trulli he’s been this weekend.

    3. Rory H says:

      “James, is it possible to find out and list which teams are using brakes please.”

      i would’ve thought every team is using brakes on their cars!

    4. Oli says:

      AFAIK all the teams use brakes…..;-)

      1. Martin P says:

        Actually he may have just hit on a plan to get a faster lap time. Why didn’t the designers think of that?!

      2. rpaco says:

        Ah I wondered who would be the first to spot that, you stupid boy!

        As you all should know, brakes are banned for next year, except for Ferrari and Renault. ;-)

        Since It’s quite possible to race a goKart without using the brakes, (Don’t argue I’ve done it myself in a big warehouse in Guildford.) then it should just be just a slightly different technique for F1 cars. ;-P

  31. Adron Gardner says:

    Whatever Briatore is or isn’t deserving of blame for, after two world championships and a good career by any standard of any sport Alonso has a lot to thank Flavio Briatore for.

    At $40 million + a year a driver clearly can keep his mouth shut if told, and as a human being, he can speak his mind but I think today he probably was speaking for the feelings of the team and not just himself.

  32. Steve Evans says:

    Great drive by Lewis, perfect antidote to Monza. James, i’m really off topic here but will the pit crews be wearing shirts and shorts for tyre changes next year? Those boys must get so hot in those overalls!

    1. James Allen says:

      Good question, don’t know, but I guess they don’t need firesuits any more

  33. David Smith says:

    James,

    Question for you – do the teams stay out in the far east including yourself as suzuka is only a few days away. As I guess the teams are usually at a circuit tues/weds before the GP anyhow and it seems pointless to fly home to europe and then back pretty much straight away.
    I know the drivers prob stay out there – but was interested in what the team personnel do.
    Cheers

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes most people stay out, the mechanics get the cars stripped down and then travel Monday to Japan. Some people go on holiday to Thailand, which is jus north of Singapore, all kinds of things really. A popular option is to go to Tokyo for a few nights, that’s what the drivers mainly do

  34. LMW says:

    Cars looked great, but with the changes to the circuit, I think it should have been 5 laps less in total.

    I missed the 2nd Safety Car though, or was it Lee McKenzie’s imagination..?

  35. JP says:

    Please can someone do something about Leggard. The BBC should be embarrassed at just how poor he is at his job. Dull, repetitive, and if he says “push on” once more then the TV gets it. The “Ant and Crofty” show puts Leggard and Brundle to shame. Brundle actually sounds as if he doesn’t want to be there anymore. And who could blame him? For goodness sake we need some enthusiasm back. Someone who sounds as if they are enjoying the sport. JA you need to knock on some doors for next year. Please.

    1. Cliff says:

      Anthony Davidson is a top pundit, I tend to be in my car during Friday Practice and I am allways impressed with him. I’m not sure David Croft could do the tv gig, but they do complement each other. Having waffled all that, I’d much rather see AD in a F1 Car!
      James,
      Have any of the new teams approached him yet?

      1. James Allen says:

        I think they have yes

  36. Rich C says:

    I laughed at Alonso’s remark about Flav. He obviously thinks the punishment didnt fit the crime.

    I really, *really dont like all those kerbs in the middle of the street around the course. They’re just stupid. Theres no reason for that. It’s as if they want to race in a parking lot with little white lines outlining the course.

    1. rpaco says:

      Have to agree about all the chicanes, they have taken the bravado out of the sport, now no there are no huge fast corners are balls out! Silverstone in particular was ruined by all the infield twiddly bits.
      Best way to regulate the sport for the future and green as well, would be to reduce the total race fuel per car every season by 10%. (compound obviously.)

      Take away the engine restrictions just the fuel limit will achieve more technical development in the next few years than all the other regs put together and all about fuel economy, energy conservation (KERS and similar)and ultimately being green.

      1. Rich C says:

        If you limited the fuel then people would complain about it being ‘an economy run’ not a race.
        When Champcars had driver-adjustable boost and limited fuel they always had this strategy option and people *always complained. Dunno about current IRL rules

  37. John says:

    Just my thought – How come poor Rosberg had his race ruined by a drive through for the mistake he obviously tried to correct at the time yet NP gets away scot-free for deliberately stacking the car?

  38. Charanjit says:

    In the history of F1 there are only 30 champions. Think about that for a minute. Think about all the drivers that have competed in F1 and those in junior categories trying to break in. Becoming an F1 champion is entry into a very exclusive club. At the end of the season, we typically see the major title protagonists trading blows – ie dividing the wins amongst themselves. However, this year we are seeing the “title contenders” picking up the lower placings. Why is this? Simply because a rule aberration has resulted in an effective tier 2 talent championship. Button’s poor performance has gone unpunished because he is being chased by F1′s lesser talent. Button is certainly the weakest WC in the last 20 years and maybe the weakest ever.

    1. Monktonnik says:

      Wrong! Raikkonen didn’t really look like a contender until the last three races in 2007. JB destroyed everyone on in the first 7 races. If that had continued we would all be saying how boring F1 has become, again!

    2. Glen says:

      In my opinion he was the best of the rest behind Schumacher in 2004. This year Button has been very consistent, more so than Massa or Hamilton 2008. He has made decisions and passes that have made a difference.

    3. Stevie P says:

      “…this year we are seeing the “title contenders” picking up the lower placings. Why is this?”

      Well, it’s because of a whole host of things…

      It’s because Ferrari and McLaren, spent time on their 08 car, when others were developing their 09 car – in particular Brawn.

      It’s because F and M were shocklingly bad at the start of the season and others weren’t – Brawn, Red Bull, Williams & Toyota.

      It’s because in previous seasons, cars have been evolutions of a previous car… you find\design a good car, thus you keep a good car as the seasons pass by. The changes are evolutionary thus those in-front stay at the front – F & M have been dominant in the past decade or so, because of this.

      It’s because in this season the reg changes were massive… McLaren have only just caught up relatively speaking (and only on certain types of track). Ferrari have abandoned this years car and are looking at 09. Look at BMW, last year contenders; this year, nowhere – they had “in essence” a brand new car in Singapore.

      This also means that last years (and previous seasons) “car based” data is nigh on meaningless e.g. 08 – grooved tyres and aero “tweaks” here, there and everywhere; in 09, slick tyres and totally different sized wings… Have you noticed how more “tweaks” are appearing on the front wing and sidepods as the year progresses? The engineers etc are clawing back the aero losses.

      It’s because, the lack of in-season testing has restricted the bigger teams, from spending hour upon hour on the test track refining their design and solutions. This also means a solution which in the wind-tunnel looks fantastic, doesn’t always transfer to the race track – Brawn’s mid-season stumble.

      Further to this, you could say that certain teams have made certain upgrade\changes for certain types of track – Force India were flying in Spa & Monza with their new low down-force config; yet in Singapore they struggled.

      And I haven’t even mentioned KERS in all of this… Ferrari and McLaren have run it throughout the season.

      All the drivers in F1 are great drivers generally speaking (I ignore those who have “paid” for a drive or have got in through “connections”!) – the car makes the subtle difference.

      You state “we typically see…” – well, that says it all… as this is not a typical season!

      If Massa or Hamilton had won last years WDC earlier in the season… both Ferrari and McLaren would’ve turned to their 09 cars sooner… thus they may have been in the hunt earlier in the season.

      Totally unfair and subjective to say “Button’s the weakest WC in the last 20 years… maybe ever”… it’s totally unfounded. If Brawn were the only car with a DD, then I could understand your rationale, somewhat, but they weren’t.

      I’m loving this season… it’s refreshing to have Brawn and Red Bull battling for the WDC and WCC. Next year, those two will be strong, due to “evolution of their 08 cars”… and Ferrari and McLaren (whoever their drivers may be) will be strong too… so 09 bodes well too.

      1. Harveyeight says:

        Thanks for that, Stevie. Interesting read.

      2. Stevie P says:

        Hee, hee, hee. I started typing a quick response… and “War and Peace” (Tolstoy’s BIG book) came out. Sorry!

        F1 is convoluted – ok, make that very very convoluted. There are many reasons why we’ve had a season like this, in 2009, and for some it’s been a shock – I was trying to indicate some of these “reasons” and how they entwine.

    4. Richard Mee says:

      I’m sorry but this is utter boo-larks!

      Unless you count “F1′s lesser talent” as a bunch of unbelievably talented drivers belonging for teams who a, missed a trick last winter…b, can’t put together a reliable racing car…or c, are already channeling all their attention on 2010′s effort.

  39. John says:

    I thought it was a great race….I’d backed Glock & Alonso to finish in the top 3 kerrrchinggggg!!!

  40. Ian Blackwell says:

    Not the best Grand Prix ever by any stretch but I must say the night race/city circuit makes for spectacular viewing and needs to be applied elswhere (Imagine a Tokyo/Hong Kong/Las Vegas street circuit at night).

    One question I have is on the differing paths Mclaren and Ferrari seem to have taken. Mclaren has continued to pour improvements into this year’s car while Ferrari seem to have given up and say they are working on next year’s car. Mclaren claim that the stability in the regulations for next year will mean all the work on this year’s car pays off next year as well. If that is indeed the case, why would Ferrari stop improving their car now and miss the opportunity to use the rest of this season as a extended test session? Surely one of the two teams is badly wrong here.

    1. Bad_Whippet says:

      Apparently Ferrari have gone on record saying they made fundamental design errors with this years car, so they need to design theirs from the ground up for next year.

      McLaren on the other hand, whilst starting the season with a dog of a car, have got a good foundation for 2010.

    2. DK says:

      Maybe Ferrari is secretly developing next year’s specially designed for Alonso.

  41. Trent says:

    I’m surprised at the criticism of the Singapore circuit. I think it’s fantastic, and not just because of the spectacular scenery. It’s the type of circuit that you can really see a driver attack; locking wheels in the bumpy braking zones, fighting powerslides on the corner exits while keeping it inches from the wall, with sparks and dust flicking up from the diffuser down the straights. Even when there’s no passing, I feel I’ve seen a great race.

      1. Stevie P says:

        And me…

        It’s the aero packages that prevent a car from getting in close to make a pass on a car in front – not specifically a track (although sure, Monaco’s a nightmare – but then, that’s a different challenge entirely).

        The first lap or two (when the tyres are outside their operating range) or when someone’s on a considerably different fuel level, is when we see on track passes. Other than that, I’m not sure the regs have worked re: over-taking. I’m not sure they ever will.

        It will be different (to begin with) next year to see how full-tanks affect tyre-wear and thus race-pace. But you can guarantee, the engineers, designers et al, will solve the problems and we’ll be back to less over-taking.

        It’s inherent, if the fast cars start at the front and the slow at the back. [In quali they should soak the track and put some randomness into the grids ;-)]

        People bang on about Button being shoddy… but go back to his pass on Hamilton – I think it was in Bahrain – earlier in the season, it was immense… and Lewis had KERS too. Button had to get past, so did Vettel; Jenson made it, Seb didn’t and spent the race looking at Lewis’s exhaust. These are the little things that combine to make a WDC… im(h)o.

    1. Sayuri says:

      And Me. Attendance is great too.

  42. AlexD says:

    For me personally this race easily wins the category of most boring races of the year. It is not a secret that real F1 fans do not like races lie Valencia, Singapore, etc.
    There is no racing, the track is dirty and bumpy, there is no overtaking, pit lane exit is a disaster, etc
    I need to say it was a pleasure to watch Spa – it always is….but….it looks like racing is not the most important element of the game. Glamour certainly is.

    1. iceman says:

      There was no overtaking (apart from off the start, and apart from Rosberg fighting his way back a few places) but that doesn’t mean there was no racing. Clearly there was. What was Button doing in the 4-5 laps before his last pit stop? Racing to take 5th place from Barichello and Kovalainen. And how did Vettel hold on to 4th despite a drive-through? By racing.
      I would suggest that real F1 fans appreciate the strategic aspects of the formula, and understand that drivers can be racing one another without necessarily being in the same camera shot all the time.

      1. Trent says:

        The battle between Sutil and the Torro Rosso was pretty good too. Someday, I do believe they will formulate some rules to assist overtaking – 15 years ago I heard the likes of Max Mosely talking about the same issue, but so little has been done because of the self-interested people involved. The talk of the mid-nineties was about putting two cars into a wind tunnel together to learn about turbulence effects…fast forward to 2009 and they’ve come an embarassingly small way with it, if they indeed did that work at all. If there can be great racing in GP2 at Valencia then Singapore will come into its own when the cars are changed.

        I love Spa too – but I don’t want a calender of 19 Spa’s – variety is the key and Singapore is unlike anything else out there. On the other hand, I’d be quite happy to see the end of featureless tracks like Barcelona.

  43. Just A Bloke (Martin) says:

    Morning all,

    Part 1-Given what happened with Rosberg, who clearly gained no advantage and made best endeavours to get back inside the white line, can someone explain where the demarcation of the track is at La Source.

    Webbo gets told to give back two places for being pushed wide, Rosberg gets a drive through yet Kimi seemed to gain massive advantage by deliberately using the run off. I seem to remember Mansell doing the same years ago.

    Part 2-I know the pit lane exit is slightly different to the main race track in terms of regulations but surely even the most bone headed official could see that there was no danger and that there had been no malice in his move. Perhaps a fine or warning would be more appropriate given the implications of the drive through. Any thoughts on alternative punishments ?

  44. jose says:

    Perfect race for hamilton.
    Button world champ. He might not win another gp in his career. But 2009 was his lucky year.
    Next year we’ll watch the fight everybody wants to see. Hamilton-alonso.
    Both at the top of their game.
    Make your bets…

    1. Tripod Ape says:

      If Raikkonen does return to McLaren and Massa recovers to join Alonso at Ferrari I’d suggest we’re looking at a scintillating 4-way title battle next year. However if Red Bull and Brawn produce outstanding cars again, then the title could be wide open with up to eight drivers in with a realistic chance – roll on March 2010.

  45. Antonis says:

    Well done ‘Nando!

    Nice result, and it’s always great to see a great driver behaving like a brave person, and not back-stubbing his mentor, as the little Little Liar (aka LH) and his little Daddy did after the LiarGate :)

    Oh, and looking forward to Ferrari’s announcement!

    1. Mav says:

      What? Just like the driver who declared that “The team don’t love me anymore” when they were delivering him a WDC in 2006? The same one who tryed to blackmail his boss with Ferrari technical information that HE had actively been cheating with? The same driver who is famed for dictating his race strategy etc., yet strangely forgot to in Singapore 2008?

      I see plenty of toys leaving the pram at Ferrari……

      1. Antonis says:

        I see plenty of wins and championships coming at Ferrari!

        PS: I don’t recall RD being FA’s mentor or something. But i recal RD saying “we were racing against Fernando”… great team spirit…

      2. Antonis says:

        Also, you want us to believe that half the McLaren team knew about the data, and the other half not?? In particular not LH??

        And not that there was some short of deals to keep their star-of-the-future clean?? Exactly as the did with the LiarGate??

        I see…

  46. Baz says:

    The race was typical for a street circuit; an exciting couple of opening laps and then a procession with little chance of overtaking. This is where viewing the race from the onboard cameras is far more exciting. Street circuits like Singapore and Monaco pose a real challenge for the drivers as there is little room for error, because of the bumpy surfaces and walls. With onboard cameras you truly get to appreciate the skill of the drivers. Very entertaining.

  47. Rob says:

    What a good race – really enjoyed it – despite minimum action.

    A much better spectacle and asset to the Calendar than Valencia.

    1. Spyros says:

      Actually… if this year’s Valencia and Singapore GPs were the first GPs held on each of these venues, I might have voted on Valencia being the most interesting new track..!

  48. ilias says:

    i think button has emerged as a ‘don’t crack under pressure’ guy…he’s hardly had any mistakes this year ,and as you can see vettel is the one who gets the penalties ,barri the one who pulls the trigger on the wall..and yet jenson comes up with valuable points for the championship…
    i can see him get the crown in brazil in front of ecstatic rubinho fans…how’s that?;)
    a champion’s drive from hamilton and a champion’s ride to the world championship from button…sums up the race and season so far…

  49. Paul says:

    Boring, Boring, Boring, How can they build a new track without overtaking places?? Get rid of the designer.

    Well done Jenson, the drive of a champion!!

  50. jonas says:

    So … Jenson can win the championship in Japan, right? 5 points more than Rubens and it’s all over ……

  51. john g says:

    i think to say glock was driver of the day is very generous. he got given position by a bad call by charlie whiting on webber, and then lucked into the safety car.

    i’d say that vettel getting 4th despite a drive through and broken diffuser drove better.

    also, i think the drive through penalty is way too harsh for such minor discretions. why not just make the drivers drop 5 seconds over 3 laps, should be easy enough? and the webber penalty was a joke. firstly, having a little kerb in a bit expanse of asphalt is clearly a crap way of making a circuit. secondly, loads of drivers went wide when side by side, it’s part of racing. but they didn’t get penalised for doing essentially the same thing, but to a slightly lesser extent. this post spa ruling is still totally arbitary (tho i guess it’s representative of a lot of FIA decisions).

    to answer a question above, about why NPJ got no punishment whatsoever for coming up with the idea of crashing, and then going through with it, knowingly endangering other drivers, marshalls, and spectators safety, for the sole purpose of trying to secure a contract for the following year, is that the FIA in their wisdom* decided to grant him immunity if he pointed the finger at someone else who was involved to a lesser extent, that they could punish instead.

    *unbound determination to remove flav, who had happened to upset max, from F1

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes but look at the relative pace of the cars they were driving

    2. Ace says:

      …and didn’t Vettel break his own diffuser?

      I kinda agree with you that the punishment for a ‘minor’ infringement in the pitlane is harsh, but Vettel knows the rules and the penalty, it was a rather silly error to make.

  52. Miguel says:

    I think it was ridiculous and sad for Alonso to dedicate the podium to Briatore.
    I understand that Alonso feels Briatore is partly responsable for his success and to have hired a lot of the Renault employees.
    But he also shouldn’t have forgotten so easily that Briatore was also responsable for the biggest fraud in the sport’s history, endangering the jobs of the same 600 employees, damaged a huge car maker’s reputation, the all sports credibility not to mention the lifes of drivers, spectators and marshals.
    And in the scene of the crime, Alonso talks like it was none of his business, still think’s his last year win was fair and legitimal. Then in this year’s race, he gets a podium and what does he do? He treats Briatore like a Hero. What is this? Unbelievable
    He may be a good driver, but he’s a shameful guy.

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