Formula 1’s first night race in Singapore has been a massive success. In a season of great Grands Prix, this was another classic race. Once again it turned on a safety car and showed the importance of race strategy in determining the outcome. And as far as the championship is concerned it showed that the team which makes the fewest mistakes will win the title.
Ferrari had the pace to get a 1-2 finish here and before Nelson Piquet’s accident triggered a safety car on lap 16, it looked very much as though Kimi Raikkonen would jump Lewis Hamilton in the pit stop and back his team mate Massa up to the finish. The Ferrari was half a second a lap faster than the McLaren in the opening stint and Lewis was looking down the barrel of a whooping from Ferrari. Without the pit stop foul-up for Massa, Lewis would have left here three points behind the Brazilian with three races to go.
But the safety car and the subsequent dash for the pits changed everything. It wrecked Kubica’s race because he had to pit for fuel when the pit lane was closed and then when Massa and Hamilton pitted together, in their haste to get Massa out ahead, they released him with the fuel hose still attached. [ … ]