F1 Winter Break
Unreachable Vettel within touching distance of the title after Singapore win
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Sep 2011   |  5:44 pm GMT  |  155 comments

Sebastian Vettel is just one point away from clinching the world championship after another dominant performance in the Singapore Grand Prix. Only Jenson Button stands in his way, but a single point from any of the remaining five races will do it for him.

It was Vettel’s ninth win of the season, he joins Michael Schumacher and Nigel Mansell as the only drivers who have won nine races in an F1 season. It was also the 19th of his career. Amazingly, having led almost 600 laps this year this was the first time this year he has led a race from start to finish!

Jenson Button had another strong weekend with second place, which consolidates his position behind Vettel in the drivers’ championship and takes him further ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton in the points race.

Button, who jumped Webber for second place at the start and was untroubled thereafter, was reeling Vettel in at the end here, but he didn’t really have a chance to attack the champion, especially after being held up earlier by Kobayashi, who didn’t observe the blue flags and was given a drive through penalty. He also lost time at the end behind the two Williams cars which were battling for position.

“I was in control,” said Vettel of the closing stages. “Obviously I faced the traffic first, had to slow down, but then Jenson has to face the same problem once I’m through. I found myself on the last lap with five seconds lead. We had turned the engine down towards the end of the race. Jenson looked like he was flat out, nothing to lose, but we were in control.”

Mark Webber finished third after a good battle with Fernando Alonso, whom he had to overtake once again. But once again he is left ruing his poor starts, losing two places off the line here to Button and Alonso, albeit he did start from the dirty side of the grid.

Paul di Resta had an outstanding night; he chose a different strategy being the highest placed driver on the grid to start on the (harder) soft tyre. It set him up for a career best sixth place, with Force India’s joy being completed by Adrian Sutil picking up more points in 8th place.

Force India knew they didn’t have the pace to compete with Mercedes on qualifying pace, but believed they could get from lights to flag faster than the Silver Arrows using the two types of tyre available. So it proved, Di Resta beating Rosberg, who once again was not able to finish ahead of his grid position.

Ferrari saw Alonso come in fourth on a day when Technical Director Pat Fry admitted that their car didn’t have the pace on either tyre compound. This is a big disappointment for Ferrari, who were very competitive in Monaco on the same tyre compounds.

And it was another of “those” races for Lewis Hamilton who lost four places at the start, then had a collision with Felipe Massa in which he broke his front wing and for which the stewards gave him a drive through penalty. In total Hamilton passed through the pits five times.

Massa lost out hugely in the incident; he had a puncture and had to tour slowly back to the pits. He was furious with Hamilton after the race and confronted him privately, but Hamilton rebuffed him. So he raised his objections in front of the TV cameras and later lambasted the Englishman,

“He cannot use his mind,” said Massa. “He could have caused a big accident. He is paying for that, that’s the problem. He doesn’t understand, even paying for a problem.

“The problem was that I was in the middle so I had a puncture in my tyres and I pay a lot. It is important that FIA is looking and penalising him all the time he is going in the car because he cannot think about it,” Massa added.

The pair had had problems the day before with Hamilton forcing his way past the Ferrari driver on an outlap.

Hamilton fought back through the field with a series of overtakes to claim fifth place at the end and following the confrontation with Massa, did not face the media for comment.

The race once again featured a safety car around half distance; this seems to be the time when it happens here – possibly as a result of tyre wear and driver fatigue – and it maintains Singapore’s 100% safety car record. It was annoying for Vettel in one sense, as he had built an 18 second lap, largely thanks to a mesmerising opening stint.

But in another sense it was helpful to him as traffic was a big problem today and by bunching up the field behind him, it meant that he didn’t have to lap as many cars as he might have done in the second half of the race without a safety car.

The safety car was triggered by an accident for Michael Schumacher, who misread the body language of Sergio Perez’ Sauber and hit him. Perez was able to continue and scored a point for tenth place.

SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX, Marina Bay Circuit, 61 Laps

1. Vettel Red Bull 1h59:06.537
2. Button McLaren + 1.737
3. Webber Red Bull + 29.279
4. Alonso Ferrari + 55.449
5. Hamilton McLaren + 1:07.766
6. Di Resta Force India + 1:51.067
7. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap
8. Sutil Force India + 1 lap
9. Massa Ferrari + 1 lap
10. Perez Sauber + 1 lap
11. Maldonado Williams + 1 lap
12. Buemi Toro Rosso + 1 lap
13. Barrichello Williams + 1 lap
14. Kobayashi Sauber + 2 laps
15. Senna Renault + 2 laps
16. Kovalainen Lotus + 2 laps
17. Petrov Renault + 2 laps
18. D’Ambrosio Virgin + 2 laps
19. Ricciardo HRT + 4 laps
20. Liuzzi HRT + 4 laps
21. Alguersuari Toro Rosso + 5 laps

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A great win for Seb - flawless as we've come to expect. I thought it was telling that Brundle mentioned in the Sunday Times that Vettel was the only driver to visit Pirelli over the Winter in order to gain an insight to the new tyres' characteristics. If true, then I think that says more about the other drivers than it does for Vettel....

Disappointed for Lewis as he'd recovered strongly in Q3 from earlier qualifying issues although it made it entertaining for us viewers. I would have thought it inconceivable that Button would finish higher in the championship than Lewis at the begining of the season but it looks game on for Jenson at the moment - a new first for Lewis: being beaten by a team-mate over a season's racing...?

Di Resta drove brilliantly and Perez looks to be making Kobayashi look a little slow these days.

I thought the circuit worked well in conjunction with the 2011 regs with some good passes and won't Alonso be fed up with all of Mark's brilliant passes...


I also believe Jenson has the measure of Lewis, and this is what is rattling him so much...


I think you've hit on the crux of Hamilton's performance lately. The past 2 years have been a fascinating battle of wills between 2 ace drivers for control of an F1 team. Outwardly, it's all smiles and hand shakes, but behind the scenes, it's as icy as it was in 2007. Button holds the upper hand now but it's far from over. With Pirelli itching to make a more durable tire for next season, thing could sway back towards Hamilton.


The LH-JB interteam battle definitely changed after Canada. But I think it's a bit much to say JB has the measure of LH. I can still see LH's brilliant pass on JB in China this year ... will we ever see JB pass LH in the same manner [by that I mean same car, no big difference in tires, no external factors such as weather, traffic, fuel saving, or one being chopped by Schuey 😛 ]?


Button still has yet to win a dry race for McLaren.

Button is having a banner year, while Lewis is having a nightmare year. And yet JB's only 17 pts ahead in those circumstances. That says it all, really.

I think JB knows this, and that's why he wants to get a contract penned now, when his stock is at its highest.


Agree with most of your comments, but if we use your logic we have to ask why JB is only 17 points ahead?

Answer: One mechanical failure in Germany and the failure to secure his R/F wheel before sending him out of the pits at Silverstone, both were out of his control! LH on the other hand has had the same number of DNF's and if we ask why LH is 17 points behind?

Answer: DNF's in Canada and Belgium..Both avoidable and self-inflicted. As a Mclaren fan I want to see them both challenging for WDC's but LH has to get his head together, and soon.



Hammy for sure is faster than Jens in outright pace, but this shows speed alone don't give you wins. Maturity and brains gives you that.

(Ok Jens didn't win but you know what I mean).


Impressive drive again by Vettel but driver of the day for me was Di Resta, what could this lad do in a Red Bull, Ferrari or McLaren I wonder?

Button continues to outdrive Hamilton who increasingly is starting to remind me of Juan Pablo Montoya. While Jenson doesn't have Lewis's raw speed over a single lap, he more than makes-up for it by smooth, consistent driving, maturity and intelligence.


We dont watch racing though to be bored out of our brains. Hamilton is a racer through & through, just like Senna was. Good though Button is he is just like Prost BORING. Although he is getting better and more aggresive which is good to see.


"...Di Resta, what could this lad do in a Red Bull, Ferrari or McLaren I wonder?"

I hope we will know soon.


“…Di Resta, what could this lad do in a Red Bull, Ferrari or McLaren I wonder?”

I hope we will know soon.

Yes, me too. Paul is a Mercedes protege so they may end-up placing him at Mercedes GP once Schumacher decides to call it quits. Hopefully by then Paul will have a competitive car to race!


Isnt it great to see a guy finally given his chance in F1, taking it by the horns and really driving well.

I know Paul from Junior formulae and he's always had the ability. Really glad to see Mercedes developing drivers. Lets hope to see Paffett given a chance as well.


I agree Andy. Yes, would be good to see Gary being given a chance and Bruno Spengler too in an ideal world...


Nice race from all of the top four and another "trashed" race from Lewis.

As his fan I can't stop thinking what's going on with him?

Is it only his frustration with the car? Or is it his "party life" that finally put him totally off course?

He is clearly the fastest out there, but as much as I don't want to, I have to agree with Massa - Lewis stopped thinking clearly on the track, he suddenly became too impatient, too aggressive...


BTW, James, can you say something on a wild rumor regarding Button's possible departure from McLaren due to their financial issues?

I mean it will be really strange considering that he is in a top form now and finally settled within the team and car... and actually is the only one, who can still beat Vettel (hypothetically of course...).


It was obvious just a matter of agreeing on a pay between Button and McLaren. But now that JB is the team leader and bringing more points then Lewis, he must also ask more money then LH..or at least the same.

As soon as they agree on that, the contract will be signed.

Button being so competitive at this stage is not the best situation for McLaren when they want to sign JB again.

JB deserves more money as is as good if not better then Lewis..at least this season.


can i also ask whats the latest regarding Jensons future at Mclaren James?

When Martin Whitmarsh was asked on the BBC F1 forum Eddie Jordon suggested a deal to extend JB's stay had been done.


Massa should be more concerned about his own driving. He's the worst driver Ferrari ever had. Thank goodness he didn't win the championship in 2008, he's not worth being call a champion. He makes Alonso look like a God.

Well done to Vettel! Fantastic drive!


Hey, would it be so bad for F1 if Hamilton and Massa went at it - helmets off? F1 needs a little bit of passion now that season is mathematically nearly wrapped up. And who better to provide it than a hot blooded Brazilian and a "big-up yourself" Lewis? When is the last time you saw racing moment's rush of blood to the head carry out of the cockpit? What's a few grand fine by the FIA for that type of entertainment value?

Personally, I wouldn't mind if these two would take each other out at a Suzuka turn with gravel so they can work out their differences like man. I like Massa, but I think Lewis could make him tap out - even with a HANS still on.

Do we have weight/height/reach numbers for both? 🙂


Come on now, Felipe is not even the worst driver Ferrari have had since he joined the team. Or the second worst for that matter.


Thank goodness he didn’t win the championship in 2008, he’s not worth being call a champion.

>> Looking at the way the 2008 Champion is behaving with lack of focus, crashing and complaining; I wonder even the 2008 champion is worth calling champion??


Looking at how outside factors impacted 2008, I hate to be a broken record, but in the words of Michael Corleone, "you don't exist to me" - 2008 championship.


'Massa should be more concerned about his own driving. He’s the worst driver Ferrari ever had.'

You obviously never saw Capelli or Badoer then.

Massa has won 11 races for Ferrari and finished 2nd in the championship in 2008. Sure, he's having a bad season this year, but he's far from being Ferrari's worst ever driver.


He really should've won that 2008 championship ... Ferrari had the better car over the year.

That was a well deserved DWC for Lewis that year ... he had to really fight for it. The last driver before him to win the DWC with their full-time teammate down in 7th or worse in the same standings was Alain Prost in 1985 (though to be fair to Niki Lauda, he only saw the chequered flag 3/16 times in 1985).


11 wins... within 1 point of the championship in 2008... yeah awful.


+1 LOL


James, it's all ifs and buts but do you think if Button had had less backmarkers in between himself and Vettel at the safety car restart we could have seen a battle for the win? Or did Vettel always have it covered?


Vettel definitely had it covered.

Just look at the first two stints - the McLaren couldn't live with Vettel. The third was still an expanding gap - Webber gained a little on Button and he was well off Vettel in the race.

If you look at the fastest laps Vettel's was on lap 51 with a 1:48.688 and Button did a 1:48.454 on lap 54. Button stopped on lap 48 and Vettel 49. James put the fuel effect in has strategy briefing at .35 per lap, so that puts Vettel's relative pace at a 1:47.63, so 0.8 of second faster if he wanted to be. Now, based on the rest of the season, do you really think he fried his tyres?

The statisticians don't really care on the gap unless you lap the entire field. There was no benefit in Vettel winning by a lot, so why risk the engine or gearbox?

BTW, only one driver, a relatively recent British world champ, has won by more than one lap in the history of F1.




Damon Hill Adelaide '95?


For my money, Vettel had it covered. On Button's first flying lap after the final pit stop, he did a 1:50.4, which was the fastest lap of the race up to that point. On the following lap, which was Vettel's first flyer after pitting, Vettel smashed it with a 1:48.6. I think he always had it under control.


HAM - very unlucky though not entirely blameless. I think Massa is overreacting and immature [imo -sorry!] Lewis is going through a difficult time. His teammate is overtaking him effortlessly, or so it seems. He needs strong support from Whitmarsh & the team.

BUT - easily best of the rest

VIT - great champ!


Lewis had more than his fair share of support in 2007,08 and 09


What did Massa do wrong? He defended position. He made no sudden movements. Hamilton and only Hamilton to blame


With respect the best of the rest has to be Alonso.


With respect, why? Great start, but overshadowed thereafter...


Ferrari pace is no match to Mclaren. And if you are talking about the entire season surely Alonso is the best of the rest. He was second in the championship before Singapore and now third. I wouldn't be surprised if he finishes second this season.


Congratulations to Seb, now effectively WDC 2011. He has really matured as a driver this year and is a deserved youngest-ever double world champion. He has made the competition (which includes another 4 WDCs) look very ordinary indeed at times this year.

Might even be time to put a £5 on him surpassing Schumi's 7 titles if he's got another 10-15 years of F1 ahead of him.

As for Lewis, would it perhaps make sense for McLaren to rest him for the remainder of 2011 and then maybe he can come back fresh next year? Jenson is starting to become the team leader here, consistently putting together the podium finishes and delivering on Sundays, when the points are awarded. And maybe Lewis could also benefit from some time away from the stewards' office? His head just doesn't seem right to go racing at the moment.

Here's a question for you all: Is Lewis still going to be a multi-WDC, or will he flatter to deceive, like a Villeneuve or a Kimi, for whom multiple titles were predicted, but in the end only grabbed one title during their F1 career.


These things go in cycles ... I think Vettel will go into next season as the driver/car combo to beat again, but there are a few regulation changes next year, but not enough in my opinion to bridge the big gap that there is between the RBR entry and all others. They are as dominant as the 1992-93 Williams, and the 2000-04 Ferrari's. All 14 poles, and 9 wins out of 14? This far exceeds what Brawn, Renault, or McLaren '98-'99 did in their "good years".

Really the big hope for the competition is that Newey has an off-year next year. He's had them before, but they're rare.

Mansell and Prost destroyed Senna in those two years with the active suspension cars. Is there anyone out there who regards Mansell as a better driver than Senna, or Prost circa '93 over Senna circa '93?

Bottom line, I wouldn't wager money against Lewis winning at least another DWC ... I wouldn't wager money against him winning another two. If McLaren produce a car as dominant relative to the rest of the field as the RB6 and RB7, then a DWC will follow for LH.

Last time someone won nine or more races was Schuey in 2004.


if Macca is able to built the best of the grid, Jense would certainly drive it to another DWC, he aleady did it with Brawn GP. On the other hand, Hamilton screwed it up in '07 having the best car and the whole Macca team behind him. He has never dominated consistently during a full F1 season, and that's the main difference between an "spectacular" driver and a champion. Once again Vettel is showing consistency and some sort of calm, cold blood; Hamilton's style has prevented him from being a true champ; he's just a fast bully who thinks he deserves to be in the top no matter what he accomplishes every season....I am sorry for Macca, they should have had at least one full WC or two since 2007


I don't know about you guys but wouldn't it just be the best thing in the world to watch all 5 former world champions in good equal cars?

And with all the young talent that's coming through?

Red Bull is definitely doing something right, but as is the nature of Formula 1, the other teams will figure it out soon enough.

I think that the fact that the rules are not changing dramatically next year and blown diffusers won't be around anymore means we could have a riveting season.

Either way, if this Vettel domination continues, I hope he is able to take it all the way past Schumi. I want to experience history being made.


Why was Lewis' failed overtake attempt so different from Michael Schu's incident that it attracted a drive-thru? As I saw it, Lewis gave up on the attempt and backed off - unfortunately, not sufficiently to avoid contact with a robustly defending Felipe Massa. Surely this is just a racing incident?

We hardly need Felipe crying into the cameras about a puncture. I thought this was a seriously competitive sport, where hard people competed with each other, not a cake-baking competition at the Women's Institute? Are all overtakes conducted in a gentlemanly manner, "After you, Sir - no, after you?" I think not.

Why do we need Granny stewards crying foul the moment someone infringes the Highway Code? This is Formula One, for heaven's sake! Isn't it?


Well Michael didn't ruin someones race and Lewis did.


James, if I remember correct there was a story pre-season about the penalty system. Thinking was along the lines of football's yellow and red cards where a driver with a couple of repremants could get DQ. Whatever happened to that? Surely LH must be close to a serious penalty with all the action he's caused this year?


It's amazing that so much is being made of Hamilton's contact with Massa, and yet nothing is said of Schumacher's collision with Perez. Hamilton get's a drive through for what could be considered a racing incident and Schumacher gets a reprimand. Last race Luizi got a 5 grid penalty.

And of course Schumacher got no penalty for blocking Hamilton.

Can't say I would blame Hamilton for feeling like he's being singled out for special treatment. Recall that Hamilton also got a penalty for causing Di Resta for going off track in a an earlier race when Hamilton did a 180 to resume racing, even though arguably Di Resta may have overreacted. And yet, in this race when Rosberg push Perez off the track it was apparently a non-issue.

Great consistency all around.


Fair comment. So how many incidents is one driver allowed in one year?


I think there are too many penalties given for 'racing incidents'. Lewis NEVER seems to ge the benefit of the doubt that is regularly given to other drivers, consider the last 2 races:-

Schumacher (twice - once for blocking, once for crashing)

Alonso (nearly causing Vettel to crash)

Rosberg (Hitting Perez)


agreed... how is LH's error of judgement in contacting the car in front any worse than Shumi's today? Nothing against Shumi, just inconsistent is Whiting/stewards.


As i said above, Hamilton's error cost another driver while Schumacher's did not.

Had Lewis clipped Massa with no damage to Massa's car/race I'd say no penalty was justified, The fact he gave Massa a puncture which comprimised Massa's race makes it worthy of a penalty.

Schumacher did not harm Perez's race, His error just took himself out the race so a repremand was the correct action to take.


LH ruined Massa's race.

He caused an avoidable accident.

The collision happened because LH beak to late in a move that was never to work. He was on the outside and turned in too early.

Is this so hard to understand?


I imagine if Schumacher hadnt done a "Superman" into the barriers he probably would have gotten a penalty. Usually the stewards look into what happened to the offending driver and the offended driver. Perez was ok and Schumacher had a heavy shunt that ended his race... Massa had his race handicapped and Hamilton was able to continue ergo Hamilton was penalized. Often drivers who retire but also tank the race of another driver receive grid slot penalties post race again because they negatively affected someone else's race. Lewis on a number of occasions has negatively affected other peoples races through over opportunistic driving and as a result he has had to visit the stewards a lot more than others, it all seams rather simple to me to be honest.


They are all different incidents.

Lewis hitting Massa caused damage to Massa's car which comprimised Massa's race.

Schumacher driving over Perez did nothing to harm Perez's race.

Rosberg hitting Perez also did not adversely affect Perez's race & Perez has said nothing to complain about it or the Schumacher incident.

Had Lewis clipped Massa & just taken off his own front wing then I would say no penalty should be applied, However the fact he badly comprimised Massa's race makes it worthy of a penalty in my view.

At Monza Liuzzi made a bad mistake which took out several cars, 5-spot grid penalty was correct.

As to the thing at Hungary, Lewis caused another driver to have to drive off track to avoid him. Those 180 spin turns have gone wrong in the past with drivers spinning too far etc... so trying to pull one off in the middle of the track was stupid on Hamilton's part.

He could/should have driven forward a bit & done the 180 turn on the tarmac run-off for the chicane which was directly ahead of him.

Also about the Monza 'blocking', Was nothing wrong with what Schumacher was doing, Was good, hard defensive driving.

Was pointed out yesterday that during Friday's drivers meeting they didn't even raise the issue which suggest's that the drivers didn't see it as that big a deal, If they did it would have been raised & discussed.


Hi Dave,

I'd agree with most of what you said, and thanks for writing it, but I'd say the Rosberg-Perez incident was pretty marginal, but it was wheel-to-wheel. I agree with Ross Brawn that Schumacher was playing with fire at Monza.

Schumacher at Monza was a case where the leading driver was ensuring there was no space down the inside and then moving back once he was sure no move was coming. The braking distances are long enough to do this to react to the car behind.

It would be very risky with the aerodynamic effects for Lewis to try to dart through the turbulent air to the inside while simultaneously braking, and mostly likely if Schumacher saw that Lewis hadn't lifted early he would have stayed the inside.

The key thing with blocking and moving back is that you prevent passing with basically no penalty as the corner entry is not compromised. A secondary thing is that changing lines in a braking zone is not particularly safe, particularly with less experienced drivers. What goes on in F1 sets the benchmark for behaviour on the track. Every other series will be no better and with junior drivrs generally a lot worse.

Tracks with consequences are a good thing (to paraphrase Peter Brock) and as fans we don't want them dumbed down - Eau Rouge and Radillon is now a question of how early can you open the DRS in the wet.




So a penalty based on the result of an incident, instead of for the incident itself? This brings even more subjectivity into play, something the FIA should be trying to move away from in their stewards' decisions.

It was clumsy by Lewis ... certainly there was zero intent in that move. It did harm Massa greatly, just b/c it takes a helluva long time to do one lap in Singapore. It harmed Lewis greatly too, as it blew his new-option's phase of the race. I wouldn't even call the move reckless, but some penalty has to be applied in those cases, b/c it's something that could be done in the heat of a championship and made to look all innocent. But instead of a 28 sec penalty, maybe the FIA should make one stretch of the track a "penalty" section that a driver must take for one lap, that would add say 5-10 sec's to a normal lap time. Yes, I know, could be a nightmare to manage.

As for Massa's outburst after the race, I put that alongside some injured gazelle complaining that all the predators are having a go at them. Massa is in a top three car, but has not been able to make the Big Five drivers into a Big Six.


Also, respect for Vettel and RB for the way they've dominated. Not sure about the UK and the rest of the world, but I've noticed that the way they handled team tactics/orders this year and last and Vet's finger has harmed his popularity in South Africa.

Even with his dominance its been a brilliant season. I'm sure most of his wins are quite controlled, but at least we're not seeing the utter and complete dominance of Williams in the 90's and Fer early 2000's. Loving it.



In 1992, Mansell had 9 wins after 14 rounds, with 12 poles. He ended up with 9 wins on the season (16 rounds). Patrese scored another win, and the car bagged 15 of 16 poles (Mansell with 14).

In 1993, Prost had 7 wins after 14 rounds, with 12 poles. The car bagged 15 of 16 poles, and 10 wins (Hill with 3). Still, Prost was only 26 pts ahead of Senna at the end (2 wins and a 2nd).

The RB7 has snagged 14/14 poles, and 9 wins. If that's not utter and complete domination, then it's at least complete domination.


A was a bit vague. What I meant was that at least Vettel is not lapping everyone up to and including fourth of fifth placed car.

Yeah outright wins its been a RB whitewash, but second, third and fourth placed competitor was within a couple of seconds.

And the exciting racing also makes up for Vet's dominance.


"but I’ve noticed that the way they handled team tactics/orders this year and last and Vet’s finger has harmed his popularity in South Africa." How???, as another South African it certainly has'nt in my opinion...


Maybe just the F1 fans I know!


After seeing Vettel all weekend not putting a foot wrong, I am pretty sure he is actually a robot! While it can be not much fun in a pure entertainment point of view his dominance on the track. Its truly incredible his out right speed and skill he has displayed this season. For me I feel the more races he wins it keeps pushing his confidence and speed higher. An ominous prospect for his rivals...


What a fantastic race. Had a few great moments especially with cars running so close, overtakes and the scary moment for Schumi and then for Vettel at the pits.

Great job by Paul di Resta and Force India. Congratulations to them. They did a fantastic job.

Massa's frustration is understandable and Hamilton fully deserves the penalty. His action ruined Massa's race. Hamilton is not behaving like a world champion at all.

Hamilton has got a few problems. He needs his father back as his manager to guide him. Button has become a threat to him as he has taken the lead in the points table. His aggressiveness is negative and has cost him and the team big time.

I don't think Button actually lost much time behind lapped cars but in fact he gained a lot due to the safety car.

As I expected, the over hyped Alonso didn't stand a chance. He won in 2008 under controversial circumstances and last year he won because Vettel and Red Bull messed up.

Ferrari is not a bad car; so is the McLaren. But the drivers are not doing a good job. Look where Webber is. He is one of the best drivers but his is among the Ferraris and McLarens which means both those cars are good. The difference is Vettel is exceptional.

Today the best man on the grid won in style and was fully in control. Congratulations to Seb!


You got it wrong my friend.

Even Pat Fry says their car is off the pace, but you say is not a bad car LOL. Do you know something that Pat Fry doesn't?

I give SB credit for having a great season and not making many mistakes, but for me, his wins are like me playing baskball with someone in a wheelchair.

My point is that as long as SB has a car that is so much faster then the rest, is not worth comparing LH, JB, FA with SB.

The one thing that is hard to figure it out, is how and why is MW so slow compared to SV when looking back at last year.

I am not looking at results, because I know last year SV had retirements and bad races, but at their pace.

MW was leading the championship and winning races. His pace compared to SV was not much different.

Is either something wrong with MW, with the car or SV has really become 0.5 sec faster over the winter testing.


It's the pirelli tires


I meant SV not SB. sry


From the front again with no one to challange him. What makes me laugh is Vettal makes one overtaking move all season in Monza and suddenly he can match the likes of Alonso & Hamilton. Get real, what a load of rubbish. If Alons or Hamilton was in a Red Bull they would make mince meat of him.


Massa is acting like a petulant child.

Yes, Hamilton was at fault, but It was no more than a racing incident that hurt them both.

Okay, Massa lost a lot of time, but I don't recall the penalty rule book having a sliding scale depending on how much you "spoil" a competitor's race.

I seem to remember Webber "ruining" Hamilton's race in Singapore last year when Lewis was more or less half a car's length ahead and had the racing line and Webber failed to yield and caused a collision up the inside of him. That was deemed a racing incident and Webber received no penalty even though it put Hamilton OUT never mind a puncture.



I was gonna write that...


I think you've got that all wrong. In my opinion Webber is underperforming, the Red Bull is easily the fastest car yet Webber is always messing about fighting with the McLaren's and Ferrari's whilst Vettel waltzes off into the distance.

Alonso has been sensational this year, regularly pulling a car that's on average half a second per lap slower than the Red Bull into podium positions. Same with Button, he's been outstanding this season and has finished higher on many occasions than his car really should allow him to.


For my two cents worth, while the Red Bull has been the quickest qualifying car, in the majority of races the McLaren has been the fastest car, but generally they have not put it together.


For sure, Alonso and Button are outperforming their car, while Webber and Massa are underperforming in theirs. I wonder how much sharing of set-up info goes on in each of the teams? I've heard Hamilton say he shares everything with Button, but who knows.


Really boring race, but hats off to Vettel, he really has been imperious this season. Button is also impressing more by the race, you get the feeling that if Button drove like he is now in 2009, he would have thrashed the competition Vettel-style. Ferrari look like they've given up which is a shame seeing as they're my favourite team, but they've never really been in it this season barring a few races.

The races this season have generally been really good, but the championship has been a non-event, which was the inverse of 2010. Here's hoping 2012 has fantastic races and a close championship.


In my opinion Button effectively did a Vettel in 2009, on the basis that both drivers nailed it when their car was dominant- for Vettel, all season long, as none of the other manufacturers are able to catch up; for Button up to Silverstone 2009. Not to suggest that Button drove particularly well thereafter, but the competition had caught up big time by that race in 2009. Thereafter Button allowed a less competitive car and pressure to get to him. Bar a few errors to take account of pressure, in my view Button would have continued to dominate in largely a Vettel-like manner had car remained as competitive. People tend to forget just how good Jenson's start to 2009 was.

Just my view.


Really boring race,

>> +1 , If not for Schumacher's aerial show, it was indeed Valencia race. Of course with lots of wastage of Electricity IMO


I guess most of the discussion will be about the Massa-Hamilton incident, although there's not much to discuss.

Lewis hit Massa and deserved a penalty, any other driver would have got a penalty too, even Whitmarsh (on the forum) said if it was Massa driving into Lewis he would have expected a penalty. (But Whitmarsh then claimed that the incident was a racing incident)

Every race we hear "Lewis is the best at bouncing back". Well he has made mistakes in nearly every race weekend this year. So obviously he's not as good as the media portray him.

And then in other news, great race from Di Resta, Schumacher didn't look too shabby and Vettel was awesome, and only Lewis could loose the title from the position he is in now.


The last comment marks you out as a fair and objective judge of Formula 1. Thanks.


I look at F1 objectively when analysing it, for example I wrote a 30,000 word piece about a formula I created to work out who is the "best" driver in F1 now and currently. In truth it still needs a bit of tinkering, like most things.

Obviously, nobody believes that if Lewis was in the same position as Vettel he would not get a single point in the remaining races.

So, yeah, I had a dig at Lewis, but just because I did does not make me an unfair judge of F1. I love F1 with a passion and and far more objective than the average fan who's favourite driver can do no wrong.


What has happened to Lewis lately? I am a fan but it seems he thinks other drivers should move over and it is only him that deserves to be in front???


Lewis is under the pump. Being beaten by his team mate and comprehensively trumped by Vettel (youngest 2 time WDC) seems to be messing with his head. I don't believe RBR are the fastest cars in race trim. McLarens have been looking hot for a while now but consistent results not quite there.


but it seems he thinks other drivers should move over and it is only him that deserves to be in front

>> That makes him indeed true follower of Senna. Now if only Lewis learns to behave like his idol outside the car...


its called racing , mark.

lewis is a racer and felipe is relegated to 2nd place due to him not being able to race at the front anymore


Yes it is called racing True Blue. I am not taking anything away from Lewis' Talent and raw speed, but sometimes champions/racers should think. And Big ego is definitely different from racing like Alexander mentioned.

Yes lewis' is definitely a cut above Felipe and in fairness to Lewis, Felipe is over reacting coz it was a slow corner for F1 cars. But needless to say it was for a position, no matter how slow Felipe was compared to Lewis.

It would just be sad to see with all his talent and not being able to make use 100% of it. Yes he is aggressive and a true follower of Senna. Yes fastest drivers take more risks than fast drivers, but risks should be calculated in order to benefit from it.


Yes it is called racing true blue! And i am not taking anything away with regard to his raw speed and talent but sometimes even racers should think!

What's the point in racing and with having pure talent if you can't make use 100% of it...


It's called big ego - not racing. Racing is what's done by Button, Webber, Alonso - they have balls to overtake without screwing each others or somebody's else race.


Its called immature. Hes the only F1 driver who instead of getting better with experience, is getting worse.


It was an honest mistake ... it happens. How many other drivers did he pass (including Massa after LH's drive-thru) w/o "screwing their race"? The ones I remember are MS, NR, KK, SB, PM, HK, FM, RB, SP, AS, PDR, NR ... that's 12, and I'm sure I'm missing some.


+1 on Alex and -10 on True Blue.


Thirst of all thanks for your analysis. 

Jenson lost time with the traffic but the gap had been reduced by the traffic it was more than 6 sec before vettel pass pear Willams and sauber. In onne lap the gap decrease under 4 sec. When jenson arrive just behind traffic the gap droop at 2.5 sec. But as vettel lost 3 sec jenson lost 2.5 sec. As you said vettel was helped by safety car who helped him to did lot of cars between him and jenson. 

I not understood since a lot of years webber have a poor start. This year he is the driver who have lost more place during this stage. A poor start is usually a bad lap warm up how are the relationship between mark and his  team who must to help him during this important stage. 

Alonso did one more time a good job at the star but I was surprised by his pace during the race. He ad very early blistering on super soft. Ferrari is in the top teams the smoother with compound. And I had hope for them a strong pace in race an more longer. Lewis one more time was too aggressive. We need a driver like him who push but massa don't need that.  Paul did the job force india had expected their race pace will be quicker than Mercedes team. Paul did a fantastic job even he was overtake he is with perez a man who give pressure on his teammate. Nico struggled a lot with his compound. The tea since a couple of races decided to concentrate on the race pace but we can not see any progress. I was surprised by nico agressivity on Sergio he must be so frustrated by this situation. At the start of this year I expect to fight for podium and now he fight with force India and sauber. Michael after two good race did a big mistake behind Sergio. Koba did to many mistake during this weekend for target points. Williams team is so bad on pirelli tyre and must to wait the end of the year. Toro rosso struggled Friday after two drivers did mistake. So they have not able to prepare the race as they would like. Team lotus beat one lotus Renault. That a strong weekend from them as Lr gp must to wait the upgrade for Suzuka. Jerome did a really strong race and pushing. Riccardo pushing in the further Virgine. 

Sorry for my English I m French lol 



Hi Charaf,

If you recall last year's Singapore race, McLaren struggled just like Ferrari did this year. The track clearly rewards a lot of downforce to help traction and avoid wheelspin. In qualifying on one lap the difference appears to be manageable, but over a race distance, the lack of downforce hurts. Normally increased downforce is a penalty as it increases the load on the tyres. A Singapore there are hardly any fast corners to hurt the tyres so it is all about traction.

In Suzuka, I would expect the Ferraris to be further behind in qualifying but closer in the race.

I hope this makes sense.



Grayzee (Australia)

Nice constructive comments.

Oh, and it's okay, Charaf. I'm Australian and half the people can't understand my English, either! 🙂


I thought Webber's start was ok this time. The dirty side of the track was very slow and it was 1st, 3rd and 5th into the first corner followed by 2nd and 4th if I remember correctly.


after being relegated to number 2 at ferrari massa is showing all the signs of a frustrated driver .

It was a minor racing incident but he has blown it all out of proportion.

Massa is now showing traits of * after you claude * in racing and quaulifing


Sorry, I'm not a fan of Massa but it's Hamilton who has serious problems - not Massa. Massa has no problems with other drivers and Hamilton will soon have "good" relations with almost half of the field.

And maybe Massa has reason to blame somebody for ruining him a race, hasn't he?


Massa finished 9th ... his best result today would have been a 6th, assuming no reliability issues amongst the Big Five drivers.

So he might've lost 6 pts.

The fact remains is that after his penalty, LH was BEHIND Massa, yet was able to claw himself back up to 5th. Massa wasn't able to drive thru the field like Hamilton was.


Two races in a row where Massa has just had another driver drive into the back of him and hurt his race.

Have to feel for him, he may not have had the pace of Alonso most of the time and may not have helped himself at times but some things out of his control like Webber and Hamilton are hampering him even more.


Hmmm, two insurance claims in a fortnight for being rear-ended... are we sure this isn't some kind of scam? 😉


You have to wonder why Massa didn't do the "good job pal" bit with Webber? Maybe b/c Webber would've knocked him out cold right then and there?


Good point. Even with LH I was conscious of PM surprising him from the back and walking on (while LH's attention is with the interview), instead of confronting LH to his face.


Hamilton should get DFQ for a race because it's already going too far. Race is no place for childish driving and bumping into somebody in every race.

It's has nothing to do with real racers or guys without families as Hamilton defends himself. Wanna see a real racing? Rewind Alonso vs Webber in many racers


It must be really hurting Anthony Hamilton to see the talent that his son has going to waste, especially after the effort he put in getting his son to the top.

Lewis needs to swallow his pride, kick his wag, his bling and XIX into touch and get back under the wing of his father, before its too late and his moment has passed.

One has to admit that he unfortunately doesn't have the mental aptitude of many of the other drivers, and that is not meant to be derogatory, his antics away from the track are destroying his antics on it. He needs to get his head down and start destroying the other drivers using the skills which he has, but seems to have forgotten.


I'm not really a Hamilton fan but the guy clearly is one of the best 3 drivers when on form, so it's a shame that at the moment he's trying his hardest to become the next Jacques Villeneuve.


@Stephen: "...he unfortunately doesn’t have the mental aptitude of many of the other drivers, and that is not meant to be derogatory..."

You can't really say that about a person you don't know and it not be derogatory.

Besides, Hamilton's problems come from temperament, not intelligence. Very different.



I have to agree with you on this, the way Lewis is behaving at the moment is similiar to the way Jenson started out at Williams back in 2000. He very quickly got labelled a playboy, and rightly so, but Jenson sorted his image out, got the right people around him and got his head down.

Lewis could learn so much from Jenson, not just from his racing, but unfortunately it appears that Lewis thinks he is better than Jenson.


Anthony also manages Di Resta, so he had a bittersweet day


Good drive from Vettel, Button did what he could but was no match for Vettel's Red Bull. Ferrari's pace was disappointing. They seem to be getting slower each race, and were it not for Alonso's starts they wouldn't even be in contention for a podium. Overall though, it was kind of a dull race.

The Hamilton/Massa incident wasn't that serious. How often do we see drivers clip their front wing of a rear tyre. But given that it was Hamilton that was yet again causing the incident and it Massa again who was on the receiving end, I can understand Massa's frustration.

Their post race interview spat was entertaining.


The front wing normally gets smashed when the driver behind is on the inside, not the outside.


Fantastic viewing ! Congratulations Singapore ! Putting on a show that will soon, if not already, make this race and venue one of the top 3 on the calendar. Undoubtly already a top 5 race and venue.


They do an incredible job and it's a wonderful advertisment for Singapore. If you have not been there and see the race you probably think it's a great place to visit. Dont!

Worlds most boring country. It's like hosting a race in Luxembourg.


I flew from Australia to the grand prix in Singapore and couldn't be more impressed. Having been to Melbourne, spa, monza, Monaco, silverstone and sepang, Singapore is in the top 2 or 3 best events for sure, if not the best! So much on offer here and the city exceeded all my expectations. You must make sure you see at least one grand prix under lights - spectacular!


And the winner of the funny comment IMO - you.

The one thing I always wonder is how the fans remain sober for the race. That is a lot of time spent waiting for the race to happen. Whole lunch and afternoon waiting for the race. I bet the tourists get really happy. Especially I the city is not exciting as you say. At most races you barely have time to get to the track and grab a bite. Perhaps a beer or two by lights out. Singapore - you have the whole day!


imho, the incident between Hamilton and Massa is just that, a racing incident. i've seen many front wings clipped on the rear tyres of the driver in front and no penalties. James, what is your view regarding this? i do not see the difference between the incident between Webber and Massa at Monza where there was no penalty given. reason for the penalty was "causing a collision". if this is the case why Schumacher was only reprimanded?

For some reason "racing incidents" are not taken into consideration when Hamilton is involved, they only happen to other drivers.

congrats to Vettel. the second german robot in F1. 🙂


It was close, but I think the penalty had to be given. I just wish there was a lesser penalty to give. There was no penalty when LH's front wing punctured SV's tire in the 2010 British GP at the start of that race. With the wide front wings on F1 cars under the current reg's, you are naturally going to get more of these wing-to-tire incidents.


I think for Massa it was the straw that broke the camel's back. This incident didn't warrant Massa's reaction but it was probably a culmination of frustration from quali and Monza with Webber etc etc.

I do feel sorry for Massa because something seems to happen to him every race. But after the collision and the penalty he was ahead of Hamilton yet he ended up miles behind him.


Hamilton Vs. Massa

Videos - Massa interrupts Hamilton's interview 2011 Singapore GP



Where are all the critics that said Hamiltion would destroy Jenson at McLaren now?


Doing math on what Lewis must do in the remaining races.




JAMES... PLEASE KEEP US UPDATED ABOUT KIMI'S RETURN... Since, your feature I have been checking your site every half hour to see if there is any progress on Kimi's Return.

Trust me... he is the only driver who I have watched in amazement with my television in MUTE.


From the coverage I saw, it looked as if Kovalainen came close to hitting Vettel in their last pit stops. Is that true? And it seems like Webber takes perverse pleasure in passing Alonso when he least expects it. The apex at Eau Rouge and Turn 10 are not exactly classic overtaking corners.


That was unsafe release of Jarno Trulli by team lotus(fernandes)


Respect to JB for making an unlikely charge at the end. Why couldn't Webber do that too? he was 5 seconds behind after last pit but finished 25 seconds... huh, where was his fight?


I am glad that they do not award points for qualifying. Imagine the upcoming Japanese weekend if they did!


Seems that, contrary to reputation, Ferrari are harder on their tyres than others.

Alonso's tyres looked breathless at Monza and here.


No, i think they were trying something new this race and last to get over the decade long problem of trying to generate enough heat in it's tyres.


Yes, especially the rears here. Worse than they had seemed in Friday practice


Something I'd point out regarding some Hamilton fans feeling there is often some grand conspiracy where Lewis gets penalty’s because of bias against him.

To believe that you have to believe that every one of the race steward’s (2 totally different stewards each race) are biased against Lewis & that every driver steward is also biased against Lewis & I find that very hard to believe.

Incidently the FIA have bio’s for race stewards each weekend on there site:


Don't also forget that the race stewards have far more data to go on (Plus the benefit of an race driver's experience) when making decisions.

Does Hamilton get more penalty's/reprimands than most, Yes. However the reason for that is that he gets himself into incidents deserving of investigation more than the rest.

BTW it was mentioned on the BBC Radio practice coverage a few times earlier in the year by team members that Pre-Season the drivers asked the FIA to investigate every incident which takes place during a race & that this is why even small incidents get looked at & why we see more investigations now compared to the past.


I can sympathise with the Hamilton fans' view though. Often, if you look at individual incidents in isolation, Hamilton seems to get punished while other drivers get away with misdemeanours of similar severity. For example Rosberg's corner cutting at the start, and his hard move on Perez.

You could argue that Hamilton sometimes gets punished because his actions are perceived as part of a pattern of behaviour. Meanwhile someone like Rosberg escapes because a minor incident is seen as an aberration from a driver who generally keeps things clean. You can see an element of punishing the man rather than the crime there. I'm sure there is no conscious bias on the part of the stewards, but they read the same press we do and will no doubt form similar impressions of people.


I think when it comes to marginal decisions the ex-driver amongst the stewards is very influential.

Nigel Mansell has openly criticised Hamilton in the press for being too agressive - I'm not saying that makes him biased, but it does create the perception of being biased, yet he is still allowed to influence whether Hamilton he gets a penalty. Unacceptable to me.

Alan McNish had THREE opportunities to give Hamilton the benefit of the doubt on marginal decisions (2 at Monaco and 1 at Hungary) and on every occasion he got a penalty.

The conspiracy theories will die down when at the end of the season you can look at all the 50/50 'racing incidents' that Lewis has been involved in and you calculate that he got penalised roughly 50% of the time. ie sometimes judged to be his fault and sometimes it isn't.

At the moment it seems to be ALWAYS his fault - not only is he never getting the benefit of the doubt on his own incidents when other drivers break the rules and impede him (Schumacher) they don't get penalised! (Steward Derek Daly even came out and admitted they got that one wrong!)


Look it does seem improbable but go back over the course of the last year and you will see that LH has gotten penalties and reprimands for far less than what other drivers get away with.

LH is also that quick that he does get himself into places where other drivers don't even if they wanted to. I for one hope he learns to be a bit more patient with his driving.

I used to like Massa but I've lost all respect for him, for the amount of times that he has 'chopped' others (incl. LH) taking of their noses he should rather keep his mouth shut. Even after a drivethrough LH still outdrove him by a mile.

I'm stunned that Perez didn't get a penalty, because what he did was really dangerous.

All I can say is that if the inconsistent stewarding continues F1 will lose another couple of fans for sure!




watching these 2 videos i wondered what the experts think of massa's outburst. in my humble opinion it was way out of proportion and really nasty when he got personal. it was a racing incident, it was out of order to bring lewis' relationship with his father into it. i could imagine the outrage there would be if lewis mocked felipe's relationship with his own father in public.

i just think his outburst is because there are 3 things that keep felippe up at night. 

1) singapore 2008 

2) lewis beating him to wdc by 1 point

3) how 1) helped 2)

when renault crashgate details emerged i remember reading felippe talking about how the singapore result should be negated and how lewis should be stripped of the wdc and it be given to him and even more shocking to me; how everyone in the paddock would have preferred it if he had won the title instead of lewis.

i just think today, his outburst was almost nothing to do with the incident, but that he was at his most hated place in the world, singapore and that he had the incident involved the person he hates and envies the most - lewis - because he feels lewis robbed him off the title that should have been his.

i used to have sympathy for felippe for 2008 and thought he dealt with it with class. that was until i read his reaction to crashgate. and i lost a lot of respect for him today, that was really out of order to get personal about lewis and his father. lewis bashing is really popular these days, some of it justified; he has not had a great season on or off the track. but i dislike massa revelling in kicking him when he is down because he knowns he can get away with it in the current atmosphere.

lewis was trying to get the undercut on massa, but his wheel locked up and he slipped into the back of massa. racing incident, nothing much more. massa's manic interrupting of lewis' interview, his personal attack on lewis relationship with his dad - the extent of felipe's obsession with singapore 2008 and lewis' winning of "felipe's 2008 wdc" was evident today.

Felipe Massa believes Renault cheats cost him title

The 2008 Singapore Grand Prix result should be scrapped, Felipe Massa insisted on Thursday, saying Renault driver Nelson Piquet junior's deliberate crash and team-mate Fernando Alonso's subsequent win had "robbed" him of glory.

by Tom Phillips, guardian.co.uk

October 1st 2009

The Ferrari driver Felipe Massa yesterday described the staged crash that cost him last year's Formula One championship as a "robbery" and questioned the decision not to review the result of last year's Singapore grand prix.

Massa was speaking to Brazilian television for the first time since it emerged last month that his compatriot Nelson Piquet Jr had been ordered to crash to benefit his team-mate, Fernando Alonso, who went on to claim victory.

Massa described Renault's actions as "ugly" and said he would never hire fellow Brazilian driver Piquet again if he was a team principal. "Everything that happened was robbery but nothing happened [in terms of] the race. The result didn't change," Massa told the Globo network.

"This is not right. This robbery changed the championship. I lost by one point. I am not, nor will I ever be, a driver who thinks: 'Oh, I could have been champion.' Even if they were to now write that I was champion on my CV, one year later, this would not be something that I would go around saying, that I was champion."

Massa said that those behind the cheating incident had not been sufficiently punished. "I have seen a case of a football referee being paid for stealing a game and every game that he influenced was annulled. The team that was responsible was relegated to Serie B. I saw this in Italy. Juventus were relegated three years ago because they paid the referee to steal a game.

"This has happened in Brazil, too, in several places. But with us all they do is send [Flavio] Briatore home. I cannot understand this and I do not think what happened is right."

Asked to describe his feelings about the incident, Massa said: "In general it was a very ugly attitude – for a team to come up to you and say that you have to crash in order to renew your contract. A driver who knew he was going to be fired. Nelsinho knew he was going to be fired. I believe that admitting a mistake is a good thing, because the guy told the truth. He shouldn't have waited so long to tell the truth. He told [the truth] because he was fired, this is not cool.

"He is in a very difficult position in Formula One," Massa said of Piquet. "You can be certain that if someone from a team says, 'Let's hire Nelsinho', it won't go down well. I don't think I would do this. I think that I would have to think very hard about it [and] I think that I wouldn't be able to do it."

On his Twitter site, meanwhile, Piquet wrote that he was "working hard on options for next year". He said: "Thank you everyone for the love and the support, as usual. Soon we will have more news."

Original Page: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/oct/01/formula-one-felipe-massa-nelson-piquet-junior

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James, can you please help us understand why the safety car rules are the way they are, with lapped traffic being improperly in line? It didn't used to be this way. The racers after the safety car should be in positions 1, 2, 3, etc. Is this not obvious? It seems to have caused discontent last year as well... so why haven't the rules been adjusted? Instead of the opportunity for a good battle between front runners, we instead only have aggravation with overtaking slow "backmarkers."

I have no say in F1 and I don't get to attend "fan forums," so here is the only place I can think to make myself heard. Let me say as an F1 fan: This rule is frustrating as hell!


The lapped traffic is where it is in the safety car queue because that's where it was before the safety car came out. I know some people think the safety car is there to "spice up the show" by negating any gaps that have built up, but that's not the purpose. It's there to close up and slow down the field so that marshals can have a suitable gap to get on the track and work in safety; not to artificially create a "good battle."


Safety cars area mare! They changed it so lapped traffic stays behind leader for safety, as they'd race around to join back of pack and extend SC period


The thing that bothers me the most about going to the F1 race in Singapore is the HEAT. Imagine stewing in your own juices for hours on end, cramped together with a couple thousand others stewing in theirs.

It's not nice.


As a big fan of Hamilton, I have to say that I am losing faith in the guy. F1 is not touring car racing and driving into the back of Massa was just plain stupid. His driving is just far too impatient and he needs to learn that the race is not won at the first corner. He had a brand new set of supersoft tyres put on and he would have easily overtaken Massa in the DRS zone - instead he pulls another clumsy move that puts him at the back of the field and with a deserved drive thru penalty.

Anyway.. The other extremely frustrating part of the race for me was the safety car. Why the heck is there 3/4/5 whatever cars between Vettle and Button at the restart - this rule is completely ridiculous - ruins the racing and is not that good from a safety point of view either. Cars are frantically trying to pass backmarkers and they don't know who they are racing and who they should be letting through and it basically promotes carnage and a real possibility for another crash and subsequent safety car period. Also it basically gifts the leader a comfortable cushion of 10 seconds or whatever Vettle build up and therefore be able to control the race again. Very disapointing race - aside from Hamilton having to come through the field a couple times, which wasn't even that entertaining as his car was so much faster than those around him basically the race if you can call it a race was nothing more than a procession with the only threat to Vettle being quashed by the stupid safety car rules.


He's having a bad spell of incidents. Not getting the maximum out if the weekend, as Vettel is


Crash Kid? Did anybody mention certain Crash Kid?


Regarding Hamilton's penalty, I do think on balance it was undeserved. Surely the determinative factor is culpability, not the result of the incident? Here Hamilton clearly misjudged his braking in relation to Massa's position. From where they were in the corner, Hamilton was not going to get past- the move was over and Hamilton was cutting back in to follow Massa through. There was simply no advantage in getting closer to Massa at that point, whereas there would have been if they had been higher up the road and the corner was approaching. So in my view, in terms of culpability, I don't think you can say it was any more than a mistake. As Hamilton's father commented, it obviously wasn't intentional, there was simply no advantage to be had. What about a reckless piece of driving? Well, reckless as to what? From that position there was nothing to be gained, as the move was over. All he was trying to do was follow Massa through the corner. And as Schu apparently showed with Perez, and as DC commented throughout the weekend, in those conditions some of the drivers were having problems judging the dimensions of their cars.

As to the result of the mistake, I am of the view that if something is a mistake it shouldn't be punished, whatever the result (and as unfortunate as it was for Massa). Reckless driving, resulting in damage etc, should.


I think Hamilton deserved the penalty but only just. He made (yet another) mistake and he had a big impact on Massa. What I found worse was his attitude when he got on the radio and asked his engineer if it was worth continuing! Hamilton is so immature, he probably would have parked up and got an early flight home if he had his own way yet by getting his head down and driving well he got a good points finish.

True champions never give up, they fight for every last point.


Hamilton was down in god-knows-what postion, he'd just had what he perceived to be an unjust punishment for clipping Massa, and he was obviously lacking information about who he was racing and what he could realistically expect from the race.

I think we can forgive him a little grumpiness in the driving seat at that point!

Life and F1 would be boring if everyone had total self-control and dealt calmly with every extreme situation that was thrown at them.

Let's give the guy a break... as you say he drove extremely well in the end to finish 5th.


Vettel has dominated this season for one reason or another. Excellent car and excellent drives. It is interesting to see Vettel start to climb the tables in all the various F1 related records


Another record he could have by the end of the season is most GP wins in a season. With 11 wins already this season and 5 more races to go he could smash Schumacher's record of 13.


Firstly, what an exemplary season Seb has been having.

I have to be honest and say last year I didnt think he did that well, but this year he has really raised his game. He will be an absolutely worthy double world champion.

Secondly, as a massive Jenson fan, I'm just really delighted with the way he's carrying himself at the moment. I had (almost blind) faith that he'd do well at McLaren, but he really has settled into the team well now.

Jenson seems to be getting that extra tenth or two in quali that he always lacked last year, and some of his drives this year have been great.

Who cares if he wouldnt have won yesterday, even without the williams pairing getting in the way a little (for what its worth I didnt think it was too bad, but clearly held him up). What most F1 fans love to see is a driver pushing another, and closing the gap.

He could have quite easily have coasted home in second , but the fact that he didnt had lots of my twitter friends going absolutely nuts yesterday.

Great job jenson. You've won a lot of new fans this season. I'm going to bet on Jenson to be WDC 2012. He'll sort that young whippersnapper out. 😉


Hamilton still seems to have the edge on Button in qualifying. Although Button ended up just ahead in Singapore, on their first Q3 runs Hamilton had been faster, and was unfortunate not to get a second run.


'Bull' fighting have been banned in spain. Something to do with vettel domination over fernando?!!


Again, schumi providing some excitement in this race with his take off show and getting the safety car out to bring the pack close in to race eachother.


There is inbuilt inconsistency in the stewards penalties. Any system that lets you off with a slap on the wrist just because you've knocked yourself out of the race is inherently flawed.

If you would got a drive through if you'd continue after causing an accident, then you should at least be looking at a grid penalty at the next race.


Driver of the day is hard to point out. However, Di Resta is worth a mention above all. The race was boring to start with. I think it's fair to say that in some races, there will not be a driver of the day. Period.


All of a sudden jenson is the golden boy .

He has had years of practice and has only just started to have belief in his talent, but for years he was just another sunday afternoon recreational driver moaning about understeer , oversteer while still picking up a great deal of money.

Felipe had his chance in 2008 and was unlucky after winning the final race to lose out by one point while in the fastest car.

And that is his niggle against Lewis.

While they were on equal terms they were best of mates but now Massa is on his way out he doesnt seem to be able to accept that Lewis is a far better racer than him.

All drivers depend on others to give them room and consideration ie Mark , Fernando but when someone is past it like being too slow and breaking too early you are going to get incidents.

Michael is the most dangerous driver in F1 followed closely by a lunatic ......kamikazebasher!

Leave Lewis alone.

Do you want to see boring drivers ?

Would you pay good money to see Lewis or Felipe ?


Good race by Seb and Jenson, especially near the end..I was expecting a good battle between Seb and Jenson, but who knows what would have unfolded. As a Mclaren fan, Lewis's drive from falling back in the start was going good until catching Massa and trying that overtake. Lewis had slowed down and locked up and Massa turned into the line of Hamilton's, similar to last years Singapore GP (Webber and Hamilton). We all know that Massa was angry with Hamilton in qualifying but nevertheless, Lewis seems to make these careless mistakes now and then like in desperation, he is driving in frustration. If he can control is frustration we will defiantly see Lewis of 2007 / 2008 and 2009. However after the drive through Penalty, Lewis's drive was one of his best and what a shame with all that effort spent he could have got a podium if he had not made contact with Massa.

The frustration was when Hamilton tried to go for second in the start, which could have been done, but was out of luck. I believe this starting frustration was eating him up and hence after hitting Massa's car reality kicked in. Lewis needs his Dad to manage him and support him, then we will see Lewis of 2007/08 winning again.

If Lewis can control his frustration like after the Penalty where he drove so well, I am sure he can gain well from these odd mistakes or bad luck starts and climb back thru the field like Senna could do.


I don't get this lewis hamilton drives like senna stuff ...he is just a more successful version of Takuma Sato..I am sure takuma san would give equal "entertainment" if he was driving for Mclaren


Yeah ....and you probably think Karen Chanduk is as good as Fernando and should be at Ferarri


how was massa's season in 08 any different to hamiltons, who became champion through ultimately a spurt of rain from the heavens? massa would have been equally as worthy a champion as hamilton.



In your opinion, is Hamilton cutting a bit of a lonely figure these days in the F1 paddock because of his repeated on-track incidents?

Thank you,

Peter Jones


He's under the cosh a bit and looks pretty miserable when in media briefings, but I'm sure it's just a phase


I am getting extremely angry at McLaren for the way they are treating Lewis and I am mad beyond all comprehension for the way many of you are treating Lewis. These people include:

+ drivers (both current and past)

+ many commentators and journalists

+ many F1 followers

Many members of these groups just cannot see what is happening and have very short memories. I do not fall into this category and I will tell you why and how McLaren have let Lewis down.

McLaren have made so many mistakes with Lewis this season that it is beyond belief. In my opinion, there have been ONLY 5 RACES THIS SEASON which I can say that McLaren and Lewis got the best possible result from the car. These races were:

Australia: 2nd

China: 1st

Turkey: 4th

Europe: 4th

Germany: 1st.

This leaves 9 RACES(6 DEFINITE and 3 QUESTIONABLE) where McLaren have made a variety of mistakes that has cost Lewis dearly. These mistakes have cost Lewis a total of 105 POINTS. Have you ever heard of a driver losing 105 POINTS or the equivalent through no fault of himself or his car, James?

I certainly have not, and this puts Whitmarsh squarely in my line of fire. He should be gone from McLaren. He has performed badly as team principal and has not helped his drivers in any shape or form in my opinion. Against a powerful opposition like Red Bull, you must be at your very best every single race, every single session, every single day and you simply cannot make any mistakes. For 64% of the races in 2011, this simply has not happened. If Donald Trump was in charge of McLaren, Whitmarsh would have been gone a long time ago. Those are the facts.


I think McLaren has had a mixed year and Lewis admits that he has too, but don't you think that MW hiring Sam Michael to oversee operations (a role he had at BMW Williams when they were winning) is as clear an indication as anything that McLaren need to improve in this area?


I think hiring Sam Michael is very good thing for McLaren, especially for Lewis. It is like having a caddy in golf where you can bounce ideas off each other, as well as reassuring the athlete that she or he is doing the right thing.

My frustration just stems from the facts that I felt Lewis was the only driver that had the car to give Vettel and Red Bull a run for their money in terms of the championship. I felt their were many mistakes that were made that should not happen in a professional sporting team, eg. Malaysia, Monaco, Canada, Great Britain, Italy. I also felt there were opportunities where they could have beaten Vettel, but didn't make the right decisions, eg. Spain, pit stop No.2, should have pitted 3-4 laps earlier.


Hopefully for next year Sam Michael can bring some 1st and 2nds providing that Mclaren create another winning car. As most Mclaren fans I was too hoping that Mclaren could have won both championships. I feel that this year Mclaren weakness is mainly on race startegies, and in some cases they were lucky. Even though Mclaren have a valuable Tyre analyst who use to work for bridgestone is helping Mclarens cause, so I think with Sam and this analyst can help Mclaren hopefully win the championships.


Lewis needs to get on the front row in order to win and I am sure he will, these five GPs will bring the true Lewis back, well I hope so.

Lewis will probably do better with a mentor on his side, i.e. Jackie Stewart or other great F1 legends like Nigel Mansell or Damon Hill (his 1995 season was his worst but look at 1996 a true racer). This is what his new management company do for Lewis.

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