“In control” Vettel Completes Singapore Hat-trick as others gamble
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By:   |  22 Sep 2013   |  4:09 pm GMT  |  311 comments

A peerless Sebastian Vettel led all but one corner of the Singapore Grand Prix today as he took a commanding seventh victory of 2013, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

It is the 33rd victory of Vettel’s career – putting him ahead of Alonso to fourth in all-time wins – and his third in Singapore. He extends his championship lead over the Spaniard to 60 points with six races to go.

“It’s just a privilege to be part of the team,” said Vettel “To enjoy the moment completely. It’s one of my favourite races here. I’ve won here three times in a row – which is incredible – so I’m just extremely happy with that and extremely happy to be with the team at this stage.”

Alonso and Raikkonen owed their podium finishes to inspired strategy calls by the Ferrari and Lotus teams which pitted them under the safety car on lap 25 and called for them to drive to the finish – 36 laps – on a set of medium tyres. Not doing this cost the Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton a shot at a podium today.

Alonso went from seventh on the grid to 2nd, while Raikkonen jumped from 13th to 3rd.

A surprisingly quick starting Rosberg from the dirty side of the front-row found himself in the race lead as the field entered turn one, only for him to run wide and hand the lead back to Vettel, who nipped inside him into Turn 3.

From here on the lead was never relinquished from Vettel’s grasp as he drove a truly faultless race despite losing a ten second lead to the safety car, for an accident involving Daniel Ricciardo.

Singapore has a 100% record of Safety cars and this stayed intact; much of the order in the second stint was shaken up by the Safety Car. At this point many in the top ten opted to pit, leaving just Vettel, Rosberg, Webber and Hamilton – who had pitted only shortly before and running a two-stop strategy.

When the Mercedes pair and Webber pitted for the second time, they found themselves in traffic and with much to do in order to regain their previous positions. And around the twisty street circuit they were unable to pick off the cars ahead.


Ahead of this Alonso was able to bring his Ferrari home in typically consistent fashion to keep alive his slim hopes of a third World Championship, but after the race he was realistic about this championship and how it has turned out,

“We try our maximum, we’re trying to improve the car for every race and we are doing it but obviously not enough compared to our opponents,” said the Spaniard. “They are doing a better job than us, they are fantastic every weekend. They are winning and they deserve those wins. This is a sport, someone always has to win and the best one wins and we are not the best ones at the moment but we will keep working.”

Whilst Raikkonen, after also pitting under the Safety Car, drove through the pain barrier to nurse his damaged back to another podium.

Others that had stopped during the Safety Car period were handed the opportunity of a good haul of points, as long as they could reach the end of the Grand Prix on an ever-degrading set of tyres.

This made for an exciting climax to the race. First Nico Hulkenberg was disposed off, before Webber led the Mercedes duo past Sergio Perez and Jenson Button. Rosberg and Hamilton also came close a number of times as they switched across the track, eventually coming home in fourth and fifth places.

Webber had been set for a fourth place finish until a call to short-shift from his engineer was him drop behind the Mercedes and ultimately retire on the final lap. It is more bad luck for the Australian who drove well today with some very good overtaking manoeuvers. After the race he was given a 10 place grid drop in Korea for a third reprimand of the season; this one was for entering the track to get a lift back with Alonso, while cars were still going quickly.

Behind Hamilton was Felipe Massa, taking sixth place as he followed Webber and Mercedes pair past the long-running cars.

The top ten was closed out by Button, Perez, Hulkenberg and Sutil who fought to the finish for the lower points positions.

Paul Di Resta had looked set for a good result but lost control of the car in the closing stages, while Romain Grosjean was running fifth when the team called him in for a problem with the air system on the car and he was forced to retire.

SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX, Singapore, Race, 61 Laps

1. Vettel Red Bull
2. Alonso Ferrari
3. Raikkonen Lotus
4. Rosberg Mercedes
5. Hamilton Mercedes
6. Massa Ferrari
7. Button McLaren
8. Perez McLaren
9. Hulkenberg Sauber
10. Sutil Force India
11. Maldonado Williams
12. Gutierrez Sauber
13. Bottas Williams
14. Vergne Toro Rosso
15. Webber Red Bull
16. van der Garde Caterham
17. Chilton Marussia
18. Bianchi Marussia
19. Pic Caterham
DNF Di Resta Force India
DNF Grosjean Lotus
DNF Ricciardo Toro Rosso

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1

1) If we want competition, we need to bring back in season testing. The story that F1 is becoming green is a lot of waffle… cars still do a lot of pollution and still cost millions to make. And little moves like no in season testing are just a front for Bernie to appeal to greenies.

2) Vettel drove a great race today, but with the different strategies, it meant that he was pulling away at 2 seconds per lap at the start, and also after the safety car. He certainly has a fine car to let him do that, when at the front. Of course we cannot compare this to Webber, because he was stuck in traffic.

3) Some of the rules this year have made F1 look like a girls sport. Cmon, Webber being punished for hitching a ride with Alonso at the finish. Hulkenburg needing to give a place back to Perez, when Perez didn’t have it anyways? We need to apply commonsense and not stupid rules that look like they were made up from the US constitution. Senna would be rolling in his grave.

Once you start to apply too many rules, then freedom for drivers is eroded. We do not want this sport to become robotical.

4) We’ve had the experiment with DRS and now its time to say bye bye to it. Kimi showed that with Kers strategy and the tyre differences, it is still possible to overtake even on tight circuits in different locations. DRS is artificial and not really needed.

The only thing good about this year’s F1 has been the different strategies with tyres. I like to see competition – hopefully 2014 will be good, but with only a small amount of fuel it could be another year of resource management 🙁

2

I can see people on here debating about Vettel, and whether it is his talent or the car that got him the dominant victory margin of 32.6 seconds over Alonso.

My explanation is that it was due to a combination of different things.

First of all, Vettel wouldn’t be at the front if he didn’t have the car, that is clear, and it is the same for everyone.

Secondly, the safety car came out around Lap 24/25, and this meant some drivers decided to pit for a second time (Alonso and Raikkonen), whilst Vettel, the two Mercedes, Webber and di Resta decided to stay out. Some were convinced, in particular the Merecedes team that Alonso and Raikkonen couldn’t make it to the end, and that Mercedes themselves couldn’t make it to the end, even if they stopped for tyres right then. This is where Vettel comes in.

Vettel knows that he has to push hard because his safe lock on winning the Grand Prix was under severe threat, and because of the tyre conservation of others behind, it would be quite easy to pull out the gap, which allowed him to have a pit stop on Alonso, and after Vettel pitted, he was able to pull away again, as Alonso was in tyre conservation, and couldn’t use the grip in the tyres as much as Vettel to go as fast.

However, Vettel’s ability at the start of races to pull out big gaps after a couple of laps continues to amaze me.

James, do you think it is the stable platform of the car that allows him to pull out these gaps, or is it the innate senses of Vettel that allows him to get the tyres working quicker to allow him to pull out big gaps after a couple of laps? As well as this, do you think there are other drivers, past and present do you think can match Vettel in this regard if they were in this car?

3

It’s interesting that a future Red Bull driver caused the safety car in Singapore, don’t you think? Bernie wants Vettel to win (esp. after the wedding invite and all) but he doesn’t want RBR to win by too much 🙂

4

I think it an example of a driver and car combination that are perfectly in harmony, like Manse in early 1990s Williams and Hakkinen in late 90’s McLaren

5

… and the common thread in your examples would be?

Maybe Newey’s just really good at moulding his cars to particular drivers’ driving styles, whereupon the car becomes a near-seamless extension of the driver.

He’s bloody good, that’s for damn sure.

6

Vettel definitely is in a class of his own. It’s a shame that class is not well respected by most others. My honesty is what driving your anger but not your lack of knowledge. Vettel needs to needs to apologise to us first, his German supporters. His championship is tainted for this year, and we will win again, but it’s the country that now begins to suffer as his attitude is seen as the attitude of all Germans. No wonder viewers and supporters are giving up on F1. especially after what was the most boring singapore race. Webber and Alonso had me talking in a whole different manner then they get penalised. I can’t stand to drink RedBull anymore.

7

I thought Rubens was on this website…Blah Blah Blah!!! Vettel was in a class of his own, with or without a quicker car, he outclassed everyone on the grid. Stop moaning just because your preferred driver is not winning and watch another championship being won. Be honest, if it was Hamilton, Alonso or Kimi doing the very same thing then it would be the driver, not the car.

8

Vettel has proven over and over that he is a good driver but he has also proven disloyal, selfish and that he is nothing without the favoured technology from RedBull. That team is a disgrace with its management. They have ruined Mark Webbers career. Webber is the better driver, but Vettel has the better car. Overall, nobody beats Alonso. By far the best driver in the field.

9

So why no reprimand for Alonso. Surely you must also punish the driver of the “taxi” for stopping to pick him up.

10

Both got reprimands. Webbder’s became a 10-place drop penalty because this is his third reprimand of the season. A third reprimand automatically becomes a 10-place penalty.

11

He did get a reprimand for that incident.

12

James,

Singapore yesterday reminded me of a similar race in 2005 at Monaco, which Kimi won. Were they not similar circumstances?

A safety car at not quite the right time requiring the driver to throw caution to the winds to build up a gap required to gain a pitstop?

Anyone else thinks the same?

13

Just checked the stats. Kimi pulled out a 34+ second lead in around 16-17 laps at Monaco 2005. Came out with a 13 second lead after the pit stop.

Equates roughly to 2 seconds a lap, similar to Vettel in Singapore 2013.

14

In a Newey car then too. Only thing that derailed Kimi in 2005 was the Mercedes engine’s reliability.

15

If you consider Mansell best driver ever, then you would like Vettel as well. Mansell’s Williams Renault in 1992 was like Red Bull in Singapore. All top drivers are less or more equal. There are no 2-3 sec gaps on dry track. It is all to the car. Hence, Newey & Co are drivers of the day. Plus two drivers: Alonso & Raikkonen.

16

Mansell was a class act. There’s no need to mention his other 22 wins outside of the FW14B? Hungary 1989? He had unbelievable speed and was the best overtaker of his generation.

I don’t understand why people always hold the FW14B against Nigel but never mention anything about the MP4/4 car advantage Senna enjoyed for his 1988 title for example?

17

He was. I don’t hold Mansell’s championship year against him at all. I consider it less exciting than his other nearly seasons, but it would’ve been a cruel fate for him not to have won a championship.

If Bernie’s medal system was in place the years he raced, he’d’ve been a 3x champion.

I liken it to an A-list actor overlooked for Oscars earlier in their career, finally snagging an Oscar for a movie that doesn’t rank among their best (think Al Pacino or Tom Cruise), as a sort of make-up for not rewarding them for their top stuff earlier.

18

A very good analogy!

19

James, it’s about time write an article of the records broken by Vettel. At 19 he was the youngest to score a point, since then god knows how many more he has undone. Unbelievable.

32+ secs win from Alonso is no more a joke it’s a very serious joke indeed. Seems like Vettel is in a new F1 series all by himself. He was so fast at the turns and pulled away like a rocketship. Officially the season is done and dusted.

Sebastian Newey and Adrian Vettel is a perfect marraige like no other! How long will this be going on? Not forever I hope. Immaculate.

I was surprised the booing continued on in Singapore. No wonder he vented back bout the tour bus group, I like his sense of humor though.

20

James, what do think of this nonsense with the safety car being out for so long to let the laps cars through? It wastes so much time!

Why don’t they just let the cars in the field that have been lapped drop backwards on the straight? For example if Max Chilton is running 22nd, 1 lap down but he is running 15th in the queue behind the SC, why doesn’t he just pull over on the straight and drop to the back of the field? Problem solved, he’s now on the same lap, in position and it took about 20 seconds!

21

well the fuel is an issue and hence his timings will be slower for the rest of the laps (besides higher tire wear). It is a bit technical and marginal, but that is how it is!

22

Yes, he can pull over, but then it also means he does not use the extra 1 lap of tyres and fuel required to unlap himself against the other cars.

In giving him that ‘free’ lap, it could mean completing the race or stopping out on track near the end.

So it would not be fair to the other cars and drivers.

23

What were Webber’s other two reprimands?

24

By the way, congratulations to Vettel for overtaking Alonso in total Grand Prix victories. 33 to 32. Incredible accomplishment.

25

Man, Vettel was fast. No doubt about why he is about to be a 4-time Champion. Say what you will about the car he drives; he is destroying Mark Webber. And Mark Webber is not a slow driver. Not in the slightest.

It’s going to get harder and harder to argue with him being the best driver if he keeps performing like this. Personally, I think if you put he and Hamilton in the same car and told them to just go, then Hamilton would set a quicker lap. But Vettel obviously has something else that makes the difference. It seems like he is able to get the car set up for himself almost perfectly every weekend, and he has relentless dedication to his craft. While Kimi and Alonso were off doing whatever, he was at the Silverstone test doing runs on the Pirellis. He’s just willing to put in that extra little bit to take himself to another level.

This is why it’s such a tragedy that he’s getting booed. OK, he may not be the nicest guy in the world. But he puts probably more dedication and work into this sport than anyone else on the grid. And what does he get for it? Everyone hates him. It’s completely unfair. If you were in his shoes, how would you feel?

26

Success in F1 has always been about the convergence of a number of factors. Vettel, Newey and the Red Bull dollar are the strongest for quite a while, and it is no surprise that they are sweeping all before them, It makes for a dull championship, but from a purists point of view it is F1 at it’s best. I can only see next season being more of the same. The rule changes will in theory throw everything up in the air, but you have to assume that F1’s best designer and best team will emerge as the cream of the crop, add to that that Ricciardo will almost certainly race as SV’s support driver and you can put your house on an even stonger Red Bull team next year.

27
GP2 better than F1

Driver beaten by Di Resta in F3 + 2 seconds a lap slower than Jean Eric Vergne (the guy who can’t do fast laps in qualifying) in Abi Dhabi in the same 2011 car, and who is also a couple of 10s slower than Riccardo at Silverstone apparently wins another race. Ummmm.. I wonder if the car is amazing and the team / team principle is biased. Thanks Sky+ 2 hours at Marina Bay never been so quick.

Take me back to the beginning of 2009 when a guy in a white car was winning everything and people were saying he was one of the best drivers ever, oh actually they never said that it was all the car….

28

IMHO refuelling must be back to F1. If the car is slow, then you take less fuel. There must be some ways how to fight. Seeing how best car laps 2 seconds faster (30 minutes in 15 laps) is non-sense. Just a show but not a sport. Old Lauda might praise Vettel every day, but listed to Button’s words about RB car and thing again.

29

U mean 30 seconds in 15 laps

30

Today’s race wasn’t a great advert for the sport but unfortunately this season is just a hard sell and that is becoming borne out in the booeing of Vettel. I see a lot of similarities between the current era of F1 and WRC in the late 90’s:

Alonso = Carlos Sainz – struggling to add to titles in final straight of career

Hamilton = Colin McRae – Flat out charger but may never add to the one title early in his career

Button = Richard Burns – smooth approach pays dividends when everything is right

Vettel = Tommi Makinen – consistency the strongest package if unspectacular but nets 4 world titles in a row

The thing is I think it’s Colin McRae who is most fondly remembered from those days despite just one title

Will F1 fans look back on this era in the same way in years to come? There lies Vettels image problem, of course he can’t be blamed for his own success though!

31

I’m no Vettel fan but stop with the booing already.

32

Stewards got somethings right and wrong today.

NH and SP incident seemed particularly harsh. Although I thought that instructing LH to give a place back to FM was a good call – and – done in the right way.

But it’s consistency c.f. Hungary.

33

SV is the number one, if the SC didn’t appear he would win with more than a minute from Alonso. AN is a monster but he needs SV to drive his car as he does. Brilliant, great team job.

34

SV was fantastic and in a class all of his own.

Meanwhile MW was hanging on to FA’s car doing almost 70mph!

FA didn’t use the KERS though…

Check it out @ 1’48” – 107 km/hr.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UXMCLiAvzg8

35

Just the video I was looking for, explains the reprimand they got – Hamilton was very close to running into the back of Alonso

36
Get Well Soon Murray

Has Vettel made the jump today from just being a little bit quicker than the other leading drivers to having absolutely stunning pace, similar to what Schumacher had in his prime.

Pulling away from everyone at 2 seconds plus a lap, that really has got to be worrying for the others now…

37

Yes 2 sec per lap faster really looks like he is the best driver out there.. to someone who doesn’t have a clue about F1.

38

I’m glad that Lauda and Brundle are speaking out against the Booing.

Think about it, what did Vettel did wrong during this race or this weekend? He deserved full respect and applause. I understand the fall out from multi-21 and dominance not in a Ferrari could be incentives for dislike.

but these people who continues to Boo are a million times worst than any normal people. Get a life mate!

39

James, why did Ferrari pit Felipe for the 3rd time? He put new Hard tyres during safety car just as Fernando did.

Felipe could have been on the podium. He was ahead of Kimi after safety car and did not need to pit to undercut DiResta as he had to pit to put on hard tyres. DiResta did 1st and 2nd stint on supersofts.

40

Because he went for the supersoft tyres at the stop under the safety car, not the mediums

He did this to try to make up places after the restart

41

Thanks! James.

Who in the team makes these calls on tyres? I know the driver doesn’t . Is it the race engineer on the pit wall or the strategy team back at home? And is there only 1 strategy team or each driver has his own strategy team?

42

Race engineer, race strategy engineer and a team back at base. Some calls are triggered from factory, but team always has an override

43

Where is Montezemolo NOW?

Is he still ungry with Fermando because he has not won this GP?

Luca, Luca!!! where are you NOW?

44

+ 1

Alo is always better than his car

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