Hamilton wins as Button closes on title

2009 Singapore Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton took an emphatic win in Singapore
Lewis Hamilton took an emphatic win in Singapore

Lewis Hamilton took his second victory of 2009 in dominant fashion in the Singapore Grand Prix.

But the McLaren driver would have had a tougher fiht on his hands if his two closest challengers, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, hadn’t been handed penalties for pit lane transgressions.

Meanwhile Jenson Button moved closer to the championship by finishing one place ahead of team mate Rubens Barrichello.

Webber in trouble at start

Start, Singapore Grand Prix, 2009
Start, Singapore Grand Prix, 2009

Hamilton never looked like being headed into the first corner, but there was a desperate scramble behind him as Rosberg and Fernando Alonso moved up from their advantageous positions on the clean side of the track.

Rosberg took second place off Vettel with little difficulty and Alonso, who’d taken Mark Webber with similar ease, shaped up to pass Vettel at the first corner.

Vettel rebuffed Alonso and that left the Renault driver back in the clutches of Webber. He moved around the outside of the Renault at turn seven, but both drivers ran wide and went off the track. Webber held the positon, and Timo Glock darted down the inside of Alonso at the following corner to take fifth.

Webber didn’t keep the position for long. On lap six he slowed and let Glock and Alonso past on the instruction of his team. Whether they felt they were likely to get a penalty, or race control had told them they would, isn’t clear – but Webber was clearly unhappy about the decision after the race.

Penalty stymies Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Singapore Grand Prix, 2009
Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Singapore Grand Prix, 2009

With a little more fuel on board than the cars immediately behind him, Hamilton didn’t pull away by much at the front. By lap six he had just 1.9s over Rosberg. That was partly due to problems with the McLaren’s KERS, which refused to work early on in the race, before coming back to life again.

Vettel was the first of leaders to pit, coming in from third on lap 16. Rosberg came in on the next lap but this stop proved the undoing of his race. On his way back to the track he asked a little too much of the surface grip at the pit lane exit, skidded wide and across the pit lane blend line. A penalty was inevitable.

What happened next turned Rosberg’s plight even worse. Adrian Sutil was locked in battle with Jaime Alguersuari, and spun his Force India while trying to pass.

Unwisely, he kept his foot down and tried to set off while Nick Heidfeld was passing in his BMW. The pair made heavy contact, putting Heidfeld out on the spot (ending his record streak of finishes) and leaving Sutil crawling back to the pits and retirement. After the race the stewards handed Sutil a fine but did not give him a penalty for the next race in Japan.

The safety car came out while the marshals dragged Heidfeld’s broken car away. With the rules stating Rosberg could only serve his penalty on a racing lap, it meant he would fall even further down the order once he finally took his penalty.

Amazingly, in a repeat of last year’s race, we now saw a car attempting to leave its pit with a refuelling hose still attached. This time it was Alguseruari, who jumped away from his mark before the signal. But he didn’t make it as far down the pit lane as Felipe Massa did, and was able to return to the race. However, both he and team mate Sebastien Buemi failed to see the chequered flag due to technical problems.

Hamilton made his pit stop as the safety car was heading onto the track and he kept the lead of the race. After Rosberg took his penalty Vettel took up second with Glock now third ahead of Alonso.

Vettel put Hamilton under some serious pressure during the second stint, rarely more than a second behind the McLaren. That was partly because he had less fuel on board, but when he came in for more on lap 39 he made the mistake that ended his hopes of victory. He broke the pit lane speed limit, and a return to the pits three laps later for a drive-through was inevitable. Making matters worse, his right-hand mirror had fallen off, and a skid along a kerb damaged part of his diffuser.

Vettel penalised too

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Singapore, 2009
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Singapore, 2009

Vettel’s problems meant Hamilton was now under no pressure at all and Barrichello moved up to fourth ahead of Heikki Kovalainen and Button. The championship leader was fuelled to pit a few laps after his team mate, but another incident gave him the opportunity to get ahead.

The lap after Vettel served his penalty, Webber came into the pits. As well as the fuel and tyres routine, his mechanics played close attention to the overheating front-right brake. He kept going but two laps later the car got away from him at turn one and he went backwards in the barrier at speed.

A swathe of drivers reacted by diving into the pits in anticipation of the safety car being deployed: Hamilton, Kovalainen, Nakajima, Alguersuari, Giancarlo Fisichella, Vitantonio Liuzzi and – crucially – Barrichello, but not Button.

The safety car wasn’t deployed, and when Button finally came in five laps later he had built up enough of a lead to hold a comfortable advantage over Barrichello.

That was the last major development in a race that had often been quiet. Button didn’t bother chasing after Vettel, preferring instead to look after his troubled brakes and increase his championship lead by a precious point. If he takes five more off Barrichello at Suzuka next week, he’s the new champion.

But it was the reigning champion who was un-catchable at Singapore. It might not have been a vintage race, but unlike last year, at least the result was genuine.

Singapore Grand Prix

120 comments on “Hamilton wins as Button closes on title”

  1. Webbers penalty was a joke. Kimi ran so wide at the start of the race in Spa and made up 3 places. The stewards are a complete bunch of… You know what

    1. It’s those red cars again. For once I agree with everything Webber said in his post race interview

    2. This race was very boring the first 2 laps were good but then everything went to mclaren side it looked like the race had been bought
      1ºqualifying Barrichello crashed right on time
      2ºWilliams race was ruined again by stupid decision
      3ºStewarts were very focused on vettel speed

      1. Hamilton wasnt dominant we saw rosberg and vettel matching his pace i think the decider was rubens crash on qualifying who gave the pole to a heavy Ham

        1. Did you ever hear of fuel strategy?

          Hamilton was dominant because the only reason they were matching his pace was because they were (much) lower on fuel

          Especially Vettel was at least 7 laps lighter than Hamilton. A lap lighter usually translates to something like a tenth of a second a lap faster. So Vettel should have been at least 0.7s a lap faster than Hamilton to truly “match his pace”.

          Also, Hamilton would have taken pole even if Barrichello hadn’t crashed. Vettel was only marginally faster than Hamilton in S1, so a purple S1 doesn’t mean much. Especially not with Hamilton still getting ready for his fast lap.

          Even if Hamilton hadn’t gotten pole, he would have used KERS to get back in front anyway.

          1. Patrick watch qualifying again red flags ruined the 2nd run of vettel rosberg webber vettel was going to pole

          2. i agree “Even if Hamilton hadn’t gotten pole, he would have used KERS to get back in front anyway” but for some reason on race pace Ham was not the best

          3. F2000, watch qualifying. Hamilton was going to do a fast lap also, but aborted before starting the lap because of the red flag.

            F2000, watch sector times. Vettel was only faster in S1, so a faster first sector of him means nothing.

      2. Hamilton definitely deserved to win this race, dominant all weekend. Hopefully McLaren can carry this form into next season. I think that the title is buttons, with 3 races left i cant see Rubens catching him. I agree with alot of people that webber penalty was harsh when compared to what Kimi got away with at Spa.

        I think Heikkis time is up, he’s not proven himself to be good enough to race for the top teams, hopefully Kimi will be Hamiltons team mate next year :D.

        1. Kimi i guess was a changed/ much happier a man in ’07, his first year with Ferrari. Now things are not as peachy/ rosy, use whichever you like better. However, going to McLaren means, dealing with Hamilton, not the race driver, but one to whom the team owes allegiance. This is a different ballgame and i wonder whether Kimi would risk doing that. Montoya warned Alonso and just look back wt what happened in ’07.

          Brawn, well, they may be what he might be looking at. Master strategist who owes allegiance to fastest driver in team. Good car. Safe future, keeping in mind the partnership with Mercedes.

    3. i know! i thought it was very unfair, i thought it was a good pass even if it was illegal bt was unfair how he had to give the place to glock too.

      1. The difference between Kimi in Spa and Webber in Singapore, is that Kimi run wide but rejoined at the same running position on the track AND THEN overtook the cars in front of him. I don’t disagree that he probably had a better momentum that facilitated his overtaking, but at the same time, it took a lot of cold blooded calculations and adjustments to make sure that he did not gain any position on the cars ahead of him while running wide.
        On another front, for me the most interesting point of the race may be the game employed by Mclaren using the radio communication. A few years back, when radio transmitions were not broadcasted, we remember on occasions teams getting ready for a pit stop (only running back inside the garage when their car continued on the track), just to fool their rivals into thinking they were about to pit and trick them in changing their strategy. In the new age of radio transmitions publication, Mclaren tried to pull a fast one on the competition by claiming to have a problem with KERS. Well it was a nice try, but didn’t fool me.

        1. and i agree with you that it was very unfair, as it was a good pass. I wouldn’t consider it illegal but rather part of racing for possition, something that we all want to see more of.

    4. Been saying it for years. Everyone wants to defend the stewards but most of them dont know which end of the car is the front or the back. Especially the ones from the mid east.

    5. yeh, as soon as i saw the webber ‘incident’ i thought spa and kimi, precedent = no penalty. then when fisichella defended a position in exactly the same way on the corner later in the race, there was no question about a penalty at all. alonso was off the track as well and if webber tried to get back on the track, there would definately have been contact. i’d really like to see some more consistency from the FIA. good thing is (i guess) is that webber wasn’t going to finish the race anyway so it doesn’t really matter now.

      1. They are doing everything they can to make sure Red Bull don’t win any of the titles. The FIA are going to make Button and Brawn win because it will be a “fairytale”

        1. I’m pretty sure that we don’t know if the FIA told Webber to do this or if Red Bull did. The racing director likely said that it was being investigated. It’s better for Webber to give the spots back on track rather than wait and get a stop and go. If you re-read Kieth’s article, he says that “Whether they felt they were likely to get a penalty, or race control had told them they would, isn’t clear”

          So, you’re argument is pointless. It would actually be better for the sport if Red Bull won – also a fairy tell without making the sport look like ‘anyone’ can do it.

  2. I like this track, today there were little bits of excitement but then everything went dull. Webber should have gave position back immediately, he was bit thick and meant he lost out to Glock too.

  3. Yeah, Kimi was unfair to get away with it but doesn’t mean Mark’s penalty was wrong just that Kimi should have been punished and Webber informed immediately so he didn’t lose out so much.

    1. it wasn’t a penalty

  4. I think it was a great show of how good Hamilton is as a driver, I think that the dull start to the season has made him a better driver. He seems to be more hungrier for victories and a lot wiser (apart from monza the other week). I think that this shows that he is going to be up for it next season, especially if they have a good car.

    I feel sorry for Webber, I personally don’t believe that is was a penalty, especially after the huge advantage Kimi got from his adventures off the track in Spa.

    And its a real shame Button didn’t get his extra laps in, it could have een an even better result or him :D

    1. Sometimes we are over patriotic Ham did a fantastic race but he was very lucky this race wasnt his fortunatly he won

      1. He wasn’t “very lucky” by any stretch of the imagination. Hamilton was the best performer in the first Q3 run, despite being heavier than many of the other cars in that session.

        Who knows what would have happened if the second run had been completed, but even if he hadn’t put his car on pole, Hamilton may well have taken the lead going into the first corner by virtue of his KERS system. The extra fuel he was carrying would also have given him an advantage going into the first round of pit-stops.

        Whilst everyone around him made mistakes, Hamilton had a near perfect weekend, which is why he won the race. Not much luck involved in all honesty.

      2. Very lucky? Did you not watch the race?

        The only chance off him not winning the race was through a safety car coming out at the wrong time for him.

        And yh, I understand alot of people can get over patriotic about Hamilton, that happens quite alot, but I think that if you are a true fan of Hamilton, then what is the problem?

        Is there many other people sat in there McLaren Victory tops right now?

        1. No, he had two VERY fast competitors that made stupid mistakes and got penalties, therefore were unable to challenge. He also was handed the pole with Rubens wreck (we don’t know ‘for sure’ if he would or would not have gottent he pole on his own).

          So, a bit of luck, (definitely not ‘very lucky’) for Hamilton. The key point is that he drove a fast, clean, mistake free race.
          the others couldn’t do it (by the way, I’m not British and therefore not being patriotic).

      3. F2000, I have read your posts on this thread and the others as well, and from your comments I am making the presumption you are on the wind up.

    2. I completely agree with ashes1991

      1. i think what f2000’s gettin at is thatthere wasn’t really as much of a challenge put to hamilton as there should have been. but hamilton’s race was flawless. as much as i’d have rathered to see rosberg or vettel win, hamilton was in a class of his own.

  5. Just a thought here. I really want to know why ferrari have stopped developing their F60 car. Everybody, including Brundle, Whitmarsh seem to think that the fundamentals will remain the same, so whatever effort you put into this years car, you’ll reap the benefit next near. So I dunno why they’ve stopped developing their car

    My theory is that Ferrari are building a car to suite Alonso’s style of driving, remember 2006?? When McLaren stopped developing their 2006 car midway through the season. They did that cuz they knew kimi was moving out & they had already signed Alonso, so they started to develop a car suited for Alonso’s style of driving. I suspect the reverse is happening now. As for Mclaren continuous development, everyone including Brundle is of the opinion that Kimi’s & Hammi’s style of driving are very similar, like oversteer etc

    1. A posible and very interesting article would be to highlight the differences in driving habits between Alonso, Hamilton, Schumi etc — even going back in history a little bit. The strong points, setup preferences etc of different drivers, and how this affects the development of the cars to suit individual drivers.
      Cheers and congrats to Hamilton !

    2. I agree MP4, it is an unusual decision by Ferrari when you consider the stability of the rules between this season and next. The Alonso theory is an interesting one, but I think that Ferrari have made various mistakes in development this year which would be difficult to go back on and apply new updates to, they are probably adopting a new design philosophy, and rather than keep chasing down different design avenues they are starting from scratch but with a much better informed starting position, thus being able to make much better time using the wind tunnel. The other theory is they have found a genius bit of aero design inside the regs and realise it’s too late to expose it to the field to be copied!!!
      MP4 you love a good conspiracy, well theres another one for you!

    3. I’m not sure your theory really stands up, despite the likelihood of regulation stability. The Ferrari F60 is a reasonable but flawed response to the 2009 regulations. But if there are several fundamental problems with the car (as there appear to be) then you’ll never solve them simply by bolting on a few new updates.

      As long as Ferrari understand the problems with the F60 (and can therefore correct them in their 2010 car) then their time may be better spent designing the new car, regardless of who drives for them next year. McLaren’s decision to do likewise in 2006 (when they found themselves in something of a blind alley) was almost certainly taken for similar reasons. For one thing, if Ferrari has decided to abandon KERS, this could have a significant impact on their plans for 2010.

      Even with rule stability, you could well get more out of extra time developing a 2010 car than trying to mitigate the shortcomings of a flawed 2009 chassis.

    4. Yeah, but hat didnt work out to good for mclaren in the long run. And by them stopping development on the 2006 car kimi didnt win the championship when he could have. The fact that kimi was leaving shouldnt have mattered.
      Ferrari is going to regret the day they signed this guy. I forsee a bad year next for the red team unless massa can get it going again. and when he does watch the little crying festival in maranello featuring you know who.
      I dont believe this is going to be what they at ferrari are wanting either because I dont believe massa will lye down for alonso and we know he isnt going to accept massa getting equal equipment.
      I can usually find something to cheer about for ferrari every year but next year may be tough.

      1. was Kimi in the hunt in 2006?

        1. Not in the slightest.

      2. and when he does watch the little crying festival in maranello featuring you know who.

        Lord Voldemort?

    5. I don’t think this decision has to do anything with Alonso.

      The F60 is fundamentally flawed, unlike the McLaren which only needed improvements. Reasons to prove this are
      1. Ferari fired their aerodynamics head few races ago, I forgot his name, it was there in autosport.
      2. F60 uses much more fuel than its competitors to travel the same amount of distance as shown in Belgium
      3. The downforce produced by the F60 is still less, which indicates the problems with basic car design something which just a double decker diffuser can’t solve.

      Like Brawn have shown, their pace was not simply down to the diffuser, the entire car was good.

      With next year’s regulations demanding a large fuel tank, and given Ferrari’s not so good fuel consumption, surely, they cannot use this year’s car as a base for next year.

      1. I kind of agree, but take something like the front wing of the McLaren…

        They have tried many many versions of this in free practice and have developed the design as a result.

        Now, the regs for the front wing are the same next year. I’m not saying the whole car is not more than the sum of its parts, but with limited testing surely Ferrari should be testing ideas (for a front wing for example) it has for the 2010 car this year?

        By completely freezing progress reminds me more of BMW than Brawn, and we all know what heppened there.

    6. @mp4-19b

      When you change certain design elements on the car. Characteristics change, which may or may not suit one’s driving style. So far, what i said doesn’t disagree much with what you had to say. However, tailoring the car for one driver is not the approach teams take, unless you have a driver like Wurz, who was too tall and big compared to the other driver in the car.

      Who knows, Ferrari may have found something groundbreaking. Plus, next year teams are supposed to be making their cars even more reliable. So in those terms, developing as per specs to be raced next year makes sense. Several teams have done this in past.

      @ Bartholomew
      There was an article in F1Racing some years ago, i think in 2004, where they compared driving styles of Schumacher and Alonso. I have that issue, but sadly that is in Delhi(India) and now i work in Mumbai(India).

      Think one of the things that someone highlighted was how Alonso likes turning in sharper. Comparatively Schumacher’s smoother, gradual and less aggressive on the turn-in. I don’t remember more beyond that. Sorry about that.

      Funnily enough, even though Alonso’s rather harsh during corner entry et all, he’s good at managing tyre life. Which speaks volumes about his driving prowess, i must say.

  6. mp4 might be something in that, will help Massa too as he has similar preference in cars to Alonso.

    1. Steph;

      I’m not sure bout Massa. The guy is so lucky to be alive. I sincerely hope that he’ll recover in time & give Alonso a tough time. But sadly , I don’t see that happening, at least for the starting few races. I think Fisi will deputize for the first few races. Thats a winning combi, ain’t it? remember 05,06?

      1. MP4 we agree on something!!!! I do not think Massa will ever return to the title challenging form he has shown us in recent seasons, he has a young family now and this incident must take something out of an F1 driver. I really hope I’m wrong, but with Alonso as a team-mate Massas comeback will be very difficult.

  7. We had great drives today: Hamilton, Glock, Alonso, Vettel’s recovery, Rosberg’s initial performance and then his fun at the back, and yet we got a dull race. Shorten the circuit to cut out the slowest bits, change a few corners, or stop coming here. Spa is just as much a challenge for the drivers and we gets good races there! Thank god we’re going to Suzuka so soon.

  8. Great victory for Hamilton, Ferrari will have to work hard if they want to keep his 3rd. position in WCC.

    Very disappointing GP for both RBR. I’m not sure if Vettel’s problem was due to the speed limiter or just an error. And for Webber, I would have taken the risk of not returning back the place to Alonso, and see what happen.

    Both driver’s chances for this championship have almost blown away. As well as RBR chances for WCC. 42.5 points of difference and just 3 races to go. Brawn GP is virtually WCC.

    And very disappointing comment of F Alonso. That was not the moment for making that kind of declarations, he should ask for some advise, or keep his mouth closed.

    1. Alonso owes a lot to Flavio and friends remain friends despite the wrongdoings. May be u havent been frieds to anyone thats why u r saying this. Why do u always want to be on majority side. Bravo Alonso, u have rebuffed the trend…

      1. Alonso owes a lot to Flavio

        I think Alonso owes more to Renault, and its 700 employees working within the team.

        The press today is highlighting his support to Flavio, not the congratulations and support he sent to the Team, who needed it much more than Flavio, under the current circumstances.

        1. Most of Renault employees owes a lot to Flavio, so Alonso represented all team memberes emotion.They have got through hard time all together

  9. Mp4, for first few races maybe he’ll be slotting in but hopefully won’t be as disadvanatged as if Kimi was in car (by that I mean Alonso will be just settling in at Ferrar). But I do think, hope and pray Massa will be stronger than ever though I am bias with him.

  10. i fell asleep at the slumber car…i mean safety car. i’ll watch this again tonight and hopefully be asleep at a reasonable hour.

  11. Yes!!!! Lewis Hamilton WON!!!!!!!!! Congrats!!!!! He’s really strong this year…. ^_^

  12. At least they bring out the SC with that piece on wing on the track. Clearing it with waved yellows and a gap in the traffic was, finally, good common sense by race control.

    1. At least they didn’t… sorry!

  13. Little cool between Lewis & Nicole post race…what?

  14. Keith, what do you make of this and this ?

    1. I heard the Caubert quote earlier and I guess it’s not really a surprise, particularly in the light of Alonso’s remarks in the press conference, and the well-reported rumours we’ve heard all year.

      Haven’t seen the Raikkonen remarks anywhere else and I’m not taking them at face value from a story on F1-Live.

    2. Alonso also dedicated his 3rd place to Flabby O. Not a good thing if he was planning to stay at Renault.

  15. Good synopsis, but disagree that “Button didn’t bother chasing after Vettel…”. Initially was hunting him down nicely, getting the gap down to 1.2seconds until it became apparent that his front right brake was very marginal. Was at that point that Ross asked him to consolidate, having previously confirmed with Ted Kravitz that Button would be pressuring Vettel, who was nursing his own brakes following Webber’s and one of the sister team cars retiring from the same issue.

    Button has certainly seems to have the gods on his side, but 100% agree with Mika’s BBC post-race forum comment, that Jenson needs to finish this by winning the WDC with the throttle of his Brawn firmly wide open.

    For the first seven races, pundits couldn’t rain enough praise on JB for fully maximising excellent car his team put under him, but Singapore qualifying underlined exactly how much pressure must be weighing upon Jenson. Would be good for him, and the WDC I think, to see Button bring home some convincing results in these last 3 races, to silence the dissenters and make sure he is remembered as a winning champion, not a lucky one.

    Again, a huge thanks to K and the mods this weekend. F1F brings a great dimension to my enjoyment. Grand job folks.

    1. Thanks Salty, and as ever I echo the thanks to our live blog moderators, they keep everything running smoothly and it was a long race today.

  16. Hi everybody :)

    Hamilton was untouchable today; too bad for Nico and Vettel, big mistakes. I’m happy for Glock and Alonso.

    The GP was boring though. :(

  17. Fantastic race from Lewis! Well done golden-boy. Very happy as well that FA was in the podium. Maybe a glimpse of what is to come next year…

    1. Couldn’t agree more about Alonso today. A great drive from a great racer. Alonso in Ferrari against Hamilton in the McLaren next year promises to be a gem. Can’t discount Kimi and Massa either, gonna be one hell of a show.

      1. Yeah and it’s not the first time this year he’s finished ahead of faster cars piloted by drivers who made mistakes he didn’t. A very good job once again.

        It’s frustrating that he hasn’t got an experienced enough team mate to be a worthy frame of reference. But it looks increasingly likely he’ll be alongside Massa next year, which will be fascinating.

        1. And there is the beauty in next years probable line-up. Alonso will have Massa to keep him honest. Hamilton will have his hands very full with Kimi.

          No major design changes, so both teams should be right on the bubble in 2010.

  18. Thought it was a bit like watching a Test Match but only a bit because the tactics worked out in 2 hrs rather than five days (yawn)
    I would like to see Button win the championship next week so that we have two races left for him to give it full welly.
    In my view, Rosberg has done enough to earn a better team, Vettel has been a great kid this year but less of the kid next year please, Mark will be a real asset to the commentary box soon having been of great value on track. Rubens deserves a good seat more than Kimi does (said it was my view) Fernando now needs to keep his nose very clean for the rest of his brilliant career, Lewis is Lewis and thank goodness for that.

  19. I don’t understand this… how can people say anything about Hamilton’s race today? I’m a die-hard Alonso fan, I hate Hamilton’s guts, but… his racing today was perfect… he might have had some trouble if Rosberg and Vettel didn’t make silly mistakes, but hey, finally, he didn’t do any silly mistakes and took advantage of other people’s ones… that’s how you win races and championships. He fully deserved it today, it’s not an easy race…

  20. Those guys at f1.com thinks like Keith. They even got similar heading for the Race review article

    1. Not a great surprise – this race was short on storylines :-(

    2. Mussolini's Pet Cat
      27th September 2009, 19:19

      Well, how would you head this piece? Martians attack Earth will cheeseballs?

      1. I would have make a joke out of all the deja vu. With Grosjean at Turn 17 and finally ending with the podium looking very much familiar. I’m sure Rosberg must be feeling some coincidences too, with penalties and 2nd place.

      2. Singa-bore GP?

      3. will cheeseballs what?

  21. Mussolini’s Pet Cat that would grab attention though :P
    And nooo Keith they just saw how great this site was and borrowed a few ideas ;)

  22. Keith as already said above the new Renault director confirmed that ALO is leaving at the end of the season. TF1 added that the Ferrari deal is going to be announced this week.

  23. Alonso will suit better to Ferrari than Kimi. Kimi is fair and honest and racing only on track.

    1. I think you’ve made a gem of a comment GP1. this comment must be embedded on F1F for a long time.

      1. I second that.

        I used to be a Schumi fan and hence a Ferrari fan.Did not root for Kimi coz he was at McLaren. Very happy when moved he to Ferrari.But now if Kimi moves to McLaren I will get myself one of those blazing Victory tees to wear next year. :)

        1. As a mercedes owner you would think I would adore mclaren, but I dont. They are a good team that I think overall play fair.Yes I know about the stepney thing but I have never held them totally at fault on that. That being said I have always liked kimis driving especially in 2006 when he was driving the wheels of the car with a flatspotted tire in front of alonso and it was drive like hell and win or drive like hell break and loose, he didnt even think about nursing it for 2nd. When he went to ferrari he drove the same way and won the wdc. That is what real racers do. Hamilton and Alonso were trying to posture and get just enough to win the championship and kimi hung it all out and took it from them. I was amazed at his driving then.
          I wasnt a ferrari fan but I like massa as well.
          Iam not a Hamilton fan at all but I do admit his abilities, and watching him at monza this year was refreshing to see him drive the car for all it had and try for either 2nd place or nothing.(He got nothing, but his effort was recognized)
          This leads me to a real quandry as I like kimi and massa but they are on different teams next year. I can only hope that hte championship comes down to kimi or massa. I still cannot pull for either team but I can the drivers.
          Hopefully Reubens will stay at Brawn and we will have a good season all over especially if Williams can make their car just a little better as rosberg is showing a new competitive streak with the car. If they can get hulkenberg comfortable it might be the best season yet as this one needs to be behind us.

  24. What on earth happened with Sutils penalty? They gave him a reprimand and a $20,000 fine. ***?

    First he rams Alguersuari in a pathetic attemp to … yeah to what? He was nowhere near an overtaking opportunity. That normally would have been a drive through penalty (like for instance Bourdais 2008, Vettel 2009 and Webber 2009 got)

    The he keeps the peddle down and rams Heidfeld. Again completely ridiculous and something that should land him a drive through penalty.

    So instead of 2 drive through penalties (translated to grid penalties for the next race), he doesn’t get a disqualification or at the very least a very severe grid penalty. No, he gets a fine!!!

  25. Did anyone notice Kovi was different in interviews and his general body language? He looked like a guy that has finally been told his fate.

    I feel sorry for him, he is a nice bloke and certainly quick on low fuel, but he’s just not aggresive enough in races and doesn’t know how to overtake.

    1. Yeah. I noticed that too. I think he must have known his fate by then, but I’m sure he’ll do a decent job at Renault alongside Kubica.

    2. And Martin Whitmarsh hardly knew where to look when the BBC asked him if Raikkonen was joining McLaren for 2010.

      Something tells me he doesn’t join in the paddock poker games or he’d be rather poor by now…

    3. Yeah it wasn’t nice to watch, he was visibly distressed, putting a brave professional front on it.
      He is a good driver and deserves a seat in F1, as MP4 says he would do a good job next to Kubica, it’s a shame because I thought he would florish at McLaren, but perhaps he has suffocated under the Hamilton shadow, Kimi will do better because of his “water off a ducks back” attitiude.

    4. Well thats what you get when you are 35 seconds behind your teammate after 15 laps.

      That has always been his problem really, he loses so much time in the 1st stint that what he does later in the race is irrelevant. He is much faster after the 1st pit stop.

    5. Yes. Kov’s obviously quick as qualifying shows but that’s meaningless if you can’t consistently turn that into race good performances. 35 secs being Hamilton at Singapore – and that’s with a safety car – and 57 secs behind Hamilton at Monza before Hamilton dropped it on the last lap and was on the better strategy.

      It will be interesting if he can secure a position at one of the new teams next year.

      1. (typo)…35 secs behind…

  26. John H yep noticed it, very sad and uncomfortable to watch. I feel for him, he has potential and talent, his pace is there in qualifying yet never seems to deliver in races (hope he doesn’t turn into another Jarno it would be a waste). I hope Kovy gets a seat somewhere next year.

  27. Aww, just realised next live blogs will be at about 2 and 5 in the morning. I’ll try not to be too grumpy :P

  28. Excluding Monte Carlo, street circuits are for the birds. Formula 1 should be run on proper race tracks. Valencia, Albert Park, and Singapore have absolutely no place in Formula 1 when we have so many great tracks around the world that are unused. As long as Bernie has his way and we fans continue to watch, proper racing circuits will die a slow death. I’m as guilty as anyone because I religiously wake up at 4:30am on Sunday mornings (I live in the Pacific time zone) to watch. I wish Bernie could be voted out just like Max. Sorry for the rant but in my humble opinion we need to make a big deal out of this issue. I’ll move on to today’s race. I enjoyed watching the night racing under the lights. I’ll bet it’s a real treat to see in person. I’ve seen night sports car racing at the 12 hours of Sebring and it is spectacular. If the drivers feel the conditions are safe for racing, I won’t oppose it. My question is ……..would they say anything if they didn’t feel safe and face the wrath of Bernie? As far as the circuit is concerned it appears that improvements in the runoff areas have been made but Singapore should be embarrassed by the sheer amount of dust and grit on the track. There are no relatively safe places to pass, far too many corners, and the entire circuit is located inside concrete walls. On the upside, even a novice observer will quickly realize how special the drivers in formula 1 are. As a spectator I want to see some passing, I want to see the cars run wide open at some point in the race. I want the drivers to feel like they can take a chance and not worry about a concrete wall as the consequence. I want to see racing and not just a time trail. Lewis Hamilton did a fantastic job of managing his tires, breaks and possibly a small problem with his KERS system. Nico Rosberg made a critical mistake and paid dearly for it. Rubens Barrichello stalled his car on his second pit stop and allowed Jensen Button to finally finish ahead of him. Timo Glock drove an excellent race and made the most of his opportunity. Fernando Alonso got the most performance possible out of the Renault and finished a very strong third. I guess I never really stopped complaining but I thank each and every one of you for reading my opinion. Oh, just one more thing……..could someone please explain the rules to me because I just don’t understand why Mark Weber was penalized. Maybe the rules don’t apply to everyone.

  29. It was a shame about Webber, but his brakes probably wouldnt have lasted anyway.

    1. Sorry, i was referring to letting Glock & Alonso back through

  30. I think the most remarkable thing to come out of this race was that Nick Heidfeld failed to finish it!

    Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration – it wasn’t as bad as Valencia. But still, I thought the changes to the circuit were supposed to enhance overtaking? I actually think there was even less overtaking in this year’s race!

  31. Favourite moment of the Singapore GP:

    As the drivers were in the back room getting ready for the podium, Lewis and Timo were sucking down bottles of water to rehydrate and in comes Fernando with a can of Coke! I’m not an Alonso fan but that deserves some credit.

    Next weekend, if he makes it onto the podium, I’m hoping for him to light-up a cigarette while chugging down the champagne! Bring back the days of the semi-professional driver, I say.

  32. Just a little note , on LH’s 1st pitstop,he had 21 guys working on his car….rule is 20 max.

  33. Webber’s flick around and use of his rear brakes to prevent a big shunt was great car control. With the Webber decision I think Charlie Whiting should feel under a lot of pressure now. He wasn’t clean in the Piquet thing either because he needed to have been proactive when he got notice. Here Alonso was taking Webber wider out and Webber was in too far in to be expected to back off and the choice of touching when you have available run off should not be forced upon drivers by Charlie Whiting. Kimi by comparison drove off at an angle and Mark just stayed on it holding tight and parallel next to Alonso. Bye bye Charlie, not good enough.

  34. I agree that Kimi completley got off with a cynical bit of driving in spa, and i also agree that Webbers control after the brakes gave out was quality. BUT he used part of the road that was not designated as track to his advantage in aiding the passing of another car, if the run off wasn’t there then he’d be in the wall or have to brake and pull in behind, the consistancy is nothing short of apalling in the stewarding I agree but Mark broke the rules, you cannot complain about that, but you can complain that Kimis went unpunished.

    1. Bigbadderboom, I like your wall analogy BUT if there was a wall I believe it would have also been in Webber’s favour. Alonso didn’t have momentum out that previous corner, so much so that he didn’t need to move across to Webber’s line while he was trying getting back on the gas. He only did it because he could do it without touching. Alonso is that smart, the smartest in the car by far, and they have both raced like that in the past … but they don’t touch unless there is no choice.

    2. I agree. This needs to be looked at because there is, yet again, inconsistencies in rulings. Brundle yesterday described the Webber/Kimi decisions of it being a “matter of judgement.” Others will say that it’s a “matter of what car you’re driving.”

      If the FIA is remotely interested in sorting F1 out and rid F1 of the bad reputation it is currently experiencing, then the performance of the stewards needs to be address. Todt has mentioned bringing in a Stewards Review Group to sort these issues out and if/when he is elected I hope the group does.

  35. every race iv watched, before they step onto the podium they all speak to each other…at singapore they all sat down shaked hands and never spoke a word. Is it me or do you think timo and lewis where quiet about alonso being 3rd incase it was another fix? or where they just tired.

  36. If McLaren put a good car together next season and Kimi joins Lewis it will be like 1988 McLaren clean sweep (almost)but with 2 Senna’s rather than a senna and a Prost!! Bring it on.

  37. I’m surprised (though not really) that Red Bull weren’t at least reprimanded over sending Webber out with clearly failing brakes after his last pit stop.

    1. And Vettel’s car “falling apart” (I’m Vettel’s fan)

  38. it is outrageous the penalty to Webber.
    He was forced to surpass from outside.
    Moreover, Alonso was from the outside too.
    They were both off the track, so why should Alonso take Webber’s position?
    Also check what is happening to a previous corner –> http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/lap1_sing_2009-470×313.jpg
    Alonso is going once again from the outside.
    I think this issue should be a topic by itself and be discussed thoroughly and evenmore now that elections for the FIA president are expected.
    I’m sicked of the FIA rules that depend from the team that they are applied to.
    But I forgot… Alonso should get a podium before he gets to Ferrari. Probably his expected red uniform gave him the advantage over poor Webber.

    Renault and Alonso are overprotected by FIA or is it just me that sees it like that?
    Does this overprotection sources from the fact that Alonso moves to Ferrari?

    1. You forgot to wear your protective aluminum head gear …

  39. UnicornF1 – Really, have you really thought about what you posted?

    A) it was not a penalty from the FIA, Red Bull asked him to give the place up so that they avoid the much more costly stop-n-go.

    B) Alonso was in front of Webber. Drivers don’t get penalized for going off the track when they don’t pass anyone. Alonso is not passing Webber in your picture and he was not passing Webber when they both went off….Webber was passing him!! Therefore, Webber gets the call from Red Bull. it’s pretty obvious that it is ‘fair’ when during the radio transmission from Red Bull to Webber (RB says give the positions back to Alonso and Glock), Webber said “why Glock”….he didn’t question giving a spot back to Alonso, he knew…

    So, what is kinda weird is that he gave Glock the position. the Alonso position was clear…this makes your Ferrari and overprotection comments silly…or worse…

    But it does make Patrickl’s comment funny…

    1. A) Are you sure about that? Check Webber’s interview: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/78990

      Mark Webber – DNF: “We had a suspected brake problem, so when I came in for my pit-stop, the guys made a visual check. It seemed reasonable for me to continue, but then we had the failure and I retired. The guys did everything they could – I think they were seconds away from retiring me when we had the failure, so it’s disappointing. The first lap was pretty feisty, as you’d expect on a street circuit and I had a bit of a fight with Fernando in Turn 7 and we both ran wide. About nine laps later I had to let Fernando back through, but unfortunately Glock was in the middle by then, so I had to let them both through. My race was heavily compromised from there. I thought the incident was fifty/fifty – but the stewards decided I had to let Fernando and Glock through, so I lost the hard work I’d done during my first stint. It was a hard penalty I think, Kimi did something similar in Spa and got away with it. I’d like to say thanks to the guys in the garage for this weekend – they’re awesome and that’s why we’re second in the Constructors’ Championship. Fingers crossed we can finish this year on a high.”

      B) If RedBull called and not FIA then ok, my comment is silly. But my comment is based on Webber’s words I quoted you above.

      So, what did really happen?

      1. Yea, I’m sure…he passed Alonso while running wide. Alonso didn’t pass him, so it’s obvious that he gained advantage.

        The stewards probably made the call to give the position up, but it is ridiculous to think that track stewards want Alonso to win because he is going to Ferrari MAYBE next year….to imply that the FIA is overprotecting Alonso is silly given that it was a pretty clear off track over taking.

        For a guy like Webber (outspoken on other drivers) to say 50/50 means nothing at all, he’s basically saying it was a fair call.

        1. ok I am withdrawing this silly comment. It was a wrong think to say.

          …but at the end of the day you admit that this was a stewards call which would result in a penalty if Webber didn’t obey.

          The point is that Webber was running wide and passed Alonso who was also running wide.
          So why should we favor one or the other?

          1. ok, it does seem as though the stewards made the call.

            But, there is not driver favoritism here just because they both went wide. The problem with this situation is that Webber gained advantage by going off and passed Alonso. Alonso was in front so he couldn’t gain an advantage. there is nothing in the rules that says the car in front can’t go off track, even if they theoretically gain an advantage (example, Alonso goes wide to legally block Webber, Webber does not get by….no penalty)

            So, it doesn’t matter what Alonso was doing…he could have been doing a 360 at the apex. the bottom line is you can’t go off track and make a clear pass (the Kimi at Spa turn 1 situation is debatable because either 1) the stewards missed it, 2) he didn’t make a clear pass OR did not have any other option [which is what Kimi said], or 3) there is a grand conspiracy set forth to dictate the outcome of every race by handing out…or not handing out penalties.

            the bottom line….Webber should have known better and stayed behind…I seem to remember Button doing it a few times this year and look at where he is in the points.

          2. Maybe you have a point there, I agree the way you present it.

            However I think the rules should be clearer and applied everytime in the same way. Evenmore, between the stewards there should probably be also a retired F1 driver who knows the sport from the inside and has experienced several situations.

  40. what was Nico thinking?He threw a podium?

    The championship is over for Red Bull!
    It will be good for them to concentrate for next year car & let the two Brawn drivers fight.

    I think Jenson Button will be champion,all he needs to do is to stay behind Barrichello.

  41. According to the available evidence, it wasn’t Alonso’s fault that Symonds, Briatore and Piquet indulged in foul play. Alonso really was in a class of his own last year at Singapore and deserved the win (ie, if he did not have a part to play in the conspiracy). He proved it again with a brilliant 3rd place this year. He was my driver of the day, though I didn’t like him dedicating his podium to Briatore. His one-off bearded appearance though was cool. Alonso is a class driver – let’s not take that away from him. Any wonder Ferrari is pursuing him?

  42. mfDB, you ran away from the line I put to you. If there was a wall instead of a runoff, Webber would have had the pass because Alonso wouldn’t have “”blocked” him into it. Maybe Keith can post the video and we can see just where the cars were relatively from the previous corner where Webber was already outside and hads drive while Alonso was inside and had lost momentum. I’m thinking you are spinning it for Charlie. Even Todt says there are changes coming in top ranks. I have a fairly good track record predicting events and both Bernie and now Charlie are on my list.

    1. “Ifs” do not help.
      If there was a wall or a sand trap at Spa, Kimi wouldn’t have gone wide and would turn the first corner 5th or 6th!
      If in Singapore the kerbs were absent and the drivers were given all the available space we wouldn’t have this conversation now.

      Here are some video links:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMCMfqiQiDM
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5ixCQE5EOI

      and Kimi at Spa (this video was linked to the previous one):
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcjM6LYxS7k

    2. motion, I’m not sure what you mean by running away from the line, i guess you mean a previous post.

      If there was a wall Webber would be in the hospital. Like Unicorn said, “ifs” are meaningless. If I was an F1 driver, I would have backed off and passed Alonso properly. I’m not spinning anything for Charlie, just discussing the rule of passing off the track as I’ve seen it applied since I started watching F1 22+ years ago. We’ve seen it time and time again, you cannot pass someone off the track. The isssue here isn’t if Webber did something illegal, that’s obvious. The only issue is the inconsistency with handing the penalties out.

      To say that Kimi went off at angle and his move was more illegal than Mark’s is insane. I think they were both illegal. You said that ‘just because Mark was going straight he shouldn’t be expected to back off’ (???) what really, he passed Alonso off the track….what does going straight have to do with that. Webber knows better and didn’t even complain about it (and of all the guys out there, Mark would have thrown a fit if he disagreed).

  43. Please, check this battle:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qjQiOJpHBM
    would you be satisfied if someone got a penalty for driving and overtaking off-track?
    Wouldn’t you prefer to be able to see more of this and less penalties?

    1. Unicorn, did either of them get a penalty for that, I can’t remember, but I don’t think so. That was a crazy battle. they both ‘seem’ to be giving position back when they gain advantage (Kubica seems to do it at min 1:28.

      The rule seems pretty vague with that type of racing and going off track, were they bumped and did they gain an advantage.

      Just for argument sake, what if Buemi started 17th in Monza and just cut the turn 1 chicane, came back on track and was 7th. would anyone be satisfied with that?

      The point is, going off track and gaining advantage is and should be illegal.

      Even more important is that the rules are vague and the people handing them out are basically incompetent. I’m ready for a change in the system.

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