Sebastian Vettel after winning the 2013 Formula One Singapore Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
This was Vettel’s third victory in a row at Singapore’s Marina Bay street circuit and his seventh win of the season. He made a good getaway from pole, but Mercedes AMG’s Nico Rosberg, who was next to him, started better and edged in front of as the two Germans approached turn one.
Rosberg carried a bit too much speed in, however, and was forced to run wide. That allowed Vettel to move into the lead by turn three and start building up his gap. However, on lap 24, Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, Mark Webber’s replacement at Red Bull Racing next year, crashed at turn 18 and the safety car was released.
That erased Vettel’s gap though he was still in the lead when the safety car went out on lap 31. Five laps later, Vettel already had a gap of 14 seconds over the next best driver, at this point Rosberg. With that kind of pace, the race was virtually over already.
Once again, the more exciting driver to watch was Alonso. The Spaniard started the race at seventh on the grid but after a great start, he made up four places to lie third at the first chicane. Räikkönen, too, ran a spectacular race, despite suffering some back pain. The Finn managed to finish third despite starting all the way back at 13th.
Rosberg would eventually cross the line in fourth, followed by his Mercedes AMG teammate Lewis Hamilton in fifth. The final stages witnessed a great climb up the order for Ferrari’s other driver, Felipe Massa. Having dropped to fourteenth after his final pit stop, the Brazilian worked his way up all the way back to sixth place at the flag.
Then it was the two McLarens of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, in seventh and eighth spots respectively. They were followed by Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg in ninth and Force India’s Adrian Sutil rounding out the top ten. Mark Webber, sadly, was forced to retire due to engine trouble on the final lap while in fourth place.
With his latest win, Sebastian Vettel extends his Drivers’ Championship points tally to 247 points. Thanks to his efforts, Fernando Alonso moves back into second though his 187 points is still well clear of Vettel’s tally. Lewis Hamilton drops to third with 151 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing commands 377 points versus the 274 points of Ferrari and the 267 points of Mercedes AMG.
The next race on the calendar is the Korean Grand Prix, which takes place in a fortnight.