Nobody could stand in Sebastian Vettel’s way as he eased himself to a mundane victory under the 6,000 lights of the Singapore street circuit. A brief spell of around four seconds proceeded the processional Grand Prix as Rosberg beat Vettel to the first corner and gave hope of a race, but overshot his braking and allowed Vettel to retake the lead. Fernando Alonso had a superb start to jump from seventh to third at one of the Spaniard’s strongest circuits, whilst Hamilton joined his team-mate by overshooting the first corner and illegally overtaking Felipe Massa. The entire grid made it unscathed through the first lap as Hamilton was ordered to give the place back to Massa.
Two laps down and Vettel led a two-second lead on Rosberg. Excluding several pit stops, nothing notable happened on track for the first twenty laps.
Eventually, Sergio Perez broke the procession and made a move on Nico Hulkenberg. Nico was forced to take to run off track as Perez was on his inside, but didn’t gain an advantage. However, the stewards made yet another of their infamous mistakes and ordered the German to hand the place to Perez – despite the fact that Nico was ahead of Perez before the incident and didn’t gain an advantage.
Two laps later Daniel Ricciardo out-braked himself and hit the barriers at the tunnel and prompted a Safety Car. On the restart, Rosberg failed to challenge Vettel and he shot off far into the distance.
Romain Grosjean was running high in the order following his third in Qualifying before being told that his engine pneumatic system lacked air. He sat in the box for over forty seconds as a Renault engineer got down on his knees and pumped the engine with air. However, the problem proved fatal and Grosjean was forced to pit two laps later to retire from the race.
Far back, Gutierrez held seventh from Webber and the Mercedes duo. Mark Webber was the first to make a move on the Mexican and slid past him into turn 7. Rosberg was held up behind the Sauber until turn 9 while Hamilton followed his team-mate on the exit of turn 12. The trio now hunted Jenson Button in third, Kimi Raikkonen in fourth, Sergio Perez in fifth and Nico Hulkenberg in sixth. Webber was catching the latter by a fantastic three seconds a lap.
The Trio was soon upon the German and he moved past him at the same point that he passed the sister Sauber as Kimi pulled a fantastic move around the outside of Button for the final podium position. Webber took the fight to Perez through turn 7 and passed him in turn 8 as Rosberg moved past Hulkenberg at the sixth corner.
Paul di Resta binned his Force India at turn 7 for his third retirement in three races, following yet another Q1 drop out for the Scott. Webber was still moving up the grid, taking fourth from Button into the first corner. Rosberg passed Perez a lap later and then targeted his McLaren team-mate as Hamilton overtook Perez towards the tunnel.
In the dying stages, Webber was told to short shift every gear on every corner. Could the Aussie drop out on the last lap after a fantastic late charge?
Felipe Massa was also fighting late on and moved passed Jenson Button – who had lost four place in five laps. Rosberg came right up to the gearbox of Webber’s dying car and was challenging for fourth as Button led Perez from Hulkenberg and Sutil in the remaining Force India. Webber was a sitting duck on the final lap and Rosberg cruised past the Aussie and Hamilton followed suit seconds later.
His next words were to radio “I’m in trouble, I’m in trouble”, and urged to carry on to the line. “Yeah, no can do” he replied. Massa coasted past the Red Bull which then burst into flames, as Vettel crossed the line to win the Singapore Grand Prix.
- Sebastian Vettel
- Fernando Alonso
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Nico Rosberg
- Lewis Hamilton
- Felipe Massa
- Jenson Button
- Sergio Perez
- Nico Hulkenberg
- Adrian Sutil
- Pastor Maldonado
- Esteban Gutierrez
- Valtteri Bottas
- Jean-Eric Vergne
- Mark Webber
- Giedo van der Garde
- Max Chilton
- Jules Bianchi
- Charles Pic
- Romain Grosjean – Engine air-intake issue
- Paul di Resta – Crash
- Daniel Ricciardo – Crash