Spaniard Steals The Show At Singapore




Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso

With four races left after a thrilling Singapore Grand Prix, the F1 world championship is poised on a knife’s edge with five drivers still in the hunt for the title. Fernando Alonso, who has had an on-off season, made it three wins out of the last five races to move just 11 points behind Mark Webber, who finished third. The other Red Bull driver, Sebastian Vettel stood second on the podium as he kept himself in the hunt for the title. Lewis Hamilton had a night to forget as he failed to finish for the second consecutive race after colliding with Webber.

The first half of the spectacular night race was relatively short on incident. The safety car came out in the third lap as Vitantonio Liuzzi’s Force India had to be cleared as he retired after having suspension damage. Webber made an early strategic stop for soft tyres moving him down the grid but he was followed by a host of cars and by the time the safety car went out, he was back to tenth. Alonso and Vettel had by then separated from the rest of the field and were having a race of their own.

The first real action of the race came in the 32nd lap when Sauber’s Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi lost control and collided into the barriers. HRT’s Bruno Senna ran into the Sauber which was parked on the racing line thus bringing out the safety car for the second time in the race. While the rest of the pack pitted, Webber moved into place third just ahead of Hamilton and Button. When the race resumed on the 36th lap, Hamilton tried an overtaking maneouvre on Webber and there was contact between the cars and a frustrated Hamilton was forced to retire a couple of laps later.

Meanwhile Alonso and Vettel were setting the track on fire lap after lap. There was fire literally as Heiki Kovalinen’s Lotus went up in flames on the penultimate lap after he was sent into a spin by Sebastian Buemi. The Spaniard, Alonso managed to hold off Vettel as the German finished the race just two tenths of a second behind the Ferrari. Webber, after the incident with Hamilton, had a drama free finish to finish third, a place he would have settled for at the start. The reigning world champion Jenson Button finished an uneventful fourth ahead of former teammate Barrichelo. Kubica pulled off at least five overtaking moves to finish seventh while Massa, Sutil and Hulkenberg were the other point scorers.

However it was the Spaniard Alonso’s week in Singapore as he moved to 191 points after his fourth win of the season, just 11 adrift of Webber. With Hamilton, Vettel and Button not far behind with 182, 181 and 177 points respectively, it ensures another nail biting end to the season with all drivers aware that one bad race would be enough to spoil their title hopes and none knows this better than a certain Lewis Hamilton who has had two.

By: Monish Menon

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