Singapore Grand Prix – Sebastian Vettel has won the Singapore Grand Prix for Ferrari. He beat home Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Vettel led the race away from the front and proceeded to control proceedings throughout. Despite the interference of two safety cars, Vettel was able to weather pressure from Daniel Ricciardo to take the victory.
The championship has been tightened up considerably by a disastrous result for Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes had managed to work their way up to P4 & P5 thanks to an undercut on Daniil Kvyat before Hamilton encountered a power problem. Slowing considerably, Hamilton fell out of the points before he was withdrawn. This issue didn’t appear to be power unit related, and suggestions from team radio implied the pedal application hardware was to blame.
This allowed Nico Rosberg to take P4, with Valtteri Bottas taking P5 for Williams. Having lost positions through the first pitstops, Kvyat was unable to recover and fell to P6 through the second stops. Sergio Perez took P7 for Force India ahead of Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz & Romain Grosjean.
The first safety car was caused by a collision between Williams’ Felipe Massa & Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg. Massa, attempting to undercut past the Force India, emerged from the pitlane alongside Hulkenberg but the pair met at the apex of Turn 3. Colliding, Hulkenberg was thrown off into the barriers while Massa was able to continue. Immediately investigated by the stewards, Hulkenberg was adjudged as at fault for the collision and given a three place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The second safety car was brought out due to a fan walking along the straight just after the Anderson Bridge. Just as the safety car was deployed, the fan climbed back in behind the barriers but the field were still forced to bunch back up. The two safety cars allowed Max Verstappen, who had fallen a lap behind due to stalling on the grid, to recover and overtake his way back up to the points. However, the Dutch driver refused to obey a late race instruction from Toro Rosso to allow teammate Carlos Sainz through.
No points for McLaren, who both retired again. Fernando Alonso, who had been running P9, retired on Lap 34 with an overheating gearbox. Jenson Button retired twenty laps later with a similar issue. Button had looked set to challenge for a minor points finish but collided with Pastor Maldonado while attempting to pass the Lotus and broke his front wing.
Vettel’s victory brings him to within 50 points of Lewis Hamilton in the Driver’s Championship, while Rosberg also closed in, thanks to his P4.