Date:Monday September 26 2011
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel couldn’t have done much more in Singapore to clinch his second Formula One World Championship.
The reigning F1 champion stuck his Red Bull on pole for the eleventh time this season and then drove a faultless race to claim his ninth win of the season.
By winning the race Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso had to finish on the podium for the Spaniard to mathematically still be in the hunt, but the former two time F1 champion finished fourth, so his title hopes are now officially over, despite realistically never being in contention.
McLaren’s Jenson Button took second place, the only result which would delay Vettel’s title celebrations as it leaves Vettel one point shy of claiming back-to-back championships.
The 2009 Formula One champion now needs to win all five remaining races while Vettel cannot finish in the top 10 in any of them, to claim the title, an impossible task even if Vettel decided to swap his Red Bull for a HRT for the remainder of the season.
Away from the title race and Red Bull’s Mark Webber took third, while McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton had yet another eventful race to claim fifth.
Once again the former British World champion was penalised for a collision with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, Hamilton had been trying to overtake the Brazilian, but pulled out of the move a little bit late and his front wing grazed Massa’s rear wheel. The result was a puncture for the Ferrari and a broken front wing for Hamilton.
The pit stops put both drivers out of contention for the race to the podium, while a drive thru penalty further impeded Hamilton.
Other than that incident Hamilton however did prove that overtaking was possible around the twisty Singapore track, pulling off many impressive manoeuvres to battle his way back up to fifth.
Force India’s Paul di Resta also had an impressive race, with the British driver finishing in a very respectable sixth place.
Mercedes Nico Rosberg finished seventh, the German driver avoided punishment by the race stewards on two occasions, the first at the start of the race when he took to the outside of the first corner to avoid an incident, but in doing so managed to not lose track position by taking a short cut. But the race stewards decided to overlook the move.
The second incident involved Sauber’s Perez.
Rosberg initially made a mistake and Perez took the chance to make his move, the two cars collided while side-by-side and Rosberg took the place back.
Despite the impact being much harder than the collision between Hamilton and Massa, Rosberg not only gained the place, but sustained no damage and no penalties.
While Rosberg was getting all the luck, his team-mate certainly wasn’t.
Following the incident with Perez and Rosberg, Schumacher caught up Perez and looked to be lining up a move down the inside of one of the tight corners to take advantage, but the Sauber driver appeared to break early, possibly due to the unnatural line he was taking into the corner and Schumacher clipped the back of him, flipping his car into the air momentarily before sliding into the wall.
Thankfully the former seven-time former F1 champion was ok after the shunt.
Paul di Resta’s Force India team-mate Adrian Sutil took eight, Massa battled back up to ninth, while Perez who was undamaged by the Schumacher crash went on to finish tenth.
Date:Monday September 26 2011
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