SINGAPORE – The Singapore Grand Prix was disappointing for Lewis Hamilton and McLaren. The Brit was having a great weekend starting the race from the pole, but had to retire with a gearbox failure on lap 23 of 29. Sebastien Vettel was positioned well to capitalize on Hamilton’s disappointment. The Red Bull driver was in second place at the time, and decisively claimed the lead to the end. Vettel also moves into second place in points. "It looks better than before," Vettel said. "We have a lot of races left, the car seems to be competitive, and we just have to use the momentum and keep pushing for these last races and see what happens."
Jensen Button claimed a strong second place and did apply pressure to Vettel, but the McLaren driver complained that his car was not “balanced” towards the end of the race. He also verbalized some frustration with McLaren’s performance, especially Hamilton’s’ DNF. "Seb didn't make any mistakes and we finished second," Button said. "It's good to get some points on the board after the retirement at Monza. It's disappointing for the team to have another DNF (did not finish). We can't seem to do it with both cars and for sure that is something we need to work on for the remainder of the season."
Ferrari’s Alonso managed a third place finish, keeping him 27 points ahead of Vettel in the championship. It is a good thing that Alonso knows how to make lemonade from lemons as Ferrari has been struggling recently. The Spaniard was only able to manage a fifth place start, which he converted into a podium finish. Regarding the forthcoming races, he said: “I think all this year we've been up and down for all the teams, and it's the same for us. For sure, we need to improve the performance we saw here. We struggled all weekend. Positions five and 13 for our cars is not what we were hoping for, so we need to be in a better position in Suzuka. Maybe Silverstone is also quite similar to Suzuka, and we were quite OK there, so hopefully we can repeat that kind of performance.”
Other interesting stories from Singapore include the 10-place penalty for the Japan GP Michael Schumacher “earned” and the strong fourth place finish by Force India’s Paul di Resta. Schumacher was penalized by FIA stewards for a mid-race collision with Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne. The German slammed into Vergne’s car on the race’s restart following the first safety-car period. This is the second penalty Schumacher has received this year. Di Resta drove a brilliant race leading to his highest place finish in F1. Some believed he actually posed a threat to Alonso. A strong finish for Force India is important as it earns its position in the high-stakes game of Formula 1. Stay tuned for more from this burgeoning team.