Singapore Forumula 1 GP (Marina Bay)

Short race report
The race tonight was cool, not that it rained (it was a warm night), but the spade of activities which occurred could be one of the most interesting to watch for this whole year- interestingly cool I will put it. Though there is no record for the number of cars which crashed for a race tonight (sorry destruction fans), there were 2 major crashes and the safety car was called out not once but twice due, which to the dismay of many is rather drenching for leading cars to fall back and lose the lead they are trying so hard to maintain.

The favorites for tonight’s race have to be the McLaren and Ferrari, but that didn’t seem much of the case after the race started given the spade of activities which happened for team Ferrari themselves. Given Nelsinho Piquet first spectacular crash at one of the bumpiest high speed corners, the rush for impromptu pits stops by many teams created some rather interesting pit drama (not to mention large re-shuffling of positions as well), such as the Massa’s Car laughingly pulling the fuel line, not only giving the pit crew the full knocks of the sub 700 bhp engine and ripping the fuel line off and trailing off till the end of the pits lane as. Well now that’s entertainment from discord! Massa disappointment on that incident really affected his race performance, dropping from pole to finishing 13th on the race, questioning not only the bad performance as a whole on the team but the reliability of the stop go pit light system (in absence of the lollipop man) as well. Just as you can visualize Michael Schumacher possibly jumping up and down in dismay at while watching the race, Kimi’s crash at Lap 58 gives Ferrari the final blow for tonight’s race for them.

The Renault and Force India made a rather bold moves at the start by cutting the first chicane for position. Being the real rookies, Force India kept on in the race as cars just get plucked off the track one by one, a good start for the newest F1 team this year for a finish tonight. Team Toyota is impressive as well, considering their entry into the sport at 2002 (which I stopped following till now). Timo Glock just simply paint the fact that besides having a German at the wheel this largely Japanese “branded” team is coming up rather quickly and not just one that is just always there, or not “up” there, but one too also never far from from the back either (they are 4th in the constructors now), something I guess you have to ponder to Team Honda (pka BAR) who entered F1 since 1964 but still yet to win a championship.

Lewis was cool and steady, despite pit penalties, but he managed to pull of quite a good sint from the back of the pack to finishing top 3. About the decision not to pull and aggressive stance for the 2nd position at the last 5 laps from his 3rd could largely due to the “play safe” strategy- Lewis has taken many risky overtakes to get up to 3rd, all that could come to an end on just a false move for that 2nd position, and I glad that the team kept to that and secured the points rather than risking it all, nevertheless, a perfect finish for the Brit Rookie as well.

Whether you say Fernando Alonso deserves the race title today is very much open to comments by many. The facts are, despite an engine failure on qualitfying and starting 15th on the grid, it’s not small feat to find yourself slowing inching up to pole and getting the checkered flag, impressive on it’s own. After all he has the 2005 and 2006 championships under his belt, so that is still something not too far fetched and the very large possibility of a win by him as well. The renault team was one the only few who openly came to Singapore early to test out the race, they have a considerable amount of pre-race preparation even before the season started, so it’s only deserving that I say, Fernando to take the chequered flag for Formula 1 first night race.

Now as you can hear all the contractors packing and cleaning up the place overnight for the road opening tomorrow, it will be a year before the race comes back to Singapore, for now, its Fuji speedway (Japan) to go next.

Position >Driver Team Time
1 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:57:16.304>
2 Nico Rosberg Williams + 2.957
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren Merc + 5.917
4 Timo Glock Toyota + 8.155
5 Sebastian Vettel Toro Rosso + 10.268
6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber + 11.101
7 David Coulthard Red Bull + 16.387
8 Kazuki Nakajima Williams + 18.489
9 Jenson Button Honda + 19.885
10 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren + 26.902
11 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber + 27.975
12 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso + 29.432
13 Felipe Massa Ferrari + 35.170
14 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India + 43.571

Drivers/teams who did not finish

Position Driver Team Crashed At
DNF Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari lap 58
DNF Jarno Trulli Toyota lap 50
DNF Adrian Sutil Force India lap 49
DNF Mark Webber Red Bull lap 29
DNF Rubens Barrichello Honda lap 14
DNF Nelsinho Piquet Renault lap 13

Interesting notes of the race:

  • Various cutting of the chicane at the 1st lap (IMG Renault, Panasonic) – Various pit penalties metted out
  • AT&T Williams (Nakajima)- Wheel lock on brake first spectacle and tire flattening smokes
  • First crash Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA) Renault after making the Suntec straight- notoriously bumpy area at the junction
  • Impromptu pitstops- Ferrari pit-crew failure to disengage fuel line, ripped from station and crew injured as Massa leaves and as Kimi enters
  • Impromptu pitstops- Various pit drive through penalties and pit (hold) penalties
  • Rubens Barrichello (Honda) – Engine failure, retires in pits
  • Mark Webber (Redbull)- Engine failure, retires in pits
  • Jarno Trulli (Toyota)- Transmission/engine problem crawling on track, retires in pits
  • Minor Fuel hose problem for the Red Bull Team (Coulthard) at the pits, car stopped in time and not ripped off like the Ferrari’s
  • Felipe Massa (Ferrari)- Skids trying to overtake Jarno crawling at the floating platform, spins into barriers (No damage) spilling accumated water from barrir onto track
  • Adrian Sutil (Force India)- Crashes right into the barrier which Massa knocked into, just seconds after Massa left the area
  • Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) Crashes at the Suntec straight- notoriously bumpy corner

Current Driver standings and Constructors on the click:

Current Driver standings

Position Driver Points
01 Lewis Hamilton 84
01 02 Felipe Massa 77 84
03 Robert Kubica/td> 64
04 Kimi Räikkönen 57
05 Nick Heidfeld 56
06 Heikki Kovalainen 51
07 Fernando Alonso 38
08 Sebastian Vettel 27
09 Jarno Trulli 26
10 Timo Glock 20

Current Team Constructors

Position Team Points
01 McLaren-Mercedes 135
02 Ferrari 134
03 BMW Sauber 120
04 Renault 51
05 Toyota 46
06 STR-Ferrari 31
07 Red Bull-Renault 28
08 Williams-Toyota 26
09 Honda 14
10 Force India-Ferrari 0

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