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Singapore GP 2013

SEPTEMBER 22, 2013

Race Notes - Vettel crushes the field to win at Singapore

Sebastian Vettel, Singapore GP 2013
© The Cahier Archive

Sebastian Vettel won the Singapore Grand Prix tonight from pole position in his Red Bull-Renault was 32.6 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari in second place. Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus-Renault finished 43.9 seconds behind the winner in third place.

The win is Vettel's 33rd on his career, going ahead of Alonso with 32 wins, and his seventh on the 2013 season, and third in a row. Vettel has now won in Singapore the past three seasons.

Nico Rosberg (51.1s) was fourth in the Mercedes, followed by his team mate Lewis Hamilton (53.1s) in fifth place, Felipe Massa (63.8s) in the second Ferrari was sixth, Jenson Button (83.3s) in the McLaren-Mercedes was seventh, his team mate Sergio Perez (83.8s) was eighth, Nico Hulkenberg (84.2s) in the Sauber-Ferrari was ninth and Adrian Sutil in the Force India-Mercedes was in the final points position in tenth.

Vettel took off from the field at the start and held a commanding lead into the second stint. The safety car came out on lap 24 when Daniel Ricciardo hit the wall. The first four runners stayed out behind the safety car while most of the rest of the runners, led by Alonso dived into the pits. Vettel once again took off from the field, and one by one the other top four runners (Rosberg, Hamilton and Webber) all made their second stops. When Vettel finally made his second stop he came back still in the lead. Alonso, Button and Raikkonen had all leap-frogged the others and ran all the way to the finish on the same set of tyres. Near the end Button's tyres gave up and he slipped down the order - Alonso and Raikkonen finishing second and third.

Vettel on 247 points now leads Alonso (187) in the Drivers' Championship by 60 points - ahead of Hamilton (151), Raikkonen (149), Mark Webber (130), Rosberg (116) and Massa (87 points). In the Constructors Championship Red Bull-Renault (377) leads Ferrari (274), Mercedes (267), Lotus-Renault (206) and McLaren-Mercedes (76 points).

Before the start, Vettel starts on pole, with Rosberg alongside - for an all-German front row. Romain Grosjean starts from third.

Championship contender Alonso starts all the way back in seventh.

All the drivers start on Pirelli's supersoft tyre, except for Sutil who starts on medium tyres. The supersoft tyres are reckoned to be two seconds a lap faster than the medium compound tyres.

Every year of the Singapore GP has had a safety car period, so the teams try to prepare their strategies around the possibility.

At the start Rosberg draws alongside Vettel and goes into the lead, but over does the first series of corners and Vettel comes back and retakes the top spot. Alonso makes a fantastic start, diving down the outside into the first corner and jumps up to third.

Hamilton runs wide on the first chicane to pass Massa, and is told by the team to give him back the place.

At the end of the first lap Vettel leads Rosberg by 1.9 seconds, followed by Alonso, Webber, Grosjean, Hamilton, Massa Button, Hulkenberg and Perez in tenth.

By lap 2 Vettel stretches to a 4.1 second lead, and sets fast lap at 1m52.8s.

On lap 3 Raikkonen is challenging Esteban Gutierrez for 11th.

On lap 5 Vettel increases his lead to 6.2 seconds over Rosberg, Alonso is a further 2.8 seconds behind. Raikkonen passes Gutierrez for 11th.

On lap 6 Webber's engineer tells the Australian to maintain a two second gap to Alonso in order to make his tyres last for the first stint.

At lap 10, Vettel leads Rosberg by 7.1 seconds, followed by Alonso (10.8s), Webber (13.5s), Grosjean (14.9s), Massa (17.3s), Hamilton (18.7s), Button (21.1s), Hulkenberg (23.0s) and Perez (24.3s) in tenth place.

On lap 11 Raikkonen is the first to pit, along with Jules Bianchi, both taking more supersoft tyres.

On lap 12 Gutierrez, Jean-Eric Vergne, Charles Pic and Max Chilton all pit. Alonso sets fast lap at 1m52.8s.

On lap 13 Massa and Sutil pit, Massa switching to medium tyres. Sutil switches to supersofts. Raikkonen passes Valtteri Bottas for 15th.

Webber complains about his rear tyres going off.

Vettel sets fast lap, then is surpassed by Gutierrez with a 1m52.2s on new tyres.

On lap 14, Webber, Button, Hulkenberg, Guido Van der Garde and Bottas all pit.

On lap 15 Alonso and Perez pit, Alonso switching to medium tyres.

On lap 16 Rosberg, Grosjean and Hamilton all pit. Rosberg and Hamilton switch to mediums, Grosjean stays on supersofts. Raikkonen sets fast lap at 1m51.7s. Ricciardo pits as well.

Lotus tells Raikkonen that they are having a KERS problem.

Pastor Maldonado, Hulkenberg and Perez battle over 11th place.

On lap 18 Vettel pits from the lead and changes over to medium tyres, rejoins in the lead.

Alonso and Webber are stuck behind Paul di Resta in third place - the only driver yet to pit.

On lap 18 Hulkenberg gives 11th back to Perez after race control informs the team that he left the track to get by him.

Di Resta running 1m54s continues to hold up Alonso and Webber, Vettel and Rosberg running 1m52s.

On lap 20 Hamilton complains that his tyres feel "terrible".

On lap 21 Di Resta finally makes his first pitstop from third place, taking another set of supersoft tyres.

At lap 21, Vettel maintains his lead over Rosberg by 9.0 seconds, followed by Alonso (17.1s), Webber (18.8s), Grosjean (19.6s), Hamilton (20.6s), Massa (24.0s), Button (25.5s), Raikkonen (26.3s) and Perez (32.5s) in tenth place.

On lap 22 Raikkonen complains of a problem, but the team tells him that they can't see it in the telemetry data from the car. Grosjean and Hamilton are closing on Webber in fourth place.

Red Bull tells Vettel that he should use more of the KERS through the lap - he leads the field by almost 11 seconds.

On lap 25 Vergne and Bianchi pit.

On lap 26, Ricciardo hits the barricades and sits in the racing line. The safety car is deployed. Bottas pits.

Alonso, Grosjean, Massa, Button, Raikkonen, Perez, Hulkenberg, Gutierrez, Sutil and Maldonado all pit. Vettel, Rosberg, Webber and Hamilton have all stay out behind the safety car.

Behind the safety car - with his 10 second lead erased - Vettel leads Rosberg, Webber, Hamilton, Alonso, Grosjean, Di Resta, Massa, Button, Raikkonen, Perez, Hulkenberg, Vergne, Gutierrez, Sutil, Maldonado, Bottas, Van der Garde, Pic, Chilton and Bianchi.

On lap 27 lapped cars are waved around the safety car.

Red Bull reminds Vettel that because of the slow laps behind the safety car, he can use more fuel when the race is resumed.

At the end of lap 30 the safety car pulls in and the race resumes with Vettel streaking away from Rosberg and the field. The top four runners having not pitted.

On lap 31 Vettel pulls out a 3.2 second lead. Red Bull tells Vettel to push and use the tyres, as he will need to pit again.

On lap 32 Vettel sets fast lap at1m50.6s. Hamilton says he ran over debris, and asks the team to monitor his tyre pressure.

On lap 33 Vettel set another fast lap at 1m50.4s, the runners behind running 1m52s laps.

On lap 34 Renault calls Grosjean in from fourth place, for a problem with the pneumatic valve system, that they need to recharge. After a long stop Grosjean rejoins in 21st place.

On lap 36 Vettel continues to set fast laps, now down to 1m50.1s. He now leads Rosberg by 14.3 seconds. Rosberg seems to be trying to preserve his tyres.

On lap 37 Gutierrez runs wide and loses a place but continues. Marussia is telling Bianchi to pass his team mate Chilton.

On lap 38 Mercedes tells Rosberg that they believe that some rubber stuck in the front wing is losing front downforce on the car. Grosjean pits again and retires.

Vettel sets another fast lap at 1m50.1s.

On lap 40 Vergne pits.

On lap 41 Webber and Sutil both pit. Webber stays on medium tyres and Sutil stays on supersofts. Vettel sets another fast lap at1n50.0s.

On lap 42 Rosberg pits from second place taking another set of medium tyres, and comes out behind Webber, the Red Bull jumps ahead on the pit sequence.

On lap 43 Di Resta, Massa and Bottas pit. Mercedes tells Rosberg to push, as other cars have not pitted yet.

On lap 44 Hamilton pits from second place for medium tyres. Sutil sets fast lap at 1m49.6s.

On lap 45 Vettel pits with a 30 second lead over Alonso, changes to supersoft tyres, and comes out still in the lead. Red Bull tells Vettel that all he needs to do to win is to look after the car.

At lap 45 Vettel leads Alonso by 4.8 seconds, followed by Button (10.3s), Raikkonen (11.1s), Perez (13.4s), Hulkenberg (14.6s), Gutierrez (19.8s), Webber (26.1s), Rosberg (27.1s) and Hamilton (27.7s) in tenth place.

On lap 47 Vettel resets fast lap at 1m48.5s. Vettel is told to look after his brakes.

Can the runners who pitted during the safety car (Alonso, Button, Raikkonen, Perez and Gutierrez) run the rest of the race without pitting for tyres again?

Mercedes tells Rosberg and Hamilton to push to pass Webber.

On lap 49 Webber passes Gutierrez for seventh place in the DRS zone. Rosberg and Hamilton passes Gutierrez later in the lap.

On lap 50 Di Resta passes Gutierrez, and then Massa does as well. In the space of two laps the Mexican driver is now out of the points in 12th.

Vettel continues to lead Alonso by 11.9 seconds.

On lap 52 Raikkonen chases Button in a battle for the last podium spot. Webber closing on Hulkenberg in sixth place.

On lap 54 Webber finally passes Hulkenberg and runs sixth.

On lap 55 Raikkonen dives down the outside of Button and runs side-by-side, then taking third place from the British driver.

Rosberg passes Hulkenberg, while a few places back Di Resta noses into the wall at turn 7 and his day is done. Yellow flags are out. Webber passes Perez and Hamilton passes Hulkenberg.

At lap 55 Vettel leads Alonso by 20.0 seconds, followed by Raikkonen (35.9s), Button (42.3s), Webber (42.4s), Perez (45.2s), Rosberg (45.4s), Hamilton (45.8s), Massa (47.7s) and Hulkenberg (48.6s) in tenth place.

On lap 56 Webber passes Button for fourth place. Rosberg passes Perez.

On lap 57 Rosberg is pushed by his team mate Hamilton, while Massa attacks both. Webber is told to short-shift his Red Bull.

On lap 58 Button, on old tyres, is passed by Rosberg for fifth. Hamilton passes Perez. Hamilton passes Button, and Massa passes Perez.

On lap 59 Webber is told to use low revs in all gears, the Australian hoping his car will make it to the finish.

On lap 60 Rosberg passes Webber. Hamilton passes Webber as well. Smoke comes out of the Red Bull's gearbox.

On lap 61 Webber pulls off with flames coming from the Red Bull's gearbox on the last lap.

Vettel wins ahead of Alonso and Raikkonen to win the Singapore GP.

On the cool down lap Alonso picks up the stranded Webber, and gives him a ride back to the pits. During the podium ceremony Vettel once again hears a sprinkling of boos from the crowd, suggesting that Vettel is winning far too often for their tastes.

The F1 circus continues in two weeks time in South Korea.