|Jenson Button cools down race winner Sebastian Vettel with champagne|
Don't count Sebastian Vettel out of the F1 world championship just yet. Vettel took a vital victory and closed to 29 points behind leader Fernando Alonso who came home third for Ferrari. Jenson Button was second for McLaren while polesitter Lewis Hamilton retired with hydraulic failure while leading.
Paul di Resta was a fantastic fourth for Force India while Nico Rosberg rounded out the top-5 for Mercedes ahead of the Lotus pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
For the second year in a row Michael Schumacher ran into the back of the car in front of him, this time his victim was Jean Eric Vergne.
Fernando Alonso's championship lead shed 8 points under the Singapore lights on Sunday night.
Before the two hour-limited race ended, Ferrari's Spaniard Alonso was leading pole sitter Lewis Hamilton by 37 points.
Hamilton controlled the first half of the race but then retired with a gearbox failure, letting Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel win.
McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh said he doubted the failure was caused by Hamilton's brush with the wall in qualifying on Saturday.
But German back-to-back title winner Vettel snatches the Briton's second place in the drivers' championship, leaving Alonso with a 29-point lead now with just 6 races to go.
The situation is reminiscent of 2010, when Vettel took his first title by hunting down Alonso in the dying stages of the season.
"I think Fernando won't be too happy if it happens again," the 25-year-old laughed to former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan on the podium.
On the other hand, Alonso's lead would have been further diminished on Sunday if Hamilton's gearbox had survived.
"For me," Alonso smiled to Jordan, "it's ok if they keep doing that."
Michael Schumacher believes a mechanical problem may have been the root cause of his crash with Jean-Eric Vergne. After the first Safety Car, the Mercedes slammed into the back of the Toro Rosso in a similar incident to last year.
In 2011, Schumacher flew over the back of Sauber’s Sergio Perez at Turn 8. On this occasion, Vergne was removed from a points-paying position at Turn 14.
“I mean, first of all, after the Safety Car I braked a little earlier than I normally do at that corner," Schumacher explained to reporters.
“But the car wouldn’t decelerated so I got on the brakes very hard and locked up everything, but the accident wasn’t avoidable anymore. Obviously I feel sorry that Jean-Eric had to retire for that reason but we need to investigate what happened."
Vergne immediate drew a line under the accident.
"I assume Michael braked a bit too late and could not avoid running into me," he said back in the paddock. "There is no sense in being angry about it because these things happen in racing and even the most experienced driver on the grid can make mistakes! He said sorry and that’s the end of it."
Sebastian Vettel (1st): "It's great to get the win today. I'd like to dedicate it to Professor Sid Watkins. It's thanks to all the work he did to bring safety advancements to the sport that we can race on circuits like this. Looking to the race, Lewis had to retire which is a shame for him. I know how it feels and have been in that position before. I think we could have had a tight battle. I felt very good on the harder tires and we had a lot of pace. I think it's very good to get this win here today. We know the next few races will be tough, but that's the challenge."
Mark Webber (11th* Webber finished 10th, but a drive-through penalty was given after the race for leaving the track and gaining an advantage): "I wasn't too bad pace wise. The strategy was going alright, but the second safety car really hurt us and put us to the back of the queue. Around here, fighting and looking after your tires is a bit of a mess. It's a shame. Sebastian got some good points for the Team, so that's good and I'm just looking forward now to the next few races. I like Suzuka, so I'm looking forward to that."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A tremendous result for Sebastian and the Team to win in Singapore. It's a timely win for both Championships. It was unfortunate for Lewis to retire from the lead, we know how that feels and it's never a good feeling. Nonetheless Sebastian's had tremendous pace all weekend and it's a shame in some respects, as I'm sure they'd have had a great race over the remainder of the grand prix. With Mark, we elected to go onto a three-stop strategy and it was working reasonably well; there was the first safety car and, having just made a stop we knew we couldn't get to the end on those tires, so we made a gamble and stayed out. Then his strategy was destroyed with the second safety car, caused by the Schumacher and Vergne incident. We had to pit him from there to get him to the end of the race, which dropped him back. His recovery from there was strong."
Cyril Dumont, Renault: "It was a good way to recover after the last race result. We had the pace we expected today and it was good to convert the momentum that we had shown in the practice sessions. For Mark, it was a difficult race. Being in traffic is never easy here, but he did some good overtaking. For Sebastian – to win here you have to do the perfect race and Seb did it. Now we have to keep the momentum for the final six races."
Jenson Button (2nd): "It's nice to be back on the podium – and, if I finish every remaining race in the top one or two, that'll be perfect. During the first stint, I even thought I had a chance of winning because I was able to go longer than the cars around me. But then they didn't seem to struggle much on the harder tire, so the advantage swung away from me. I had a good second stint, but the harder tire didn't feel quite as good for me [as the softer tire]. Then I didn't really have good balance in the final 10 laps. I still have a slim chance of winning the drivers' world championship, but I'm just enjoying my racing at the moment. I think our car will be competitive at Suzuka, and we're doing a very good job as a team too. Of course, it's disappointing that we had a reliability failure with Lewis's car, so that's something we need to solve, particularly as we're doing such a good job in every other area. If we can solve our reliability issues, we'll definitely have a chance of fighting for the win in all six remaining races."
Lewis Hamilton (DNF, Gearbox): "It's heart-breaking not to have finished the race today. We definitely had the pace to win this weekend. In fact, before I retired, I was cruising; just managing the gap back to Seb [Vettel]. Then I started to experience difficulty with the gearshift, then I lost third gear, and then the 'box kept dropping into neutral. Obviously, I was disappointed, but the good thing we can take away from this weekend is that we have extremely good pace. As a result, I think we can really attack in the next few races. It's going to be hard to close the gap to guys like Fernando [Alonso] and Sebastian [Vettel], especially when they keep finishing race after race, but I'll never give up. There are six more races, and I need to go and win all six. I'll fight until the end."
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "Until his run was curtailed by gearbox failure on lap 23, Lewis was driving towards what would have been the perfect end to a weekend throughout which his pace had been consistently awesome. Clearly, for him not to have been able to score the 25 world championship points that his pace looked like netting him was a great disappointment for all of us at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. But, as TV viewers the world over will have seen from his post-race interviews, Lewis is a fighter and he won't give up. Neither will we. There are six grands prix left to run this season – which equate to a potential 150 world championship points for any driver to score – and you should be in no doubt that Lewis will be aiming to get as close to that 150 target as possible. In the constructors' world championship, too, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes remains very much in the hunt – bolstered in no small measure by the 18 world championship points that Jenson's solid run to second place occasioned here today. We'll keep pushing. Roll on Suzuka."
Fernando Alonso (3rd): "In the end it went well, but we definitely can't go on like this. It can't always be the case that my closest rival retires, as has happened in the last two races and we can't think of carrying on to the end of the season with qualifying sessions like yesterday's, when our performance was almost a second off the best. On track we manage to make the most of what we have, making few or no mistakes, thanks to great work from the team: for that alone we deserve to be where we are in the classification. Today, we pulled out an advantage over three of our four main competitors, which is positive. Probably this has been the most difficult circuit for us: we will find partially similar characteristics in Korea and Abu Dhabi, but I hope that by the time we get there, we will have found a way of improving the car. The start was definitely not one of my best of the season, but luckily I managed to take back my position from Di Resta immediately. At my first pit stop I immediately ran into traffic, but I had felt the tires were beginning to degrade too much, so we opted to pit. On the Softs, we were more competitive, but then, after the second stop, the Safety Car came out, which favored Button and Vettel. Just before the restart, the two leaders nearly collided and I lost a few meters because I was changing settings on the steering wheel. At that point, we didn't know yet whether we would need to stop again, but when the second neutralization came and some drivers pitted, then we decided to stay out, even if we weren't sure if we would suffer with tire degradation in the final stages, but that wasn't the case and we made it comfortably to the podium. It was a very tough race physically, definitely the most tiring of the whole season: three hundred odd kilometers in this heat and such high humidity is very stressful."
Felipe Massa (8th): "That was a very tough and difficult race. There's regret for what happened at the first corner, because without the puncture, I could certainly have finished a lot closer to Fernando, which would have been important for both championships. Once I had pitted, there was not much to work out: the aim was to try and make the tires last as long as possible, while at the same time, going as quickly as possible. Luckily, the two Safety Cars brought the pack together again, but it's also true that I would never have thought of doing such a long stint as my last one on the Supersofts. The performance of the 2012 today was definitely very different to what we had seen on the two previous days: it seemed like I was driving a different car! Even at the end, I tried to push to make up some places and it was only in the last two laps that I switched to thinking about just bringing the car home, given that the tires were practically gone. The move on Senna? I think the rules are very clear and one just has to respect them: I was already alongside him and he had to leave me room, but instead he squeezed me into the wall. McLaren and Red Bull are very strong, but I think that today's result is not so bad for the team: Fernando has managed to bring home a good points haul. Of course we must improve our performance, especially in qualifying."
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "It was a very difficult weekend, but the final outcome can be regarded as positive. It's true that Fernando's lead over the next man has been reduced, but it's also true the Spaniard has made up points on three of his four closest rivals. As for the Constructors', the situation is pretty much the same as before: the leader is a bit further away but second place is a tiny bit nearer. Performance today was definitely better than we had seen in qualifying, also in terms of tire behavior. We were rather unlucky: but for the puncture on the opening lap, Felipe would certainly have finished higher up the order and the first Safety Car period definitely wasn't propitious. There are six Grands Prix to go to the end of the season and clearly, we need to make a step forward in terms of performance, because we cannot rely purely on the misfortune of others. Where we need to improve a lot is on circuits that require maximum aerodynamic downforce. Having said that, we mustn't over react as it's better to bring a few updates that work rather than bringing too many. This is the area where we need to improve and it will be one of our priorities in the coming days. The other, which is as always the number one priority, will be reliability: the further on the championship goes, the higher the price you pay for the slightest error."
Pat Fry: "Looking at our performance overall, we cannot be happy with it compared to that of our main competitors, because there is no point denying we were expecting better. Having said that, we saw that, even in difficult conditions, we managed to get the most out of our package, doing the best possible job on track – both Fernando and Felipe did very well – and in the garage and the pit wall. Race performance was better than what we had seen yesterday and we must calmly analyze all the data to understand how we can bring the sort of performance we see in the race into play in qualifying too. As far as the strategy is concerned, I think we made the right choices. At the second stop, we could not have gone longer with Fernando, because tire degradation was getting too high. Unfortunately, the Spaniard came out behind a group of slower cars, but there was nothing else we could have done. The first Safety Car period was helpful for those who had yet to stop at that point, but at the same time, it also gave Fernando the possibility of running to the finish without stopping again, which was definitely positive. As for Felipe, bad luck immediately affected his race, but then he did a really good job of remedying the situation, proving to be very quick on the Soft as well as the Supersoft. I have to say his final stint was particularly good: 26 laps on the Option, with overtaking moves and a very aggressive drive was a very nice surprise. We need to study carefully the way this weekend went to understand how to improve our performance level for the coming races. We don't have the quickest car, especially on this type of circuit and it's down to us to try and give our drivers what they need to fight our strongest opponents on level terms."
Nico Rosberg (5th): "Everything worked out well for me this evening for the first time in what feels like a long time! Finishing in fifth place having started in 10th is a pretty decent result and I'm happy to have picked up some good points for myself and the team. It's also nice to have stayed ahead of the two Lotus cars which I didn't expect before the race. Saving a fresh set of tires in qualifying yesterday proved to be the right strategy as I had a good start and a strong first stint. Thanks to the team for that and for making the right calls in the race today. Now I'm looking forward to Japan and the opportunity to improve our new package further."
Michael Schumacher (DNF, Accident): "It was obviously a very unfortunate ending to my race this evening when I ran into the car of Vergne who accepted my apology straight afterwards. I am not totally sure why it happened like this; I was braking but the deceleration was not as strong as it usually would be, and I could not avoid running into the car in front of me. We have to find out what has happened. Up until then, I think it would have been possible to get some points this evening."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "That was a tough race and I am pleased that the team did a pretty good job this evening. Nico had a great race and our strategy worked well for him to gain five places on his starting position. There was evidently some damage to his car following contact on the first lap as the downforce levels looked lower than expected so it was an even better drive from him in the circumstances. Michael's race was also going well until the incident which caused his retirement. It was an unusual set of circumstances so we will have a careful look at the data and work out what could have happened. Thank you to the team for all of their hard work in very challenging conditions over this weekend. With the updates that we brought to this race, the car has improved, however we are not quite where we want to be yet."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "That was an exceptionally challenging race this evening. With regard to Nico, he and our team made the best of it. P5 is a respectable result, especially in view of the fact that Nico started five places further back on the grid. He crossed the finishing line ahead of a Red Bull, a Ferrari and both Lotus cars, all teams which are ahead of us in the championship. This was made possible by having a sound strategy and by the first of the two safety car deployments when the team took the correct decision. Michael had the opportunity to claim the position behind Nico, but his accident put paid to that. The team is investigating to see whether there was a problem with his car."
Kimi Raikkonen (6th): "After the result in qualifying today's race was not too bad, but I think we had a chance to do a bit better. We weren't quick enough to be fighting for the podium but the first safety car didn't help us and maybe we could have gained an extra place without that. We were definitely faster than Michael [Schumacher] and Nico [Rosberg] but we ended up stuck behind them for most of the race which was frustrating. It's so hard to overtake here that you have to rely on passing people in the pit stops or on someone making a mistake. I'm still third in the Drivers' Championship but we've got some improvements to make for the next races to be fighting with the cars in front. Hopefully we can make a step forward in Japan and take it from there."
Romain Grosjean (7th): "It was a tough race but not a bad result in the end. I made a good start, managed to hold position when things got quite close through the first few corners and the car felt pretty good throughout. Our performance was much better than what we would have expected at the start of the weekend. Of course, I dropped a position to Kimi as well ; he was quicker than me towards the end of the race and there was no sense in holding him up. It's never easy as a driver to let someone past – even if it is your team-mate – but we need to be intelligent in these circumstances. My target is to be as close to Kimi as I can in terms of pace and we achieved that today, so after a difficult start to the weekend I think we can be pleased with this result."
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "We had a difficult start to the weekend but the team did a good job to recover. Qualifying was frustrating after both cars showed strong pace in Q1 and the first part of Q2 but ultimately fell short of what we were hoping for in the end. The race pace from both cars was good and although we were unlucky with the first safety car our strategy worked well. After a difficult weekend for us Kimi is still third in the Drivers' Championship and we have not lost too much ground to McLaren and Red Bull in the Constructors' standings so that is a big positive. The fact that we feel our lack of performance here was quite unexpected shows our ambition and our priority for the rest of the season will be to make sure we're in the sort of positions we know we can achieve right from the start of each weekend."
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "It hasn't been a great weekend for us, so to salvage sixth and seventh is something of a result in the circumstances. We took a gamble with Kimi's second stop, but he was caught by the safety car coming out as he left the pit lane. We certainly didn't have the pace to challenge the front runners today and after a difficult qualifying session it was difficult to get through the field. It's clear we need to do a better job in qualifying to enable us to achieve better race results."
Riccardo Penteado, Engine Support Leader: "A dramatic race that was quite difficult to manage on the engine side due to the two safety car periods. We had to play with the engine mixes a lot throughout the race to correct the fuel level and avoid finishing with too much. Both drivers did a good job to avoid the incidents on track and get a double points finish, which based on our grid position and overall performance this weekend is a very positive result. We are looking forward to Suzuka now, which should suit our car better."
Paul di Resta (4th): "Fourth place is a great team result and my best day in Formula One so far. We qualified well, raced hard and took advantage of a few retirements, but in the final stint we certainly showed that we had great pace. I don't think the safety car really impacted on my race too much and I was able to make clean restarts each time and hold my position. I was very close to Alonso in the closing stages, but was just missing the pace to really challenge him for the podium. This result is just what we needed for our fight in the championship and I want to say a massive 'thank you' to the boys in the garage who put in a huge effort, as always."
Nico Hulkenberg (14th): "It was a pretty rough race for me. The strategy we chose by starting on the soft tires could have paid off, but I was stuck behind Kimi and Michael early on and couldn't really show the true pace of the car. The timing of the safety cars was not ideal and the second one really hurt my race. So overall things have not really fallen into place for me this weekend, but there are a lot of positives to take with the pace of the car and the result for Paul."
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal: "A superb day for the team and especially for Paul who should be very proud of his performance. It was a very mature drive and he made the most of the great pace we had in the car. The safety car worked out well for him and for a while we were even thinking a podium might be possible as Paul chased Alonso in the closing stages. It's a credit to the team that we were just a few seconds away from the podium and able to match the race pace of Ferrari. The 12 points give us a boost in the championship, lifting us 21 clear of Williams and closing the gap on Sauber ahead. I'm disappointed things did not work out for Nico because we had a quick car today and should have come away with more points. The safety car hurt his race badly and there was no way to recover. "
Sergio Perez (10th): "For us this obviously was a difficult weekend. We were struggling a lot and we never had the pace. We tried everything including split race strategies but in the end points were not within reach today. I had some good battles but it was too difficult for me to overtake. We have to improve for the next race in Suzuka and I'm sure we will."
Kamui Kobayashi (13th): "I had a bad start with a lot of wheel spin and then for a long time my race was eventless. I haven't been in a position to attack and I didn't have the pace to do so. After the second safety car deployment I couldn't avoid touching Nico HÃ¼lkenberg. There was no space to go. For me it was a race incident. Nico said sorry when we met after the race; apparently he had oversteer, I lost my front wing and had to pit. However, this wasn't a good weekend for us but I have complete confidence we will come back strong at the Japanese Grand Prix."
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "Both our drivers were fighting really hard, as we all could see on TV, but there was nothing more to achieve today. Without the safety car periods points might have been within reach."
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: "The biggest problem during this weekend was our pace. We were not as fast as we had expected. On top of this we were unlucky with the safety car. The cars on three stops could benefit from it, but Kamui had pitted just two laps earlier, and for Sergio, who was on two stops, it was at the worst possible moment. We had to fit the super soft tires, so it was too early. We tried to leave him out to gain positions, which worked but then he struggled at the re-start, and there was a second safety car period during which we had no option but to pit him. We lost several positions there. Overall it was a difficult weekend, and we now have to draw the right conclusions."
Daniel Ricciardo (9th): "It's great to be back in the points again and it shows we have had a really good start to the second half of the season since the summer break. Even if we haven't always picked up the points, we have been fighting for them in the last few races. I am pleased about that. We benefited a bit from the Safety Car, but afterwards we had to fight off the guys behind us, so I am really happy with ninth place and I enjoyed having a fight with Mark (Webber) towards the end, even if I could not hold off Massa just before that. In the closing stages, I didn't look in the mirrors too much, but I just focused on maintaining my lap times all the way to the flag."
Jean-Eric Vergne (DNF, Accident): "Our strategy worked very well and the Safety Car also played out in our favor. My pace was very good, lapping as quickly as the front runners, so it was much better than we had expected. Overall, I am very happy with the way this weekend went, because I personally made a lot of progress from Friday through to tonight. The team also worked very well to improve the car throughout the three days. It's just a shame it did not end with the points for eighth or maybe even seventh place. As for the accident, I was focusing on catching Perez at that point, trying to brake late to catch him, so I am not too sure what happened exactly, but I assume Michael braked a bit too late and could not avoid running in to me. There is no sense in being angry about it, because these things happen in racing and even the most experienced driver on the grid can make mistakes! He said sorry and that's the end of it."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "This race continues a positive trend for us that began in Monza a fortnight ago, when we looked set for a points finish until a fuel pressure problem stopped Daniel's car. Here in Singapore, we managed to bring home points with Daniel finishing ninth, but it could have been better as Jean-Eric also looked set for a top ten place until the unfortunate collision with Schumacher. Both drivers did well and Daniel had a great fight with his fellow countryman Mark Webber in the closing stages, while Jean-Eric also performed very strongly on his first visit to this very demanding circuit. The team did a good job over the three days, because having struggled with performance on Friday, we managed to improve the cars for Saturday and again for today. Therefore the disappointment of Jev's retirement is balanced by the fact that we have looked more competitive at a track that we did not expect would suit our current package. This means we are looking forward to the Japan-Korea trip with renewed optimism."
Bruno Senna (18th, KERS): "Considering we had a few problems we were having a good race. I had a very eventful first few laps but was able to overtake when I needed to and had good pace at the beginning. It's one of those races that we knew if we could finish we had a good chance of scoring some points but unfortunately we couldn't. With 16 laps to go I lost KERS and so it was difficult to defend towards the end, but that's racing. I'm happy with the race I did today, being able to come from 22nd to be fighting for points."
Pastor Maldonado (DNF, Hydraulics): "Today was difficult. The conditions were hard in the race as it was so hot and tire degradation was high but we were managing well. The start was ok but I ran a bit wide on cold tires losing a couple of positions but then we got into a good rhythm. Our pace was looking strong, as we were expecting, but then we had a hydraulic problem and that was the end of our race. I'm now confident for the next race as we have the potential to be fighting for victories and I hope to have a better race in Japan."
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: "Both drivers drove extremely well today and at one stage we were looking at a good double points finish. Unfortunately we suffered two failures that forced us to retire the cars. This is an extremely disappointing end to a promising weekend."
Heikki Kovalainen (15th): "For me that was a good race until the safety cars. We decided to stay out but when we restarted for the second time I'd probably been out too long and the tires were starting to give up. I had to stop again and there wasn't enough time to recover from there so that was the end of the race – If it hadn't been for the safety car I'm sure we'd have finished much higher. Now we need to dig even deeper to find more performance from the car. We'll look at what went wrong this weekend and I'm sure the team will analyze everything and see where we maybe need to make some changes, but we won't stop fighting."
Vitaly Petrov (19th): "I had a fantastic start, passed at least two or three cars but then I saw a car to my right make a pretty aggressive move left so I had to move to avoid that. I was very close to Massa and already into the braking zone so unfortunately we had contact and my front wing was damaged, forcing me into the pits. Really, that was the end of my race and probably Felipe's and I've already apologized to him as we get on well and it's a shame we both saw our chances to race end so early, especially as the car has felt good all weekend. The safety car might have given me a chance to recover but we had a problem with the front left wheel nut and we'll need to have a proper look at what happened. I think we also need to look at how we were using the tires as maybe we could have got more out of them, but we have the chance to bounce back in Suzuka and we'll make sure we do that."
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: "Not a good day for us. We made a couple of decisions today that cost us, but we will take a very close look at what went wrong and make sure we learn from it. I said yesterday that there are promising signs ahead and I still believe that, but now we need to regroup and fight harder than ever in the remaining races."
Mark Smith, Technical Director: "We opted to start both cars on the supersoft tires and until the safety car was brought out the plan was working with Heikki. Vitaly was obviously unlucky in the first lap but he did not let his head drop, he continued to push and was putting in good times on each stint, but he then had a double dose of misfortune when we had a problem on his fourth stop with the front right. For Heikki it was a different story. He was running well until the safety cars but on his last stint he had to work very hard to keep the tire performance in check. His times were where we expected them to be but had his race not been interrupted by the incidents around him I think he could have finished several places higher."
Pedro de la Rosa (17th): "I'm satisfied with today's race. The safety cars helped me out, but I must admit that the race dragged on a bit for me, and the last five laps never seemed to end because I had no tires left and I started to lose ground on Glock and Pic and Kobayashi, Kovalainen and Hulkenberg, who were flying, passed me like nothing. Physically it was a tough race but I finished quite well. We did everything we could with what we had and I think that we managed the situations well. For us it wasn't easy at all to finish the race and that is a victory in itself. Now it's time for Suzuka, a circuit I love, which I know very well and where I hope to give everything once again."
Narain Karthikeyan (DNF, Accident): "It wasn't my best race. From the beginning we had problems with heating and we lost a lot of time on straights, but we were managing it well until I went on the dirty part of the track and the car didn't turn which resulted in me going into the wall. It's further proof that there's no room for error at street circuits. But I'll keep my good qualifying session with me as that fills me with confidence ahead of the next Grand Prix. It was a shame not to finish it off with a good result in the race."
Luis Perez-Sala, Team Principal: "It was a tough race because we were on the limit and we had to control the temperature of the brakes and engine from the start. The drivers did a good job. It's a shame that Narain crashed and had to retire. Pedro fought for 15th until the end but the high degradation of the tires relegated him to 17th. However it was exciting to be right in the thick of things and we're very happy about that. Now we go to Japan where we won't suffer as much with the temperatures and we will have a better look at where we are to continue with our job and continue on this path."
Timo Glock (12th): "An incredible race for us. In general I knew that, with our strategy, we could really do something if we stayed close to Kovalainen in the first stint and that's what I tried to do – to get everything out of the car. Unfortunately, the rear tire pressures came up a bit too much and I overshot the car in turn 19 and hit the wall. In the first moment I thought the race was over and I realized that the toe was really out; I had to change my driving style and, actually, changed everything that I could do to keep the car on track. I had to get used to the behavior of the car, so I was saving the right-rear tire in all the left-hand corners and squeezing everything out in the right corners to get the lap time. When the safety cars came out I knew that mixing us in the pack gave us a chance to fight again. After the first safety car I could go quicker than Heikki and in the end, when he turned into the pits, I knew I needed to push everything out of the car before he came back at me with fresh tires. In terms of the pit stops, the team made a really good job and that is getting very consistent now. We do of course need to hold on to 10th place until the end of the season still and I hope we can. Over the last four months we have really closed that gap to Caterham and this is a very nice reward to everyone in the team because it has not been easy. We'll enjoy the moment but keep pushing now for the next race and beyond."
Charles Pic (16th): "First of all I have to say well done to the whole team. Today's team result is very important for everyone and it is a very nice reward for all the incredible hard work at the track and back at the factory this year. For me, I am happy with my race, finishing in P15 but dropping to P16 with the 20 seconds added. The plan had been to do a two-stop race with two long stints on the Soft tire, but with the safety cars that didn't work out. We were obliged to make a very long last stint with the Supersoft and we had big degradation because of that. Overall, it has been a strong weekend and I am pleased with my performance from FP1 to Qualifying at what has perhaps been the more challenging of the new tracks I have tackled for the first time this season. And there are a few more yet to come! Overall though, racing here in Singapore has been an incredible experience and one I look forward to repeating."
John Booth, Team Principal: "That was an extremely complicated race with many different variables, ranging from high tire degradation to numerous safety car periods and, also in the mix, a scrape along the wall on lap 7 that could have changed everything completely. In terms of the result, we're extremely pleased with Timo's 12th place, but Charles' performance in the race, prior to the addition of his penalty, also demonstrated that even with the two drivers on different strategies today, the team had the measure of the race for 10th place in the championship. That is an important race for the three newest teams. With regard to the detail, Timo's overall race was executed perfectly. Unfortunately he hit the right rear on the wall at turn 19 very early on, which put us off-strategy as we brought him in earlier to check the right-rear suspension. All looked fine and he carried on, however we decided to revert to what would have been a three-stop race. In the end the safety cars reduced us to a two-stop race, although this required us to hold our nerve as ultimately the final stint was 34 laps long. Charles delivered another solid performance in tough conditions. His strategy, using the safety cars, was good. Overall, this has been a day where, with everything thrown at them, the engineers and mechanics executed everything perfectly. Really though, the improvement in the raw pace of the car has come from all the hard work that has been undertaken in Banbury and by our engine partner Cosworth in Northampton."
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||+0.000|
|4.||Paul Di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||+19.063|
|9.||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||+45.800|
|10.||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||+47.100|
|12.||Timo Glock||Marussia-Cosworth||+1 lap|
|13.||Kumai Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||+1 lap|
|14.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||+1 lap|
|15.||Charles Pic||Marussia-Cosworth||+1 lap (*)|
|16.||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham-Renault||+1 lap|
|17.||Pedro De la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||+1 lap|
|18.||Bruno Senna||Williams-Renault||+2 laps|
|19.||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham-Renault||+2 laps|
|DNF||Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||On Lap 38|
|DNF||Schumacher||Mercedes||On Lap 38|
|DNF||Maldonado||Williams-Renault||On Lap 36|
|DNF||Karthikeyan||HRT-Cosworth||On Lap 30|
|DNF||Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||On Lap 22|
(*) Pending 20-second penalty
Fastest lap: Hulkenberg, 1:51.033