Talking points for the Formula 1 S’pore Grand Prix

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

Other than knowing that Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel is leading the championship and might win his second World Championship title here in Singapore, what else can you talk about in between the canapés and the champagne?

Talking-points-2-630The Marina Bay street circuit has never failed to host all kinds of drama over the past three years with its concrete barriers and tight overtaking.


Something atypical might just happen again, after all the crazy drama that has occurred previously: Renault’s race-fixing saga, Felipe Massa moving out of the pits with his fuel hose attached to his car, Heikki Kovalainen stopping on the track to extinguish his burning car.


What will this year’s Grand Prix bring?


Winners of the past Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix


2008 —
Pole position: Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
Fastest lap: Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
1st: Fernando Alonso (Renault)
2nd: Nico Rosberg (Williams)
3rd: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)


2009 —
Pole position: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
Fastest lap: Fernando Alonso (Renault)
1st: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2nd: Timo Glock (Toyota)
3rd: Fernando Alonso (Renault)


2010 —
Pole position: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
Fastest lap: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
1st: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
2nd: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
3rd: Mark Webber (Red Bull)


Memorable moments


2008 — Fernando Alonso (driving for Renault then) was quick in practice but a fuel pump failure in qualifying put him 15th on the starting grid. He still managed to win, after his then team-mate Nelson Piquet deliberately crashed so as to bring out a safety car and help Alonso’s strategy. Renault was heavily punished when the scandal was uncovered a year later, but Alonso’s win was kept valid.


Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was in position to contend for the World Championship title that season but an unfortunate incident in the pits cost him a possible victory in Singapore. Having secured pole position, Massa’s first pit stop was ruined when the fuel hose was still attached to his car as he moved off. He took the fuel hose down the pit lane, knocked one of his mechanics over in the process, veered suddenly in front of Force India’s Adrian Sutil to stop before the pit exit. His crew then had to sprint the entire length of the pit lane to wrench the hose off the car.

Talking-points-3-6302009 — Lewis Hamilton won in Singapore but the other two on the podium with him were underdogs — Timo Glock (Toyota) and Alonso.


Adrian Sutil and BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld collided in great fashion: Sutil spun and was trying to pass Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari on the inside of Turn 14. His car was then facing the wrong way when he wanted to rejoin the circuit, causing Heidfeld to collide into him and both cars had to retire. Sutil was reprimanded and fined $20,000 for dangerous driving.


2010 — Alonso scores a second victory in Singapore, starting from pole position and managing to stay ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton gets into a collision with Mark Webber, causing him to retire early from the race and affecting his title contention. Throwing his steering wheel and snapping his drinks line in fury upon getting out of the car, Hamilton left the circuit even before the race ended.


The final drama on the track occurred when Team Lotus’ Heikki Kovalainen and Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi made contact. Kovalainen spun and Buemi managed to avoid a collision. However, damage to Kovalainen’s car’s fuel system was already done. It was already the last few laps of the race and Kovalainen decided not to pit. However, the rear of his car ended up catching fire during the last few turns of the track and he had to stop on the main straight to put out the fire himself.


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Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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