September 22nd, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Sebastian Vettel led every lap as he won the Singapore Grand Prix from pole position. He also set the fastest lap of the race, completing his utter dominance of the weekend. Fernando Alonso finished second for Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen came through from 13th on the grid to finish third for Lotus.
Vettel lost the lead for only a few metres right at the start when Nico Rosberg surged past off the line. But Rosberg ran slightly wide in the first corner, which allowed Vettel to retake the lead, which he held until the end of the race.
Fernando Alonso started seventh, which meant he really needed a good start to help his pursuit of Vettel in the race. And he made the best start he could have hoped for, flying off the line and emerging from the first three corners in third place. Only Nico Rosberg was between him and Vettel, and Alonso took advantage of the safety car in the middle of the race to make his second pitstop and effectively jump Rosberg on the track.
Daniel Ricciardo was the man who caused the safety car to come out, when he crashed in turn 18 on lap 25. He admitted afterwards that it was his mistake, as he was pushing hard to make up the places he had lost in the early laps. Quite a few drivers pitted under the safety car, but Vettel, Rosberg, Hamilton and Webber were not among them, which meant the order was set to be shaken up in the final phase of the race.
Raikkonen was one of fhe drivers who had stopped under the safety car, and he preserved his tyres well which allowed him to fight his way onto the podium in the final laps. Raikkonen executed a superb pass on Button around the outside of turn 14 on his way to a well-deserved podium. To complicate Raikkonen's weekend, and add to the achievement of making the podium, he raced with back pain that was so severe on Saturday that it limited the amount of running he had in the third practice session.
After the race, dring the interviews on the podium, the crowd booed Sebastian Vettel, as has become something of a trend in recent races. Martin Brundle, who was conducting the interview, was not impressed and admonished the crowd, saying, "Please don't do that. That's not correct."
Mark Webber looked set for a podium in the closing stages of the race, as he showed impressive pace on fresh tyres. Unfortunately for Webber, his race came to a fiery end, with flames issuing from the back of his Red Bull on the final lap. He had been told to short-shift by his Red Bull team, which presumably meant he had a gearbox issue, but he was ultimately unable to manage the problem and lost out on a strong haul of points.
The Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton finished fourth and fifth respectively. Rosberg will not be happy with the result, as he was running second until his second pitstop. Alonso and Raikkonen managed to finish in front of Rosberg because they pitted under the safety car, which Rosberg did not. After his second pitstop, Rosberg was told to push by his team, but amazingly Rosberg objected to the instruction and had a small argument with his enginer on the radio.
In the final part of the race, Hamilton looked much quicker than Rosberg but was unable to pass his team-mate and finished fifth. Hamilton had lost two places off the start of the race, but eventually finished where he started.
Felipe Massa finished sixth, where he started, for Ferrari. Massa made a flying start, but found himself with nowhere to go in the first corners and could not take advantage of his strong start. He spent much of the second half of the race stuck behind Paul Di Resta, who was out of position due to a differnece in pitstop strategy, and cost Massa plenty of time.
Jenson Button and Sergio Perez completed a double points finish for McLaren in 7th and 8th places, although it could have been much better. Button was running third until quite late in the race, when his tyres seemed to let him down. and he lost quite a few places.
Nico Hulkenberg finished ninth after a strong race. He was involved in a strange incident early in the race when he ran off the track while battling with Sergio Perez. Although Perez had not been ahead of Hulkenberg at any point before or during the corner, Hulkenberg was instructed to yield position, which he did amid much grumbling over the radio.
Adrian Sutil completed the top ten, taking a single poitn for Force India.
Romain Grosjean had an unfortunate afternoon, retiring with an air pressure problem in his Lotus after running fifth in the opening laps from third on the grid. Raikkonen's result shows the pace that was available in the Lotus, which will make Grosjean's afternoon even more disappointing as he was hoping to finish on the podium.
Full race results: