2011 Singapore GP – Race Report

The Singapore race had a fairly interesting start, climaxing on a safety car after Schumacher’s crash, but a very boring latter half. The winner is easy to guess…

Race direction: Poor

The race director for Singapore squeaks by with the poor rating. He managed to cover barely half the pit-stops and at least took the time to show all the retirements. However with a grand total of nine missed yellow-flags of which only one was caught on replay, I have to question if the race director was even awake for much of the race. Both the front and the back runners received a fair amount of coverage, but on a small circuit like Singapore, that’s hardly a massive task.

The Top-10:

Once again, Sebastian Vettel was the leader from start to finish; the most peril he endured was when the Lotus team let Heikki Kovalainen out of the pits too early nearly resulting in collision (for which the team received a fine after the race). Jenson Button drove an impressive race and was even gaining up on Vettel in the final laps, but simply couldn’t pass the lapped drivers fast enough to challenge Vettel. After another abysmally bad start Mark Webber did finish a respectable third.

The Ferraris did not have a fun time. With Alonso having to tangle with Webber and Massa getting rear-ended by Hamilton who also managed to puncture one of his rear tyres which forced the Brazilian to make an extra pit-stop. Alonso finished fourth and Massa ninth.

Lewis Hamilton didn’t let his drive-through penalty for rear-ending Massa bother him and instead fought his way back up to fifth. After the race Massa went to tap Lewis on the shoulder when he was giving press-statements. Hopefully though, these two won’t have any bad blood left between them by the time of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Team Force India is certainly happy for the turn out. With both their cars making it to Q3, Di Resta’s sixth and Sutil’s eighth place were an extremely positive result for the team. Nico Rosberg also fought from a less than stellar start to finish seventh, tangling with Sauber’s Sergio Perez who was the tenth and the final scorer for this race.

Golden Pineapple Award

Pastor Maldonado takes his second pineapple for this season, which ties him with the four other two-time pineapple winners. Maldonado was at least able to better his position slightly from the start of the race but he didn’t seem to be even close to driving for points. Better luck next time though.

Drop-out count: 4

Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock both fell foul to technical difficulties.

After tangling with Nico Rosberg, Sergio Perez found himself defending his spot against Michael Schumacher. At one corner Perez took the inner lane which pocketed Schumi. Rather than breaking Schumi plowed over Sergio’s car and flew off track. Though Schumi wasn’t injured and Perez was still able to finish the race in spite of the accident, it was easily the most impressive looking crash in the race. Schumi’s car was also in the way enough that a Safety Car had to be brought on track.

Jaime Alguersuari also lost control of his car and hit the wall in the tunnel portion.

Back of the Lot News:

I’m not sure what happened to Rubens Barrichello. He started from 12th and was at one point driving for points, but then finished a modest 13th by the end. The Renault Team had a lousy weekend due to their failed upgrade package. Bruno Senna finished where he had started and Vitaly Petrov lost out to Heikki Kovalainen who was the highest of the new team drivers (16th).

Kamui Kobayashi also had a miserable weekend. After crashing his car in Q2 he had to start from grid-17 and a drive through penalty later in the race ensured that he had no chance of scoring this time around.

For Virgin and HRT it was the same-old, same-old.