Newsflash: Alonso breaks drought to win inaugural Singapore GP

My thoughts:

I have to admit that I am not an F1 fan. That is why I’ve not been posting anything on the Singtel Singapore GP on the blog.

But judging from the number of times the terms “Singapore GP” and “Formula One” have been used to search for my blog, it seems that there are quite a number of readers out there who are interested in the Singapore GP, and who have been checking the blog to see what news they can get on it.

So, as a reader service, I am reproducing this report from ITV-f1.com on tonight’s race:

The report:

ALONSO WINS DRAMATIC SINGAPORE GP

Fernando Alonso ended his and Renault’s long victory droughts after his fortunes turned on their head in a dramatic first ever Formula 1 race under floodlights in Singapore.

 

The former world champion finally claimed his 20th victory a year on from his last, and the team’s first since the 2006 Japanese GP, with an unlikely triumph from 15th on the grid.

 

Williams’s Nico Rosberg came home an in an extraordinary second place, while Lewis Hamilton increased his championship lead to seven points with the final podium place.

 

Alonso was ironically the main beneficiary from a crash on lap 15 from team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr which brought out a safety car and triggered a total shift in the balance of power of the race.

 

Pole-sitter Felipe Massa had led comfortably from main title rival Hamilton in the opening laps – but the Brazilian’s race fell apart following a chaotic first pit stop which saw him leave his pit box with his fuel hose still attached which knocked a mechanic over.

 

After driving down the pit lane with the hose flailing from his F2008, he stopped before the exit and after his crew eventually managed to disengage it, Massa slumped to the back of the field.

 

Up until this point, Alonso – who had looked fast all weekend until a fuel feed problem eliminated him in Q2 in qualifying – had been driving a race heading nowhere after a short first stint had failed to get him higher than 11th.

 

But it was that first stop on lap 12 that ultimately put him in the lead of the race when, after several laps behind the safety car, all of the other cars all pitted.

 

It allowed Alonso to dictate the race from the front and he finished 3s ahead of Rosberg – who finished an astonishing second despite serving a 10s stop-and-go penalty for pitting while the pit lane was still closed.

 

Hamilton lost positions during the safety car stoppage but still came home third to increase his title lead over Massa to seven points with just three races remaining.

 

Timo Glock scored an important five points for Toyota in fourth, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel and BMW’s Nick Heidfeld.

 

David Coulthard, like Alonso, benefited from an early stop to finish in the points for just the second time this season in seventh, with Kazuki Nakajima completing a stunning day for Williams with the final point.

 

Ferrari’s already disastrous day was compounded when Kimi Raikkonen crashed out from fifth place with four laps remaining – meaning that, combined with Massa’s 13th place, means it loses the lead of the constructors’ championship to McLaren.

 

 

Singapore Grand Prix result (61 laps)

 

1.  ALONSO        Renault        

 

2.  ROSBERG      Williams      +2.9s

 

3.  HAMILTON     McLaren       +5.9s

 

4.  GLOCK          Toyota        +8.1s

 

5.  VETTEL         Toro Rosso    +10.2

 

6.  HEIDFELD     BMW           +11.1s

 

7.  COULTHARD   Red Bull      +16.3s

 

8.  NAKAJIMA      Williams      +18.4s

 

9.  BUTTON        Honda         +19.8s

 

10. KOVALAINEN    McLaren       +26.9s

 

11. KUBICA        BMW           +27.9s

 

12. BOURDAIS      Toro Rosso    +29.4s

 

13. MASSA         Ferrari       +35.1s

 

14. FISICHELLA    Force India   +43.5s

 

15. RAIKKONEN     Ferrari       +4 laps

 

R.  TRULLI        Toyota        +10 laps

 

R.  SUTIL         Force India   +11 laps

 

R.  WEBBER        Red Bull      +31 laps

 

R.  BARRICHELLO   Honda         +46 laps

 

R.  PIQUET        Renault       +47 laps

——————-

You can also check out a pretty entertaining lap-by-lap report on the race by the BBC Online here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7635178.stm

Here’s an excerpt:

Lap 17: The pit lane is open… Felipe Massa immediately comes in and HE’S TAKEN THE FUEL HOSE WITH HIM!!! What the??? The Brazilian drives off with the hose still attached, leaving one of the pit crew floored. Massa is sitting in his stricken Ferrari at the end of the pit lane. The crew run down after him and manage to pull the hose off – but that’s his race ruined.

….

Photos:

And finally, here’s a collection of 20 great photographs on the Singapore GP from the Guardian Online, one of my favourite news sites. I must admit I felt a tinge of pride just looking at them.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/gallery/2008/sep/27/lewishamilton.formulaone?picture=338058470

as well as a quote from BBC Live Radio Five commentator David Croft:

“If you were in a spaceship looking down on this trac, you’d be impressed no matter wha planet you come from.”

Steady lah.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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