Points Mean Prizes and Sparks Mean Surprises: Fernando Alonso Takes Singapore GP

Chris RowlandsCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2008

Sometimes Formula One can be just incredible; today's race at Singapore was one of those times. Fernando Alonso came from 15th on the grid to win his first race of the season in what was also F1's first nighttime race. It could not have been better.

It started off as a race reminiscent of the Schumacher years, with Felipe Massa building up a comfortable lead over Lewis Hamilton, who never looked threatening. However, you could sense that it would not stay like this, and we were proven right before the first set of pit stops.

Nelson Piquet had put his Renault into the wall at turn 17, setting up a chain reaction which caused his teammate to find himself in a winning position.

Alonso had pitted three laps before Piquet's crash, and he had fuelled for a very long time, meaning he ended up fifth.

The pit stops were most notable for Felipe Massa's impression of a Liverpudlian (nine Liverpool players have been burgled in just over two years) when he drove off with the fuel hose his mechanics were fuelling him with. He very kindly stopped at the end the pit lane, so that the mechanics could sprint 500 meters to take it off.

These poor mechanics had to trundle back and forth past every single team, who were no doubt loving it. A mention should go out to the controller of Ferrari's unique semi-automatic pit lane release system, which caused this accident and nearly ruined Adrian Sutil's day. (That gets ruined later.)

Rosberg and Kubica had pitted when the pit lane was closed, so they had to serve 10 second stop-go penalties. Pretty harsh when the alternative is stopping on track when you run out of fuel. Rosberg's penalty actually caused a mild amount of confusion, as he managed to get back out ahead of Hamilton, leading (for one hilarious moment) to the ITV commentators to think he had forgotten to stop.

The next few laps were slightly less eventful, but that is hardly surprising. Then, on lap 50, Massa put his Ferrari into a wall. He spun back onto the track, but Sutil (yes, the one from earlier) had to avoid him, and ended up crashing himself. This brought the safety car out, causing a few nerves at the Renault garage.

Sutil must really hate Ferrari now, as, way back in Monaco, Kimi Raikkonen shunted him put of a points position, near the end of the race.

Ferrari's day went from bad to worse, as Raikkonen misjudged the triple chicane later on, and went into the wall and out of the race.

Alonso held on to his lead, and became the seventh driver to win a race this season. Credit should also be given to Rosberg, who finished second, despite a stop-go penalty; and Sebastian Vettel, who finished sixth to get 14 points from the last two races.

Honda's troubles continued with Barrichello's retiring again; then, as he went to throw his gloves to the crowd, the wind blew them into the sea. Button finished ninth.


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