Lewis Hamilton came out of the first Singapore Grand Prix with his head held high as he was able to extend his championship over Felippe Massa to seven points. The main highlight of this weekends race, though, was Fernando Alonso winning his first race since returning to the Renault Formula One team.
The first ever Formula One night race at the Marina Bay, Singapore circuit could not have been better. It was a race full of thrills, drama, and triumph.
Alonso, 27, won his first race in over a year, his last being the Italian Grand Prix last season with Mclaren. Alonso was quick all weekend, setting the fastest time in Friday practice and carrying on that pace into Saturday Qualifying.
He was on course to start on one of the front two rows of the grid. Unfortunately, a fuel feed problem caused his car to roll gently to a stop in Q2.
Luckily enough for him, his team issued a brilliant pit stop strategy after Nelson Piquet crashed the sister Renault, causing the Safety Car to take to the track. So, looking at another perspective, Piquet's demise led to Alonso's triumph. Talk about give and take.
Let us not forget about the larger scale though: the championship. Lewis Hamilton, 23, was content with a third place finish behind Nico Rosberg, extending his lead over Felippe Massa to seven points. That has given him some temporary breathing space in the hunt for the championship.
Massa, 27, who was in the best position going into the race as he started from pole, made a critical error in the pit lane, driving away with the fuel hose. Although, evidence does show that it was not his fault.
Because of his pit lane incident, he had to park his car at the end of the pit lane and wait for his already out-of-breath mechanics to run 500m down the pit lane to rescue him from humiliation.
This put him at the pack and, as if this wan't enough, he incurred a drive through penalty for an unsafe release from the pit lane, therefore cutting his ever slowly fading chances of getting any world championship points even more.
The penalty added insult to injury, but there was more woe for the 27 year old Brazilian.
He suffered a puncture later on in the race, adding salt to the wound. This left him to finish out of the points in thirteenth. If he is to score some much needed world championship points and close the advantage that Hamilton has over him, then he needs to pray to god that the heavens do not open over Fuji Speedway in Japan in two weeks.
Besides all of the action that was happening to the drivers at the top of the championship, the new night race gave a brilliant race throughout the whole grid.
There was plenty of overtaking, especially at turn seven, which the drivers have now favoured as an overtaking spot. Amongst all the action, there were battles between Hamilton and Coulthard, Rosberg and Trulli, and Kovalainen and Glock (but very briefly), which all added an extra dimension to the race; it was not simply Ferrari and Mclaren battling with each other.
Overall Singapore developed a brilliant track, brilliant facilities, and a brilliant race. Besides the racing, there is still one unanswered question that needs to be answered: could this race could be the new Monaco,as a jewel on the crown of Formula One? This writer thinks that it definitely has the potential.