2009 Singapore GP Review: Hamilton Wins As Button Extends His Lead!

Ravikumar RajagopalCorrespondent ISeptember 27, 2009

SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 27:  Race winner Lewis Hamilton (C) of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes celebrates on the podium with second placed Timo Glock (L) of Germany and Toyota and third placed Fernando Alonso (R) of Spain and Renault after the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 27, 2009 in Singapore.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton and McLaren were back on top with a thumping victory thanks to a series of unfortunate incidents to race rivals. Taking nothing away from the drive, Hamilton had a very consistent drive and even scorched rumours of his break up with pop star girlfriend Nicole as she was cheering him on from start to the finish.

Although it may be too late for Hamilton to challenge for the title, the third spot at the constructor’s championship is still wide open and he has a shot at being the best of the rest. Heikki Kovalainen driving a similar car once again struggled and could manage only come seventh.

Jenson Button’s fifth-place finish in the race was highly important for him as, now, he has 15-point lead in the championship with only three races to go. He managed to finish ahead of Rubens Barrichello who has been the better Brawn driver for the last few races.

On paper, Button looks the favourite to win the championship, but in F1 anything can happen and if Rubens manages to win a race and Button fails to score points, it could become really interisting before the Abu Dhabi GP. Also, with Rosberg rumoured to have signed with the team for 2010, whoever wins could potentially land up a race seat with the team for the next season.

Fernando Alonso and Renault had the most torrid week.

Alonso drove like a true champion and is surely the driver of the race by bringing in his underperforming Renault on the podium by finishing in third. After what happened last season, Alonso proved that he does not need any fixing to get him on to the podium and Alonso showed that even with a car like Renault, he can give his best. If we are to believe the paddock gossip, he could be racing in red overalls during the next season.

Timo Glock and Toyota must be relived after Glock managed to score a second-place finish. The team, after a good start early on in the season, went through a horrific mid-season slump and this second place finish was the team’s best finish since the 2008 Hungarian GP.

This can also seal Glock’s place if Toyota does manage to compete during the 2010 season. Trulli needs a win in Suzuka if he does manages to retain a spot in the grid for the next season as Glock has surely been the more consistent driver this season.

Sebastian Vettel nursed his car to a fourth-place finish and he will be surely cursing his luck during this weekend as during qualifying he was all set for the pole position until Barrichello crashed at the end of Q3. During the race itself he was also catching up with Hamilton, but a drive through penalty for speeding in the pit-lane took him of the equation. With this, his title chance for 2009 faded away, unless he does manage to win the remaining races and hope that Button fails to score at all.

Webber’s chance now is over after he had a disastrous race with a brake failure making him spin out with 16 laps to go. Sister team Toro Rosso also retired immediately after Webber’s spin as they share similar braking technology.

Kubica scored the final  available points for the race with his BMW team coming in eighth. Though the team is much better off than the four newcomers, its position is not confirmed yet while we will know if the Sauber team will be on the grid for the next season in a week’s time.

Force India had a very bad weekend as their car is not just suited for this track and adding in more misery is that Sutil took out BMW’s Heidfeld and is being investigated by the stewards.

Ferrari had a race to forget, really.  Although the team have decided to focus on the 2010 car, both Kimi and Fisi are not too happy with it and it won’t surprise too many people if the team does have a complete different line-up for the next season. Suzuka is a fast track and it should favour the team by then Force India should also be in the reckoning to score to points as well.

Rosberg had a chance to score his first win and Williams also had a shot of winning a race after 2004, but then Rosberg’s penalty effectively ruined the race for the team and he managed to finish only 11th while Nakajima came in ninth and is yet to score points for the team.

Leaving aside the things which happened outside the track, Singapore once again stole the show while the racing on track was not the best of the year, but the night race dominated everything else and the second Singapore GP was a very successful race.  

Suzuka will be a very interesting race and a high speed circuit which should bring Ferrari, once again, into the reckoning.

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