Sebastian Vettel moved back into second position in the F1 world championship after inheriting victory in the Singapore Grand Prix
from the luckless Lewis Hamilton.
The Briton appeared to have the race under control after leading from the start, but succumbed to gearbox failure on lap 22, allowing Vettel to sweep by into the lead, and once again replace his rival as chief pursuer to points leader Fernando Alonso. Although Vettel briefly came under pressure from the second McLaren
of Jenson Button
after a brace of mid-race safety car periods, there was nothing the Briton could do about the one-second gap that remained between them, allowing Vettel to claim only his second win of the campaign - and first since Bahrain at the end of the first series of 'flyaway' races.
Button's pursuit of the reigning champion saw him pull well clear of third place, which was taken by Alonso after Pastor Maldonado
pitted for a third time under the first safety car. The Venezuelan had lost places to both Vettel and Button through the first couple of turns, but still appeared in contention for a podium when Hamilton retired. Maldonado eventually retired before the restart, allowing Paul di Resta to momentarily challenge for a maiden F1 podium. The Scot proved unable to stay with Alonso, however, and had to settle for a lonely fourth, comfortably ahead of Nico Rosberg's Mercedes.
The German had Kimi Raikkonen
closing on him in the closing stages but, with the two interruptions - for accidents involving Narain Karthikeyan on his own, and then Michael Schumacher slamming into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne - the race failed to reach its allotted 61 laps and the Lotus driver was denied by the clock. Team-mate Romain Grosjean, who had to allow Raikkonen through in the closing stages, was next up, ahead of Felipe Massa, who recovered from a lap one pit stop to replace a punctured tyre, Daniel Ricciardo and Mark Webber, the Australian having suffered from mistimed pit-stops under the safety cars.
Sergio Perez, who was in the wars after hitting Nico Hulkenberg's Force India, failed to make an alternative tyre strategy pay off on this occasion - as did the German, who suffered a puncture after contact with the other Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi
forced him to make contact with the wall - while Timo Glock
claimed twelfth for Marussia, putting the Banbury team ahead of Caterham in the standings.Full race report now available.Championship standings also available.