27 September 2009
Hamilton dominates for Singapore success
Lewis Hamilton bounced back from the disappointment of his last lap retirement at Monza to secure his second win of the 2009 F1 season on the streets of Singapore.
Having qualified on pole position, the McLaren man produced a dominant performance under Singapore's lights to pick up victory in the second F1 night race, while Toyota and Renault were given reason to cheer as Timo Glock and Fernando Alonso joined the Briton on the podium.
From pole, Hamilton lead the field into turn one but behind, Nico Rosberg produced a fine start to get the jump on Sebastian Vettel into second place. Vettel also came under pressure from Alonso's Renault, but the German was able to hold on to retain third. With Alonso forced wide, Mark Webber made a move for fourth into turn seven and was able to get ahead, although the Australian ran wide in the process and would ultimately be ordered by the team to allow Alonso back through. With Glock having passed Alonso when Webber forced him wide, the Red Bull man would lose two places as a result.
Through the opening laps, Hamilton was able to pull away from Rosberg out front, despite a scare with his KERS system which led to the team telling the defending champion to disable the system. Luckily, the issue resolved itself and allowed Hamilton to continue to make the most of his extra powerboost.
While Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel pulled away from Glock, Alonso and Webber, Rubens Barrichello was running in seventh with Robert Kubica eighth, while a heavy Jenson Button had settled into tenth behind Heikki Kovalainen's McLaren.
The race quickly settled down into a routine, but Rosberg's hopes of challenging for his maiden F1 victory came to an end during his first stop. As the Williams man exited the pitlane, he ran wide over the kerbs and the white line and was duly handed a drive-through penalty.
Before he had chance to take his penalty, the race went under caution when Adrian Sutil and Nick Heidfeld collided, with debris littering the circuit and leaving officials with no choice but to put the Safety Car on track. The incident came after Sutil tried to make a move on the slower Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari but suffered a spin, with the German then collecting Heidfeld's BMW as he tried to spin his car back the right way round. Heidfeld was out on the spot while the front was wiped from the Force India and Sutil returned to the pits. He too would eventually retire.
Hamilton had pitted shortly before the incident so retained his lead ahead of Rosberg and Vettel, with Glock, Alonso and Barrichello rounding out the top six. Kovalainen and Button were also now in the points, while Webber had dropped down to ninth.
Rosberg pitted shortly after the race resumed to take his penalty and plummeted down the order as a result, which left Vettel to take the challenge to Hamilton for the win. The pair quickly started to pull away from Glock, who in turn was leaving Alonso behind, with Vettel shadowing Hamilton's every move.
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