Hamilton crashes out in a chaotic race; Alonso extends lead
A disciplined drive from Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel proved enough to win a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton retired while in the lead with a gearbox problem.
Vettel’s second win of the season played into the hands of championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, who was third but extended his lead in the title standings to 39 points.
Second place went to Hamilton’s McLaren teammate Jenson Button.
Vettel is now Alonso’s closest rival, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Hamilton, with six of the 20 races remaining.
The win makes Vettel the first man to win two Singapore Grands Prix back-to-back.
The safety car came out twice for accidents and the delays resulted in the race being cut to 61 laps to meet the two-hour time limit.
Michael Schumacher was in line for points before he steamed into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne to bring out the safety car on lap 39 just seconds after the end of the first safety car spell, caused by Narain Karthikeyan bundling his HRT into the barriers.
Hamilton dominated the early stages of the race before he ground to a halt on lap 23, and is now 52 points behind Alonso.
Vettel had run second since the start and inherited the lead, facing only minor challenges from Button at the two safety car restarts.
Paul di Resta earned a career best fourth for Force India, Nico Rosberg was fifth for Mercedes, while Raikkonen battled his way to sixth from 12th on the grid.
Raikkonen’s Lotus teammate Romain Grosjean was seventh after the team asked him to give way to the Finn, while Felipe Massa rescued eighth for Ferrari.
Ninth went to Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, while Mark Webber’s championship hopes took another blow as he finished 10th, leaving the Australian fifth in the standings, 61 points adrift of Alonso.
Williams had a disappointing afternoon as a hydraulic fault ended Pastor Maldonado's race after the Venezuelan had started second.
The results: 1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 2:00:26.144, 2. Jenson Button (McLaren) +00:08.900, 3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 00:15.200, 4. Paul Di Resta (Force India) 00:19.000, 5. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 00:34.700, 6. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 00:35.700, 7. Romain Grosjean (Lotus) 00:36.600, 8. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 00:42.800, 9. Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) 00:45.800, 10. Mark Webber (Red Bull) 00:47.100.
11. Sergio Perez (Sauber) 00:50.600, 12. Timo Glock (Marussia) 01:31.900, 13. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber) 01:37.100, 14. Nico Huelkenberg (Force India) 01:39.400, 15. Heikki Kovalainen (Caterham) 01:36.100, 16. Charles Pic (Marussia), 01:47.400, 17. Pedro de la Rosa (HRT) 1 lap, 18. Vitaly Petrov (Caterham) 2 laps; Retd: Bruno Senna (Williams), Michael Schumacher (Mercedes), Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso), Pastor Maldonado (Williams), Narain Karthikeyan (HRT), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren).
Drivers standings: 1. Alonso 194, 2. Vettel 165, 3. Raikkonen 149, 4. Hamilton 142, 5. Webber 133, 6. Button 119, 7. Rosberg 93, 8. Romain Grosjean 82, 9. Perez 65, 10. Massa 51, 11. Di Resta 44, 12. Schumacher 43, 13. Kobayashi 35, 14. Huelkenberg 31, 15. Maldonado 29, 16. Senna 25, 17. Vergne 8, 18. Ricciardo 6; Glock, Kovalainen, Petrov, Jerome d'Ambrosio, Charles Pic, Karthikeyan, Pedro de la Rosa (all 0).
Constructors standings: 1. RedBull-Renault 298, 2. McLaren-Mercedes 261, 3. Ferrari 245, 4. Lotus-Renault 231, 5. Mercedes 136, 6. Sauber- Ferrari 100, 7. Force India-Mercedes 75, 8. Williams-Renault 54, 9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 14, 10. Marussia-Cosworth 0, 11. Caterham-Renault 0, 12. HRT-Cosworth 0.
Keywords: Singapore Grand Prix