Vettel wins but champagne on ice

Vettel wins but champagne on ice

The 24-year-old German, the defending champion and runaway leader of this year's title race, drove from pole position to the chequered flag in flawless style in his Red Bull car.
He won the floodlit 61-lap night race at the Marina Bay street circuit by a controlled 1.7 seconds.

Briton Jenson Button finished second in his McLaren to keep the title race just about alive with five races remaining. Australian Mark Webber in the second Red Bull finished third. Vettel now requires just a solitary point to claim his second title in succession and can only be beaten to the title if Button wins all five of the remaining races while the German fails to score a further point.

Two-time world champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who needed to finish on the podium to keep his own challenge for the drivers' title alive, came home fourth ahead of Briton Lewis Hamilton in the second McLaren.

The Englishman produced a typically spectacular drive including five pit-stops, a collision and a charge from 16th through the field. Another Briton, Paul Di Resta, came home sixth for Force India, his best result to date in his rookie season in Formula One, ahead of Germans Nico Rosberg in seventh for Mercedes and Adrian Sutil in the second Force India.

Felipe Massa of Ferrari, who was the victim of a collision with Hamilton in the early stages of an incident-filled contest, came home ninth. Mexican Sergio Perez, whose collision with Michael Schumacher saw the German eliminated from the race, finished 10th.

It was Vettel's ninth win this season and the 19th of his career. His Singapore triumph in sweltering humidity was heralded by an explosion of dazzling fireworks over the brightly lit cityscape.

Vettel won in a victorious time of one hour, 59 minutes and 6.757 seconds, a time that signalled the longest and most arduous race of the year.  He, Button and Webber stood still, drained and dripping with sweat on the podium at the end.

Vettel, from his 11th pole position, pulled clear with apparent ease to take control early on, leaving the rest to scrap for places in a flurry of action into Turn One, Sheares Corner.
And he hardly looked back from there.

The brilliant German appeared to revel in his supremacy and opened up a comfortable lead as Hamilton, on successive laps, produced perfect passes to climb to sixth ahead of Rosberg and Schumacher.

By lap 11, Vettel was seemingly in cruise control as the rest battled furiously -- Webber taking third from Alonso, whose rear tyres were worn severely, Rosberg initiating the pit-stops and followed a lap later by Alonso. Vettel's lead after 18 laps was more than 10 seconds.

He stretched it to 20 seconds by lap 30 when the race was red-flagged for the first time after Schumacher ran into the rear of Perez's Sauber car and made an airborne collision with the barriers.

This brought out the Safety Car and signalled a spate of pit-stops while Schumacher's wrecked Mercedes was lifted clear. The 42-year-old German was unhurt.