The Papers Say About Singapore


Fleet Street barely remembered that Sebastian Vettel won the World title as all eyes were on the altercation between Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton…

Fleet Street barely remembered that Sebastian Vettel won the World title as all eyes were on the altercation between Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton…

‘A furious confrontation between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa dominated the aftermath of the Singapore Grand Prix, even though another superb drive from Sebastian Vettel had taken the German to within one point of the title.

‘Singapore is Formula One’s only night race but the temperature kept rising well after the chequered flag had fallen on Vettel’s Red Bull, with Jenson Button second for his eighth podium place this season and his fourth in as many races. Button is now the only man who can stop Vettel winning the title. But once again it was his McLaren team-mate, Hamilton, who was the talking point following an angry exchange with Massa.

‘Hamilton started the race fourth on the grid but was squeezed towards a wall by the slow-starting Mark Webber. Attempting to make up ground on the 12th lap, Hamilton crashed into the back of Massa, damaging his front wing and puncturing the Brazilian’s Ferrari. Hamilton was given a drive-through penalty and after his involuntary five-stop strategy finished fifth, after overtaking more cars than any other driver, often thrillingly.’ – Paul Weaver, The Guardian

‘So the title ‘race’, if you can still call it that, goes on to Japan, the scene of so many famous denouements in Formula One championship history. This one does not threaten to pack the same dramatic punch, though it will be thoroughly well deserved when it happens.

‘Sebastian Vettel needs just one point at Suzuka to be sure of completing the job after yet another demonstration in the art of ‘leading from the front’ under the Singapore floodlights.

‘As if Vettel’s supremacy this year was not already obvious enough, the Red Bull driver managed for the first time in his career to lead for every single lap of a race, including during the pit stops when the race order usually undergoes a temporary reshuffle.

‘That Vettel cannot yet lay claim to his second title was down to an equally impressive drive from McLaren’s Jenson Button, who shrugged off a stomach upset which saw him lose 1.5 kgs in body weight to finish second.

‘With Mark Webber third and Fernando Alonso fourth, only Button can now mathematically stop Vettel, although he would need to win all five of the season’s remaining races without Vettel claiming a point if he is to prevail. Still, if this season is now about pride for him, then he can certainly look back on this race with a measure of it.’ – Tom Cary, The Telegraph

‘The fireworks which greeted victory for world champion-elect Sebastian Vettel in the Singapore Grand Prix were outshone by an on-track incident between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa which escalated into ugly post-race scenes.

‘In a season of controversial incidents involving Hamilton, the McLaren driver made contact with Ferrari’s Massa for the third time this year

‘It was one too many for the Brazilian and he confronted the man who pipped him to the 2008 world championship by one point as Hamilton gave a television interview to Dutch television.

‘The heated confrontation was sparked when Hamilton, fighting his way through the field on lap 12 after a poor start and an overtaking move by Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher, launched a typically aggressive passing attempt on Massa into Turn 7.

‘Unable to make it stick, the left-hand portion of Hamilton’s front wing disintegrated as it made contact with Massa’s right-rear wheel, puncturing the Brazilian’s tyre. Both were able to make it back to their garages for repairs.

‘But Hamilton was soon back in the pits – one of his five visits – to complete a drive-through penalty after stewards deemed he had been at fault. It was his fifth of the campaign.’ – Simon Cass, Daily Mail

‘Ferrari’s Felipe Massa lashed out at Lewis Hamilton after a collision in yesterday’s Singapore Grand Prix, accusing the Briton of trying “to be Superman” and endangering fellow drivers.

‘Sebastian Vettel won the race to move within a point of claiming his second consecutive world title, but the Red Bull driver’s thunder was stolen by the row between Massa and Hamilton.

‘McLaren’s Hamilton ran into the back of Massa’s Ferrari on lap 12, forcing the Italian to pit with a shredded tire. Hamilton stopped soon after for a new front wing and then had to serve a pit drive-through penalty.

‘Massa confronted Hamilton after the race following two straight days of on-track incidents between the pair. In Saturday’s last qualifying period, Hamilton muscled his way past Massa as they prepared for a flying lap.

‘Vettel sped to a crushing victory, leaving him tantalisingly close to securing back-to-back Formula One titles. To put the crown’s destination beyond mathematical doubt, the Red Bull driver needed to be 125 points clear, but second-placed Button’s 18-point haul left the gap at 124 points after the Englishman’s late challenge.’ – David Tremayne and Alex Kennedy, The Independent

‘Jenson Button s the last man standing after the Sebastian Vettel championship steamroller continued in dramatic style in Singapore.

‘The young German stormed to his ninth victory in 14 races to destroy his opposition in the 2011 title fight.

‘Last year it went down to the last race in Abu Dhabi for a four-way thriller. This time it won’t even go down to the last month.

‘At a stroke he eliminated champions Fernando Alonso, fourth, and Lewis Hamilton, fifth, from the championship. Such was his scorching pace that third was not enough to save Mark Webber from the axe either.

‘Like Vettel, Button (right) was also in a different class to the rest. He added a street fighter’s grit to go with the svelte touch that has become his trademark to finish second. The McLaren put in a late charge in the debilitating 40-degree heat to finish just 1.7 seconds behind Vettel.

‘And the 31-year-old, who does triathlons in his spare time, is now the only thing that stands between the 24-year-old German and a big slice of history.’ – Byron Young, Daily Mirror