2012 Singapore Grand Prix
The 2012 Singapore Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race that took place at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Marina Bay, Singapore on 23 September 2012 as the fourteenth round of the 2012 season. The race was the thirteenth time that a Singapore Grand Prix has been held, and the fifth time it was a round of the Formula One World Championship.
Having been unable to race in Italy two weeks earlier because of a one-race ban he received for causing a serious collision in Belgium, Romain Grosjean was back in the driving seat again with Lotus F1 for the race in Singapore.
Like the 2011 Singapore Grand Prix, tyre supplier Pirelli brought its yellow-banded soft compound tyre as the harder "prime" tyre and the red-banded supersoft compound tyre as the softer "option" tyre.
The first practice session on Friday evening was held in damp conditions. Rain earlier in the day had soaked the circuit, but it had started drying out as the session began. Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time of the session, five hundredths of a second faster than Lewis Hamilton. Although several drivers went off the circuit, they were able to rejoin without damage and the session was uninterrupted. By the time the second session began, the circuit was completely dry. Vettel was once again fastest, this time three tenths of a second faster than Jenson Button. The session was briefly interrupted when Bruno Senna clipped a barrier coming out from under the grandstand at turn 19 before spinning to a halt at the next corner. Vettel topped the third and final session on Saturday evening, three-tenths faster than Hamilton. The session was cut short two minutes before the chequered flag when Vitaly Petrov hit the wall at Turn 21, breaking his right-rear suspension and as a consequence, his Caterham stopped in the entrance to the pitlane and by doing so, blocked it causing a red flag until the session ended.
The first qualifying period saw several teams caught out by the difference in performance between the harder prime tyres and the softer options, which was estimated to be up to a second and a half per lap. The end result was that several teams had to use up a set of soft tyres to guarantee a place in the second period. Williams' Bruno Senna clipped the wall on his final lap while faced with the threat of elimination, but made it through to the second period by a tenth of a second when Kamui Kobayashi failed to better his lap time. Vitaly Petrov out-qualified team-mate Heikki Kovalainen to start nineteenth, putting the Caterhams ahead of Marussia duo of Timo Glock and Charles Pic. HRT once again filled the final row of the grid, with Narain Karthikeyan out-qualifying Pedro de la Rosa for the second race in succession with a time that was over a second faster than the Spaniard's. De la Rosa started qualifying with the knowledge that he would receive a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change regardless of where he started, but as he qualified twenty-fourth and last, the effect of the penalty was negated.
The second qualifying period started with Senna and Romain Grosjean crashing. While Grosjean was able to continue after mechanics inspected his car, Senna – who had once again hit the wall at Turn 19, his third such incident at that corner – returned to the pit with terminal damage. With his failure to set a lap time, he was relegated to seventeenth on the grid. At the end of the fifteen-minute session, Nico Hülkenberg was eliminated in eleventh, and later admitted that he felt he could have gone faster in the first sector. Kimi Räikkönen qualified alongside him in twelfth, ahead of Felipe Massa and Sergio Pérez. Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne had a quiet qualifying session, and ultimately finished fifteenth and sixteenth respectively.
Mercedes elected not to take part in the final period of qualifying, allowing Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg to save a set of tyres and giving them the choice of which compound on which to start the race. As a result, only eight drivers took part in the final ten minutes of qualifying. Lewis Hamilton prevailed, taking pole position by half a second from Pastor Maldonado. After being consistently fast through free practice, Sebastian Vettel could only manage third overall, ahead of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, the latter admitting that he was not expecting to be fast during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend. Paul di Resta qualified sixth, ahead of Mark Webber, leaving Romain Grosjean as the eighth and final driver to set a time.
In an interview after qualifying, Lewis Hamilton publicly implored Pastor Maldonado to be careful during the start of the race, given the latter's reputation for reckless driving and frequent on-track incidents. Seventh-placed Mark Webber was also quoted by the Daily Mail as warning Romain Grosjean to stay away from him at the start of his first race back after being banned from taking part in the Italian Grand Prix.
Hamilton lead lap 1 with Maldonado falling to 4th with Vettel and Button overtaking into P2 and P3 respectively.
On lap 23, Hamilton's gearbox failed forcing him to retire allowing Vettel to take P1 which continued until the end of the race. It was noted to be the 2nd mechanical retirement for the Briton.
On lap 30, Karthikeyan crashed at turn 18 causing yellow flags and a safety car to be deployed. Maldonado retired with hydraulic issues before the safety car came in. He had a call 1 lap before he came to the pits and retired. 2 laps later, Schumacher and Vergne collided, with Schumacher failing to brake properly, and consequently crashing into the back of Vergne's Toro Rosso, resulting in their retirement. After the crash, Michael Schumacher climbed out of his car and went over to apologise to Vergne.
Paul di Resta managed to keep Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg at bay to claim his career-best finish of P4, gaining him two places in the Driver's Championship to stand 11th.
The race finished two laps early as the two-hour limit was reached, the first time this had happened since the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix.
After the race, the stewards gave Michael Schumacher a ten-place grid penalty at the next race, Suzuka, after he crashed into Jean-Eric Vergne and caused them both to retire. This penalty was applied in accordance with article 16.1 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations. Mark Webber was also demoted by a place, losing the 10th place and the point to finish 11th, due to a move deemed by the FIA to be advantageous as it resulted in an unfair advantage.
- ^1 — Bruno Senna and Pedro de la Rosa received five-place grid penalties for unscheduled gearbox changes.
- ^1 — Mark Webber had twenty seconds added to his time after he cut a corner in order to pass Kamui Kobayashi.
- ^2 — Charles Pic had twenty seconds added to his race time after he was spotted overtaking another car while red flags were being shown in the final free practice session.
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- "2012 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix". Formula One. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- "2012 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX (Race)". formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 23 September 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- Collantine, Keith (7 December 2011). "United States Grand Prix remains on unchanged 2012 F1 calendar". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- Collantine, Keith (22 September 2012). "Hamilton on pole as Maldonado shines in Singapore". F1 Fanaitc (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Vettel wins as Hamilton retires". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). 23 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- Strang, Simon; Beer, Matt (2 September 2012). "Belgian GP: Romain Grosjean gets one-race ban for start crash". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 17 September 2012.
- "Romain Grosjean has 'learned his lesson' – Boullier". BBC Sport (BBC). 10 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
'He has definitely learned his lessons and I know he is eager to get back in the car in Singapore,' said Boullier.
- "Pirelli reveal tyre choices for final three rounds". Formula One. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- Noble, Jonathan (13 September 2012). "Ma gets another Friday outing". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 17 September 2012.
- Collantine, Keith (5 September 2012). "Ma Qing Hua to drive for HRT in Monza practice". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 17 September 2012.
- Collantine, Keith (21 September 2012). "Vettel leads Hamilton in damp session at Singapore". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 22 September 2012.
- Collantine, Keith (21 September 2012). "Vettel stays on top in Singapore". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 22 September 2012.
- Collantine, Keith (22 September 2012). "Vettel completes Singapore practice hat-trick". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 22 September 2012.
- Beer, Matt (22 September 2012). "Hamilton hopes Maldonado takes care". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Webber warning for Grosjean on eve of Singapore Grand Prix". Daily Mail. 22 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- Elizade, Pablo (20 September 2012). "FIA to pay tribute to Professor Sid Watkins on Singapore Grand Prix grid". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- Noble, Jonathan (22 September 2012). "De la Rosa gets gearbox penalty". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 22 September 2012.
- Collantine, Keith (23 September 2012). "Senna falls to 22nd with gearbox change penalty". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Webber loses point after post-race penalty". Formula One. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- Noble, Jonathan (22 September 2012). "Pic handed time penalty for the race". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 23 September 2012.
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2013 Singapore Grand Prix