• Singapore Grand Prix

Driver-by-driver run down

Chris Medland and Laurence Edmondson
September 25, 2011
Sebastian Vettel secured his maiden victory under the lights in Singapore © Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel - 1st Delivered the kind of performance that epitomises his soon-to-be championship year. Led away serenely, building a substantial lead before the safety car quickly eroded it. Blitzed the restart to pull out a nine second lead in two laps, and didn't put a foot wrong as Button tried to put pressure on late in the race, expertly dealing with potentially hazardous traffic on the final laps.

Jenson Button - 2nd Continued his fine form as he supplied the only kind of threat to Vettel with a well judged drive. A strong start was key to his race, getting ahead of Webber and holding off Alonso, before easing away from the rest of the chasing pack. Looked after his tyres well enough to push them hard late in the race, invoking memories of Canada as he reeled in Vettel lap after lap until traffic halted his charge, but still managed to get the McLaren much closer to the Red Bull than it really should have been.

Mark Webber - 3rd Again his poor starts came back to haunt him, as he seemed too eager on the throttle and lit up his rear tyres. Was then too preoccupied with defending from Hamilton and allowed Alonso around the outside, but drove a strong race from that point on. His passes were strong but measured, with his move on Alonso in to turn ten particularly risky but ultimately successful. A solid result on a track where he's never been particularly quick.

Fernando Alonso - 4th Another strong start saw him up to third, but it was soon evident that the Ferrari did not have the pace to match Red Bull or McLaren. Having lost out to Webber once on track, Ferrari used the undercut on fresh rubber effectively to regain the place, but saw that advantage wiped out by the safety car. Alonso blamed backmarkers on the restart for losing the place a second time, but the reality is it was inevitable.

Lewis Hamilton - 5th At the centre of more controversy, but on the track he did little wrong. Was at fault for the collision with Massa, but it was a minor one which received a more severe punishment than Schumacher did for hitting Perez. His overtaking from that point on was well judged and effective, and he showed consistent pace to climb back up to fifth having been 19th at one point. The handbags with Massa post-race shouldn't overshadow what was a good recovery drive.

Paul di Resta - 6th The best result of his career, and evidence of his growing reputation in the paddock. Made a two-stop strategy work to beat the works Mercedes of Rosberg, which was all the more impressive because the safety car cut short his middle stint when he had a lot of life left in supersoft tyres. Probably the strongest drive of his season, and a timely show of potential to both his own team and the Mercedes behind him.

Nico Rosberg -7th While tyre degradation was a problem throughout the field, Rosberg was hit hard as even a three stop strategy couldn't prevent the Mercedes from chewing up its rear tyres. Made up two places early on but soon dropped away, and can only take solace from being able to hold off Sutil and Massa late on.

Adrian Sutil - 8th Helped his team to a double points finish, and it was clear that the aim was a shared one rather than personal. Kept out of trouble by not defending rigorously against the clearly faster Hamilton, and even let di Resta through so as not to affect his strategy. The manner in which he did it showed he wanted to make it obvious he had been ordered to move over, but he will still be unhappy at being outperformed by his rookie team-mate.

Felipe Massa - 9th Kept Alonso honest throughout the first stint and if anything was slightly held up by his team-mate, but unfortunately had his afternoon ruined straight after the first round of pit stops. He was completely blameless as Hamilton clipped his rear well and gave him a puncture, but the safety car period allowed him to make up quick ground, and he just ran out of laps to get ahead of Sutil and Rosberg.

Sergio Perez - 10th A good result considering he had a similar problem to Massa - picking up a puncture after contact from behind by another driver. Schumacher the culprit, but the resultant safety car helped limit the damage. Could have had more points but he too struggled with his rear tyres and faded slightly at the end.

Pastor Maldonado - 11th A solid result seeing as he outperformed his team-mate. Although he appeared to be a substantial distance away from 10th at the end of the race, he took six and a half seconds out of Perez on the final lap and could have snatched a point with one more tour.

Sebastien Buemi - 12th Picked up a place at the end as Barrichello toiled, but didn't have the downforce available to him in the Toro Rosso and was never in contention for points. The biggest positive he can take out of the weekend is that his team-mate Alguersuari made a mistake and crashed.

There were battles throughout the field © Getty Images

Rubens Barrichello - 13th He attempted to make a set of soft tyres last for the second half of the race and in the end ran out of grip and performance. Williams had to try something different as the car is still not top-ten calibre, but it left Barrichello as a sitting duck in the latter stages of the race.

Kamui Kobayahsi - 14th This weekend was a missed opportunity for Kobayashi who showed genuine pace throughout but failed to convert it into points. His accident in Q2 certainly didn't help matters, but his race was ruined for good when he was slapped with a drive-through penalty for holding up the lead cars. After the race he said: "I was very surprised when I got the drive through penalty, because I didn't see any blue flags."

Bruno Senna - 15th He clipped the wall after his first pit stop and had to make a second stop a lap later, ruining any chance of a good result. The fact that he still finished ahead of Petrov is impressive and it's better that he makes rookie mistakes on a track where the car is not competitive than when he is in the hunt for points. His team was also fined €7,500 for telling him to fight Perez for position after the safety car - a call that led to a small collision - when he was actually a lap down.

Heikki Kovalainen - 16th His pace looked good all weekend and he kept up the good work in the race to finish ahead of one of the Renaults. An updated diffuser has improved the performance of the car since Italy and team boss Tony Fernandes described the result as "the best race we have had in our short life in Formula One so far."

Vitaly Petrov - 17th He blamed a KERS problem for his dismal finishing position, but the lack of performance had deeper roots that that. The Renault had been struggling for traction all weekend and Petrov looked worrying like his 2010 rookie self. His strategy of starting on the softs probably didn't help, but finishing behind a Lotus simply isn't good enough.

Jerome d'Ambrosio - 18th Virgin team boss John Booth described his performance as "possibly his best race of the year" and it's hard to find fault with it. He held off the HRTs by two laps and managed his tyres well on a two-stop strategy.

Daniel Ricciardo - 19th An early accident damaged his front wing and the subsequent pit stop dropped him off the pack. From that point his main focus was on getting out of the way of the lead cars, but he recovered well and finished ahead of his team-mate.

Tonio Liuzzi - 20th He had a reasonable first half of the race but then put on a used set of supersofts at his last pit stop and brushed the wall due to a lack of grip. He pitted immediately for a set of used softs, but the car was never quite the same again and he struggled to make the end of the race.

Jaime Alguersuari - 21st He crashed into the wall with a couple of laps remaining but his race started to go wrong long before that. The car lacked rear-end grip and he got a drive-through for contact with Trulli in his second stint. After the race he said: "I don't think points would have been on the agenda for us this weekend."

Jarno Trulli - DNF He had a very strong start to the race and ran as high as 11th during the first set of pit stops. However, the collision with Alguersuari meant he had to make an unscheduled pit stop and in the end a gearbox problem put an end to his afternoon.

Michael Schumacher - DNF His race ended with a dramatic accident as his Mercedes clambered over the back of Perez. He claimed the collision was a result of a misunderstanding, but neither the stewards nor Perez agreed. The car wasn't competitive this weekend and it was always going to be hard to match his last two results, but ultimately it was another error that cost him couple of points.

Timo Glock - DNF He made contact with Ricciardo on the first lap and from that point onwards his steering wheel was not pointing straight. He stayed out nonetheless but crashed into the barriers on lap nine.