Blaze of Glory

SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 25: Lucas Di Grassi of Brazil and Virgin GP drives during qualifying for the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on September 25, 2010 in Singapore. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Singapore Grand Prix

Under the bright lights in the city of Singapore, 24 men drove round and round a long street circuit and sometimes things happened. Yes, it wasn’t the greatest race of all time, I think earning the right to be below average at best. Not as bad as Bahrain at least.

Before the race Christian Klien became the fourth man to drive for Hispania this season, replacing Sakon Yamamoto who was reported to be suffering from ‘food poisoning’. Despite also being in the Hispania garage looking fit during qualifying and races. What ever you say Colin Kolles…

Qualifying looked good for Virgin Racing, with Felipe Massa unable to set a lap time, Timo Glock ended up in 18th, ahead of Kovalainen, di Grassi and Trulli. In his first outing since 2006, Klien was a second quicker than his team mate Bruno Senna.

Lotus got off to the best start, with Kovalainen and Trulli jumping Glock. But during the first safety car period Glock stayed out, while all the other new teams pitted. This put him up to 10th for a while, and for a good 15 laps he was 11th ahead of the likes of Sutil, Hulkenberg, Massa and a few other drivers.

It sadly ended when Hulkenberg forced Glock wide, ruining his diffuser and dropping all the way down to 17th, 13 seconds ahead of Kovalainen and still 1 pit stop required.

Meanwhile Jarno Trulli was having a nightmare of the race. First suffering from a puncture early on, he retired due to hydraulics. He came out a few laps later but returned to the garage for the final time.

It was all set for a tedious end to a long race, but then Kamui Kobayashi lost his rear on lap 32, Bruno Senna then went to quick into the corner, taking himself out of the race. It was the end of the race two laps later for his team mate as well, pulling into the garage after what was a decent return to Formula 1. Certainly better than Senna all weekend.

The safety car which resulted because of the crash helped Kovalainen massively, with Glock and di Grassi finding themselves a lap down. Glock would soon retire due to unconfirmed issues, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it was hydraulics.

Kovalainen had the win in the bag, but he ended up colliding with Buemi which was to spark a fire on the back of the Lotus. The smart thinking saw him pull up next to the pitlane and instead of waiting for the marshals (who were lacklustre all weekend) pulled out the fire extinguisher to set it out.

Despite not being the best, far from it, Lucas di Grassi was the only car to reach the chequered flag and won the new teams race.

  Driver Team Race Pos. Points
1 Lucas di Grassi Virgin Racing 15th 10
2 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 16th 6
3 Timo Glock Virgin Racing Ret. 0
4 Christian Klien Hispania Ret. 0
5 Bruno Senna Hispania Ret. 0
6 Jarno Trulli Lotus Ret. 0



Drivers Championship

If Kovalainen doesn’t win it now he will be kicking himself, 4 races to go and he is 23 points clear of second place. Lucas di Grassi is the most improved driver of the week, taking advantage of the other retirements and moving from 5th up to 2nd, ahead of his team mate. Glock, Trulli and Chandhok move down. Senna has now not finished in three races and seems stuck on 22 points. Klien failed to get off the mark.

  Driver Team Points
1 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 78
2 Lucas di Grassi Virgin Racing 55
3 Timo Glock Virgin Racing 52
4 Jarno Trulli Hispania 46
5 Karun Chandhok Virgin Racing 45
6 Bruno Senna Hispania 22
7 Sakon Yamamoto Hispania 9
8 Christian Klien Hispania 0


Teams Championship

Virgin Racing are now four points closer to Lotus, just 17 points between them now, just more than a 1-2.

  Team Points
1 Lotus 124
2 Virgin Racing 107
3 Hispania 76


Title Permutations

It all depends on whether Korea goes ahead or not. If it does, there is four races left and if not, only three. If Kovalainen wins in Japan, Lucas di Grassi finishes lower than 4th and Timo Glock lower than 2nd, then he will be champion. It depends on a lot of things, but if Kovalainen and the two Virgins don’t finish, he also wins the championship. In theory, if Korea doesn’t happen, only three drivers are in with a shout of winning it.

Of course if it does happen, or there is a replacement, then totally ignore the last five lines of text.


Posted on September 26, 2010, in New Teams Championship and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Sorry to have to say this, but Karun drove for Hispania not (sadly) Virgin. Very good entry though and I am enjoying the race at the back of the grid 🙂

  2. Enjoying the New Teams Championship. I went to the Singapore GP. It was a blast… and very very sticky. I had a ticket in the pit straight which wasn’t the best except that you could easily walk all the way down the pit straight stand without any hassle. As a consequence I was right opposite where Heikki stopped to put his car out. Pretty dramatic stuff from the spectators’ side of the track, I can tell you. I had just tweeted how great it was to see him going round in 13th as well!!! One thing regarding the New Teams. Whether the rest of the grid likes to see them plodding round at the back or not, they have certainly had an impact on the rest of the championship eg Hamilton’s attempted overtake of Webber as he was held up by a Virgin (so to speak). It looks like the HRT’s are going to be a menace going round Suzuka this weekend. Personally I have no preference who wins this mini championship but my 5 year old nephew decided, in his wisdom, to ‘support Lotus this year’ so for him, I hope the green and yellow brings it home.

    • Thanks for the great comment Laura 🙂

      Sounds like it was quite a moment to witness live, Heikki’s fire, it was spectacular on TV so can only imagine it was even more so close up.

      And good to see you supporting Lotus because of the nephew, looks good for them so far.

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