Blaze of Glory
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.
|1||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin Racing||15th||10|
|3||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing||Ret.||0|
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.
|2||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin Racing||55|
|3||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing||52|
|5||Karun Chandhok||Virgin Racing||45|
Virgin Racing are now four points closer to Lotus, just 17 points between them now, just more than a 1-2.
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.