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Vettel claims Singapore GP champion spot but narrowly misses World Drivers’ Championship



Sebastien Vettel lifts the Singapore Grand Prix champion throphy after leading from start to finish. (Photo :Getty Images)

Defending Formula One world champion Sebastien Vettel, 24, was crowned champion in the Singapore Grand Prix (GP) yesterday night with a timing of 1:59:06. The win marks his 9th of the season and his 11th podium finish.

The reigning champion lead throughout from pole position to the finishing, while his team mate, Red Bull’s Mark Webber, came in third to clinch a podium spot as well.

The dominant German could have celebrated his second consecutive Formula One world championship in Singapore but the party was put on hold by Mclaren’s Jenson Button who finished in second place.

A bruising race around the 61 lap circuit coupled with each driver's desire to shine in the Lion City saw an impressive amount of overtaking. Both Button and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso had great starts to overtake Webber and Lewis Hamilton in the opening stages.

Webber managed to overtake Alonso for the third spot with one sleek manoeuvre in lap 10 and that standing lasted till the end of the race leaving last year’s Singapore GP champion, claiming fouth.

Soon after, Hamilton lost his wing in a near collision with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. Having to serve a drive through penalty, he eventually ended fifth in the race. On the other hand, Massa shredded his tyre after running over debris and dropped behind the pack to finish ninth.

Formula One former super star Michael Schumacher crashed out in the 31st lap, smashing his ride into the barricade after spinning out of control. This brought out the safety car for its annual appearance.

Soon after, Vettel widened his lead and was way ahead of the other drivers. However, Button did not want to go down without a fight and started flying in the circuit to close down the German leader.

Eventually, Button narrowly lost out in the battle finishing second, 1.7 seconds behind the newly crowned Singapore GP champion. Fireworks lit the sky when the victor was declared to commemorate and conclude the wonderful event on the Singapore Calendar.

“You are one point away from achiving the title,brilliant drive,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Vettel over the radio after speeding past the chequered flag under the floodlights.

To put the title beyond doubt Vettel needed to be 125 points clear. However, he leads the drivers’ championship by 124 points with five race left and is almost certain to win back to back titles.

To prevent that magnificent feat from happening, second placed Button would need to win every remaining race while Vettel fails to gain any points. 

Champion Vettel said, “It was a fantastic race from start to finish. In the heat we kept our heads (Red Bull team) cool and it was a perfect day in the office. It means a lot to me because I really like this track and it is one of the hardest challenges we face each year, so it is nice to come out of that as a winner.”

The next race will be the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix, from 7 Oct to 9 Oct. There might be a new champion crowned in the streets of Suzuka or just another delay in the celebrations.