Second win of the season for Lewis who dominated the second Singapore night race from start to finish. Starting from pole position, Lewis quickly established a slim lead over Nico Rosberg. Despite looking set to establish a greater advantage over his pursuers by virtue of his pitting later, his lead was eradicated by a Safety Car period, which coincided with Lewis’s first stop.
Nonetheless, he remained at the head of the field and withstood sustained pressure from Sebastian Vettel – who was running significantly lighter than Lewis and was therefore able to push hard for the lead. After making his final stop, and dropping to second behind Fernando Alonso, Lewis resumed the lead once the Spaniard had made his final stop and maintained his advantage over the chasing Toyota of Timo Glock. This was Lewis’s 11th grand prix win.
Heikki lined up eighth on the grid (after the cars of Rubens Barrichello and Nick Heidfeld had been demoted beneath him) but was jumped by the lighter-fuelled Barrichello at the start. He slotted into ninth, jumped Robert Kubica at the first stops and was comfortably running in the top six until Mark Webber’s shunt prompted a flurry of stops on lap 46. The net result saw Heikki lose two positions to Jenson Button and Vettel. He eventually finished seventh. Nonetheless, the team’s double-points finish moves Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to within three points of third position in the constructors’ championship with three races remaining.
Statements to the race:
“This is the perfect end to a fantastic weekend,” said Lewis afterwards. “The race was physically very tough for all the drivers, but it was actually quite straightforward for me. I made a good start and I knew I was running longer than the guys behind me, so I was able to bridge the gap back to them. It was a very nicely controlled race in that way.“The team did radio me about a small problem with KERS – but I didn’t have a problem in the cockpit and was able to just disable it and then re-engage it. It worked fine after that. “We came here hoping for a good result – and I wanted to redeem myself after the last lap in Monza – and we got it!”
but I couldn’t go quicker. I drove to the pace I could with this car. I struggle a bit to maintain the tyre’s performance and the car gets out of shape if I try to increase my pace, so I can’t carry more speed through the corners. My focus now is to get the car better for me, so I can achieve better results. “As a team, we’ll take many positives from this race. First of all, our car performance has been fantastic all weekend – and Lewis’s victory shows that the performance is definitely there. But, to be honest, my weekend was ruined yesterday in qualifying, which was very unfortunate for me.”
MARTIN WHITMARSH, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“You won’t be surprised to hear me describe what Lewis did this weekend as ‘a fantastic job’ “After a slightly troubled Friday, the team worked tremendously hard throughout Friday night and Saturday morning to rebuild Lewis’s car completely – and the result, combined with a brilliant pole lap from the man himself, was that we were able to approach today with a win firmly in our sights. “As such, it was a perfectly paced weekend – and Lewis delivered magnificently today. Working together with the team, he was able to control the race from the front – and, although at one point both Nico [Rosberg] and Sebastian [Vettel] were piling the pressure on, we were always confident. “In short, I’d describe it as a great victory – not only for Lewis, but also for the team. To design and manufacture the new parts required for our latest upgrades, against time pressure, and yet to do it accurately and reliably, is a truly superb achievement. In fact, I’m every bit as proud of the team as I am of Lewis himself. “As for Heikki, he was unlucky in qualifying yesterday, but today he put in a solid performance from 10thposition on the grid, in tricky circumstances, and earned us some valuable world championship points as a result.”
NORBERT HAUG, Vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“A first-class grand prix from Lewis and our whole team. Lewis did everything right, setting pole position yesterday and winning the race today. The team was at its best by building up a different chassis for Lewis over night from Friday to Saturday – and they all got the reward for their exceptional work including perfectly timed and well-executed pit stops.“Heikki came home seventh, and more was just not possible after his 10th place in qualifying. Well done to everybody – nobody scored more points than Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in this so important night race here in Singapore.“The statistics speak for themselves: this is the 60th grand prix victory of the McLaren-Mercedes partnership, and no team has scored more points than us in the five races since Lewis’s victory in Hungary two months ago Now we all are looking forward to a great season finale with three more races to go. “Congratulations to our German friend Timo Glock and Toyota for their second place today, they have been strong all weekend.”
Source: Daimler AG