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Page last updated at 10:33 GMT, Sunday, 25 September 2011 11:33 UK

Singapore Grand Prix - as it happened


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By Mike Henson

1622: So tenth place in Japan will be good enough for Vettel to finally, definitely, be world champion after today's win. I imagine he is already measuring up for an extension to his trophy cabinet though. Plenty of driver interviews, including Felipe Massa bubbling with anger over his clash with Hamilton, are on the BBC F1 videos page for your perusal. That's all from me for today though, over and out.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Dom, York, via text on 81111: "It was a small mistake by Lewis, it looked to me like he just locked up his left front and so clashed with Massa, completely accidental."

A celeb has been spotted
1610: A cracking little cameo from Lancashire-born popstar Rick Astley on the F1 Forum as he gives Jake, Martin and Eddie a quick burst of Never Going to Give You Up, but in the style of comedian Vic Reeves. He is full of praise for the Singapore race organisers. "What they do with the Grand Prix is amazing, they are so precise," he said.

1603: As well as Force India wedging Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil in the top ten at sixth and eighth respectively, it was a strong day for Team Lotus with Heikki Kovalainen beating Renault's Vitaly Petrov to 16th. That result is particularly sweet considering the naming row between the two teams last winter.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel finished first: "I'm very pleased with the result, the car was fantastic all the way through. When we had to push we could pull away quite easily. The safety car didn't fit to our plan but I had good restart and was able to get back into my rhythm straight away. I love the track and I love the challenge. Last year I finished second to Fernando, this year it's great to come back and get the job done. We can be proud of ourselves again. In the heat we kept our heads cool. It was a perfect day at the office today."

Red Bull's Mark Webber, who finished third: "Unfortunately I've found myself having to come back through too often this year. I haven't made the starts I made last year and I have to work on that. In the end I lost a position out of that [the poor start]. Seb clearly deserved victory and well done to JB for second place. I would have loved a win but it's a very, very challenging venue. It's nice to have the car in one piece - the guys have done a great job all weekend."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Mark, Coventry, via text on 81111: "Lewis was at fault - but Massa has a real problem with Lewis since losing out on the title to him in 2008. Hamilton has proved he is better than Massa as he was on a par with Alonso during their year together at McLaren - and look what Alonso has done to Massa these past 2 years. Enough said Felipe! "

McLaren's Jenson Button, who finished second: "I can understand that's it's difficult to move over here and most people are fighting out there but the backmarkers have got to respect that the cars that are lapping are lapping for reason. So yeah, there were some frustrating moments. One was [Kamui] Kobayashi when I sat behind him for a lap before he eventually pulled over. It was the best we could have done today. I feel like I got everything out of the car. Especially in the last part of race, I was able to push on tyres to see what the car had. We weren't quick enough to win today but it's something to build on."

1547: The gap at the top of the championship now stands at a yawning 124 points between Vettel and Button in second. With 25 points for a win and five races - Japan, Korea, India, Abu Dhabi and Brazil - remaining , the situation is very simple. Any sort of points finish in Suzuka wraps up the championship for Vettel. Even if the German fails to score a single point for the rest of 2011, Button has to win all five races to nick the title from him.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso: "The start was good again, we recovered some places but then Webber overtook us. Red Bull should be in front of us because they are much quicker. Fourth was the maximum we could do. We are racing with McLaren some races and Mercedes in others. The drivers' championship is gone and constructers' is extremely difficult to catch McLaren. Behind us there is no threat, in front it's very difficult to catch up. In the final races we will try to enjoy and test the 2012 car. We have to use the last five races to do some experimental things."

Amit Mandalia on Twitter: "Second half of the race ruined by Safety Car rules. Should have allowed lapped cars to pass & join the back of the field "

Ferrari's Felipe Massa on his collision with Lewis Hamilton: "My thoughts are that, again, he cannot use his mind - even in qualifying. Again, he could've caused a big accident. He's paying for it. He doesn't understand that. He has done it to me so many times this year. It's important the FIA study this and penalise him every time. I've talked to him but he doesn't listen. Maybe his father can do something about it."
Pretty forthright stuff from the Ferrari driver, do you agree with him?

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner: "Seb was so dominant in the first half of the race. At the end he took no risks, we wound the engine down, he was careful going through the traffic. Jenson pushed but I'm sure Seb could've responded if he needed to. It's every member of the team doing their bit. This is our shop window but we have many staff doing their bit behind the scenes. It has been a great season and we want to end it in style."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Anon via text on 81111: "Great drive by Jenson but why leave the attack so late in the GP?"
Contrast of opinion on Jenson Button between our texter and tweeter there. Feel free to wade into the debate on the contact details above.

Sean Peter-Budge on Twitter: "Being a Button fan would be like being a Coldplay one. Quite classy, beautiful and easy to like, but not fast enough often enough."

1518: A nice touch from Webber and Vettel as they invite the Red Bull engineer who picked up the constructors race trophy up onto the podium with them. That will go down well in Milton Keynes.

1515: The familiar strains of the German national anthem blare out in recognition of Vettel's 19th career win. Button and Webber stand obediently to attention on the second and third steps before the champagne flies.

1512: Vettel clambers onto the front of his Red Bull to salute the crowd before planting a smacker on the camera, running his hand through his sweat-matted hair and heading up to the pre-podium holding room.

BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle: "It would have been interesting to see what Hamilton could have done if he hasn't collided with Massa. In terms of the title race, Button has to win every one of the remaining five races with Vettel not scoring a point."

It's good news for a Brit
1506: Fireworks pop in the night sky as Vettel waves to the crowd and is congratulated by the team radio. Button seems happy enough with his fourth successive podium finish. "We weren't quick enough to win today, but it is a good result. Well done guys," he tells his team. A career-best finish for Paul di Resta in sixth as well.

Chequered flag

Lap 61: Button admits defeat and eases off his charge to allows Vettel to pull away to take victory unchallenged. Further back Massa moves up into ninth past Sauber's Sergio Perez.

Lap 59: Button closes to 3.7 seconds midway through the lap as Vettel hits traffic, but the German safely negotiates his way through and Button is duly held up himself. Five seconds separate them by the end of the lap.

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "In the McLaren camp, caution is being thrown to the wind. Remember Canada, they're saying. They've told Jenson to give it a go, as if to say 'we know they're nursing brake problems, keep going, we may push Vettel into a failure'."

Lap 58: It doesn't look like Button is content with just delaying Vettel's victory parade though. He is straining hard and is being rewarded as the interval on Vettel drops to 6.5 seconds. McLaren engineers believes that the traffic that Vettel is about to run into is presenting them with their best chance of victory.

Lap 57: Five laps to go and the title race looks certain to roll on to Japan with Button in second and Webber and Alonso poised to put a spoiler on the Red Bull celebrations if Button fails to finish for any reason.

Lap 54: Button sets the race's fastest time with a 1:48.454, but surely it is too late to put any pressure on Vettel whose lead is over nine seconds? Hint of a late drama if Vettel tyres drop off the edge of the cliff.

Lap 53: Hamilton, who has made five pit-stops including his drive-through, nips past Di Resta to move up into fifth. Twelve seconds separate him from Alonso up in fourth.

Lap 52: Hamilton powers past Rosberg under the influence of the DRS system to take sixth and now has to overtake Di Resta, 4.5 seconds ahead, for a second time in the race if he wants to make progress up the points.

BBC 5 Live F1 analyst John Watson on Heikki Kovalainen getting released into the path of Sebastian Vettel in the pits: "Unsafe release. That's just crazy. How anybody thought it was safe to do that is beyond me. "

Lap 50: And in comes Vettel for fresh tyres. It turns out to be an unexpectedly dangerous manoeuvre as Team Lotus release Heikki Kovalainen straight into the Red Bull's path. The Finn gets out of the way sharpish to allow the champion-in-waiting to escape the pit lane unscathed.

Lap 49: Hamilton drops in on for his own pit-stop.

Lap 48: Webber remerges on fresh rubber and immediately uses them to seize fourth from Hamilton. Button likes the look of that improvement in performance and heads in for his own super softs.

Lap 47: Alonso still dropping away from Webber in third - the gap is up over 13.1 seconds. Webber then ducks in for his third stop and takes on a set of the super-soft tyres. Will that trigger similar moves from the other front-runners.

Lap 46: Hamilton has not managed to nurse those tyres sufficiently to last all the way through to the chequered flag. His team tell him to keep the pace up to build a cushion on the cars chasing him before heading back in.

Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher on his crash with Sergio Perez: "I'm OK. Basically he just lifted off too early and I couldn't anticipate it. I was about to try and go on the inside as he was a lot slower than myself. Unfortunately, we had a misunderstanding. It was a shame."

Lap 44: Alonso looks like he is slipping off the podium and out of world title contention as the gap between him and third-placed Mark Webber extends to over ten seconds. ""It's looking less and less likely that Vettel will win the world title today." says BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle. Why? Because Jenson Button will keep the title race alive if he maintains his second place through to the end.

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "I've been speaking to managing director Jonathan Neale at McLaren… the plan for Jenson Button is to mirror what Sebastian Vettel does and 'hope for a safety car'. If a safety car comes, they think they'll be at the right point on the track to trump Vettel."

Lap 42: Couple more things you may have missed. Kamui Kobayashi gets himself a drive-through for ignoring the blue flags, waved to ask slower cars to move out the way. His Sauber pal Sergio Perez is also in trouble as he and Rosberg are under investigation for their part in the incident that sparked Schumacher's crash.

Lap 42: Vettel's lead is up to 12.5 seconds on Button in second. Hamilton, in fifth, is told over the radio that he is the fastest car on the track but needs to take care of his tyres.

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "The only chance McLaren have to win this race is for Jenson Button - who is gentler on his tyres - to go to the end of the race on these tyres. Red Bull know that and that is why that message came through to Vettel. I do not think that Hamilton can go to the end on his set as those super-softs won't last that long."

It's good news for a Brit
It's bad news for a Brit
Lap 39: Hamilton's charge continues as he whisks past fellow Briton Paul di Resta. A more difficult obstacle is 13 seconds ahead in the shape of Alonso's Ferrari.

Lap 38: Hamilton holds his nerve as he pulls up alongside Rosberg and is through into sixth place with Di Resta now in his sights.

Lap 37: Vettel is told by his race engineer: "We may be going to the end on this set of tyres. That will give us options." Hamilton passes his good friend Sutil for seventh. Twenty-four laps to go.

Lap 35: The midfield runners are compressed together by that safety car appearance. Sutil in particular is looking vulnerable with Hamilton sensing that he may be able to take the Force India's seventh place.

BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle asks "does Schumacher need to be flying into the air in the middle of the night?" Co-commentator David Coulthard replies: "Michael will tell you he needs to race, he needs to complete."

Lap 34: The safety car disappears off the track and Vettel immediately bolts out four seconds ahead of Button in second. Webber catches Alonso napping on the tricky Turn 10 to move up into third behind the front pair. A crucial move in the title race. A shot of Schumacher chatting to FIA president Jean Todt confirms that the Mercedes man has come out of that spectacular crash unscathed.

Lap 33: Red Bull gently remind Vettel to ensure he keeps within 10 cars lengths of the safety car. Last year in Hungary, the German dropped back too far and was given a penalty. Unlikely to be a problem this time around though as Vettel looks to be getting annoyed by the safety car's slow pace.

BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard: "What's triggered that incident was Schumacher's team-mate Rosberg running wide at the previous corner. Rosberg gets wide and into the slipstream of Sergio Perez, they touch, it pushes Perez wide. Then, as they run down into Turn Seven, Michael is unsighted as he gets to the kerb and Perez brakes. I was worried when he flew up into the air and t-boned into the barrier, but he's OK"

Lap 32: The marshals sprint out onto the track to scoop up some debris as the field fall into procession behind the safety car.

Lap 31: Vettel and Button also take the opportunity to pit for the second time. Schumacher is out of the car and looks ok despite his Mercedes taking a flying leap into the barriers.

Safety car
Lap 30: It wouldn't be Singapore without it. The safety car is out. Webber is the first to take advantage and dive back into the pits.

Someone is out
Lap 30: Schumacher, chasing Perez for eighth, touches the back of the Mexican's Sauber and is sent skidding nose first into the barriers.

Lap 29: Hamilton is up and into the points in tenth but, yet again, it is the rear of Schumacher that is in front of him. This could get tasty if Hamilton can close down the 15 seconds separating him from the German.

Lap 27: Nope. Sutil steps aside to allow Di Resta to move on up. The Scot has Alonso 11 seconds ahead of him in fourth with his team-mate now in place as a barrier against those behind him.

Lap 26: Force India enjoying an excellent race with Sutil in fifth and Di Resta just behind in sixth. Will the pitwall risk letting them scrap for position?

Lap 25: Massa runs wide and opens the door wide for Hamilton who gratefully steps through to take 12th. Massa heads back to the pits. Alonso also heads home for fresh tyres as he tries to hold off Webber in the battle for third.

Lap 24: Webber is within a second of Alonso and pressing the Spaniard who briefly locks up into the chicane, regaining control in an instant.

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "There is a suggestion of brake temperatures getting too hot on Alonso's car. Ferrari are telling him to keep them cool."

Lap 22: Vettel is still pulling clear of Button with his advantage up to 14.4 seconds, Button is still comfy in second with 18 seconds separating him from Alonso in third.

Lap 21: Hamilton back down in 15th gets a reassuring message from the McLaren pitwall. Hamilton, perhaps losing hope, asks what he has left to race for. "We're racing for points," comes the reply. "There will be safety cars, the field is coming back towards you, we need to make these tyres last as long as possible."

BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter Natalie Pinkham: "Timo Glock was hit in Turn 1 by Daniel Ricciardo. The German reported to the team that the car was difficult to drive. Then he told them the damage meant he couldn't continue. In other news, Renault's Bruno Senna had to make a second pit stop to replace a damaged wing."

Lap 19: Di Resta surrenders third place as Alonso looms in his mirrors. "I think Paul played that beautifully. He didn't give up too easily," says BBC co-commentator Martin Brundle. Di Resta pits at the end of the lap but the Scot will be happy with that first stint.

Lap 18: Force India's decision not to go out in Q3 looks to be paying off as Di Resta on his relatively fresh hard tyres sticks up at the front of the field. Marbles starting to be appear off the racing line.

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Red Bull have taken off a little bit of front wing on both cars, they must have been experiencing a bit of oversteer."

Ferrari on Twitter: "Hamilton will have a drive through penalty but the race of Felipe is spoiled...."

Lap 17: Vettel is still serene at the front of the field with a lead of 10.3 seconds over Button. Paul Di Resta, who looks like he is on a long first stint of a two-stop strategy, is in third but with Fernando Alonso closing fast.

Lap 16: Hamilton, toiling down in 16th, has been handed a drive-through penalty for his collision with Massa and will slip further down the field. More frustration for the Briton.

BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard: "It was just a bit clumsy from Lewis unfortunately. I was talking to Lewis this morning about street tracks, Kobayashi etc and I said 'you sit very low in car, do you get enough visibility?' He said 'although I sit low the visibility is fine' but I wonder if he's missing out in close-quarter racing by sitting so low."

Lap 14: Button and Vettel both head to the pits. Paul di Resta, who is yet to stop, has guided his Force India up into third.

Lap 13: The stewards are investigating that coming together between Massa and Hamilton. Webber has also been back to the garage, so only Vettel and Button are yet to stop.

Lap 12: Hamilton and Massa pitted at the end of lap 11 together, Massa stays ahead of the McLaren at the exit, but Hamilton, who had hoped to pass the Brazilian in the pits, loses part of his front wing as he attempts to pass him on track. Massa will also have to return the pits having suffered a puncture to his right rear.

Lap 11: Webber, who started on the front row, strikes back at Fernando Alonso to move into third as Nico Rosberg becomes the first driver to descend on the pit lane. Alonso follows the Mercedes into the pits one lap later to put on the harder tyres. Really unfortunate for Alonso that his tyres were going off just as Webber decided to push hard.

Lap 7: Vettel stretches his lead up to 8.2 seconds and looks to be breaking the back of this race with his early pace. Fourth-placed Webber, who needs to finish second to stay in the title race, is having trouble with his DRS system and can only use Kers intermittently.

BBC 5 Live F1 analyst John Watson: "Copybook passes by Lewis Hamilton, first on Schumacher, then on Rosberg. Both Mercedes drivers knew they were sitting ducks. It was easy to overtake those two cars. He's got a little bit of work to do. Felipe Massa is next up and he'll be with him in about three laps."

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Down at McLaren there was gentle ripple of applause for Lewis Hamilton's overtake. He needs to keep going and try to stay on a two-stop strategy. Vettel is already seven seconds ahead of Button - looking good for the Red Bull."

Lap 5: Hamilton claims Schumacher's team-mate Nico Rosberg on the next lap and has now set his targets on Ferrari's Massa who is three seconds further up the road. The 2008 world champion is looking back in aggressive mood.

BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard: "Talking with Lewis earlier today he's a little concerned they won't be able to do two stops - they might have to do three."

BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle: "Webber had a better start than of late but it still was not good enough. Jenson said before the race he had to get ahead of Mark and he did - likewise Alonso. A bad start for Mark Webber."

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "Already this race is shaping up like so many in 2011. Vettel has stormed away at the start - 4.4secs clear after three laps - and will be intent on building a comfortable lead which he can then protect. That's normally about five seconds or so. Meanwhile, Button has his work cut out with Alonso, it would seem. Ferrari's race pace looked good on Friday and still does now."

Lap 4: Hamilton, perhaps aware of the time he spent battling Schumacher in Monza, takes the initiative and sweeps past the veteran German to move up into seventh. Vettel has built a 4.4 second lead on Button already at the front of the field.

Lap 3: The top eight are settling down. For what it is worth there would be no world title for Vettel if it finished as it stands with Alonso denying him in third.

Lap 2: Nico Rosberg skirted across the kerb on one of the first-lap corners but his Mercedes team are over the radio telling him he is ok to hang onto his sixth place. Hamilton is staring at the back end of Schumacher's Mercedes, ahead of him in seventh.

Lap 1: Vettel hangs on to the lead but the fellow Red Bull of Webber is taken by Button and Alonso off the start. Hamilton is struggling to find speed and down to eighth.

1304: The tailenders fill in at the back and we are ready to go...

1302: The installation lap is under way. Plenty of skidmarks around the circuit as evidence of where the field have stuggled to get to grips with the twists and turns earlier this weekend.

David Brilley on Twitter: "Is it bad that I'm expecting Fernando to get to at least 2nd with another electric start?"

1258: The grid girls are carrying their flags up towards the startline. It is nearly time for the off and if the Red Bulls make it third time lucky as the lights drop after a shoddy starts in the last two outings, that could be one hand on the title for Vettel.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "The start of the race promises to be pretty dramatic. Fernando Alonso in the fast-starting Ferrari is back in fifth - but he is on the cleaner side of the grid and must fancy his chances of gaining at least one place into the first corner. Red Bull are not the best starters - and Mark Webber, second behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel, has made dreadful getaways in the last two races. Jenson Button, starting third, is well aware of what is potentially at stake. 'It's pretty tricky here into Turn One - it's a short run,' the McLaren driver said. 'You need to have Vettel in your sights at the start of the race to have any chance of challenging him at the end. I'm on the clean side of the grid. I don't have a Ferrari behind me, which is nice because they are very quick starters. I've got Mark, and let's hope he can have one of his amazing starts he's been having the last few races. I think we can fight into Turn One.' Webber countered: 'I heard Jenson talking about my starts. I'm not overly bothered; I've got a thick skin. We'll get away and try and do what we can. It's a long, long grand prix. Once I get rid of the other guys, we'll see if the other guy [Vettel] is still in touch.'"

McLaren driver Jenson Button: "There's a two hour limit on the race. It's tough but this is what we train for. It's tough for us because if you look at our times on Friday, it looks like we're degrading the tyre quite a lot. I hope we can challenge the Red Bulls as they need a challenge. I need to get in front of Mark Webber at the start so that's my aim."

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "Some race strategy information for you. The fastest strategy is a two-stop race - it is about seven seconds slower over a race distance to do a one-stop or a three-stop. A pit stop costs about 29 seconds, and the first stops can be expected from around lap 15. The quicker super-soft tyres will run for longer than that, but staying out is a disadvantage because they will have lost too much pace by then. If drivers come in around lap 12, that's probably a three-stop strategy. The effect of the DRS overtaking aid is quite small here, so although overtaking is expected, it will almost certainly be influenced more by relative tyre performance."

1250: Sebastian Vettel sounds cool as a cucumber as he shoots the breeze with Martin Brundle. On that looming title: "Ask the others, I don't know [if I'll be the champion tonight]. It's a long race, one of toughest all year. It's very hot and you sweat a lot. There's a lot of work before [I can think about the result]." Popstar Taio Cruz, a guest of Ferrari, is also hanging out amongst the drivers.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "Lewis Hamilton is at a bit of a disadvantage to his rivals at the front in this race as he has one less set of the faster 'super-soft' tyre after puncturing one in qualifying by going over a kerb. McLaren asked for dispensation to replace it, but that has been refused. That is bad news for Hamilton. He has been talking about doing a three-stop race here because McLaren's tyre wear appears to be higher than other teams' but if he does, he will have to run two of his four stints on the 'soft' tyre, which is 1.5secs a lap slower than the 'super-soft'."

1246: Martin Brundle begins his grid walk and a nice touch from Lewis Hamilton as he reveals a dedication to two recently departed friends - Martin Hines and Christian Bakkerud, a 26-year-old Danish racer - as part of his helmet design. "I was saying to my dad anything can happen [in life]. You've just got to enjoy every moment. It's going to be tough today, I'm supposed to be on a two-stop strategy. The temperatures will be high but fingers crossed my tyres will last," Hamilton adds.

Ferrari on Twitter: "Weather situation is very stable: hot and sticky, no rain expected for the moment."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner on his pep talk to Sebastian Vettel before the race: "I just told him to enjoy it and you can see that he's enjoying his driving. He's not cruising and collecting points. He's going to attack this race with the same vigour that he has at every race this season. If he keeps doing that the championship will take care of itself. It's a short run to the first turn so it's important to get a great start especially as we know the Ferraris are good off the start."

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "All the drivers have been explaining this weekend how tough this race is with the heat, humidity, long lap, bumpy track and a race that will run almost to the maximum two-hour duration. But there is an extra complication this weekend - tyres. They are degrading quickly; for some - such as McLaren - more than others. This will be critical to how the race develops. 'It's not going to be a straightforward race,' Jenson Button says. 'It'll be about strategy and looking after your tyres.'"

BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan: "I just want to get this championship thing out of my mind. I just want an exciting, fun race."

1233: The photographers' camara lenses are all trained at the Red Bull number one but, despite all the attention, how much pressure can there be on Vettel with such a massive lead?

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "There has been the recurrence this weekend of rumours that Red Bull have broken F1's resource restriction agreement, which defines how much money teams can spend, their staff numbers and the amount of research and development - a story BBC Sport first ran back in January. McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh, the chairman of teams' umbrella group Fota, said: 'There is no evidence that anyone has shown me of any team (being) in breach of RRA. I think it is a bit like technical regulations, there will be finger-pointing, suspicion, paranoia - that is the nature, and the sometimes corrosive nature of this paddock.' Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn sounds less convinced: 'The process done so far (has been to establish) that all teams are interpreting the regulations in the same way, and it has been successful. We believe it has to go deeper than that, and we need auditing of the numbers because it is such a competitive element of what we do. The amount of money spent is a very strong influence for your competitiveness, and you need to have good control of it."

1230: Seb Vettel pulls his sparkly new helmet on after receiving some detailed instructions in the Red Bull garage. Just over half an hour to go.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "Fernando Alonso has won two of the three races held here, but starting fifth is not the best way to try for another. Ferrari simply did not have the pace in qualifying, and Alonso said he thought his lap on Saturday 'might have been my best Q3 lap of the whole year'. The TV coverage missed the lap apart from the final corner - which he came out of sideways, totally on the limit. But Ferrari said that was actually the worst corner of the lap, and that the rest of it was stunning. Alonso added: 'I gave it 120%, taking risks in some corners, but that was the only way I could hope to fight for the top places. If I'd driven a normal lap, I would have finished in the same position, but half a second off the two McLarens, rather than less than a tenth.' The Ferrari is usually more competitive in the races than qualifying, so it would be unwise to rule Alonso out of contention just yet."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Neil in Goole via text on 81111: "What about a super team of sebastien vettel, sebastien loeb and sebastien ogier?? Granted two are WRC drivers, but if kimi can switch from f1 to rallying. It can work the other way round??"

BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard on Sebastian Vettel's form this season: "I think the thing that has been most impressive about Sebastian is that the mistakes he has made have come in free practice. He's been faultless when it comes to delivering that single flying lap in qualifying and then racing wheel to wheel in the race."

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "There are a couple of developments at Team Lotus to tell you about. They have extended their engine and transmission supply deal with Red Bull and Renault until 2013, with the intention of continuing beyond that into the new 1.6-litre turbo engine formula in 2014. And they are moving their headquarters from their current base in Hingham in Norfolk to the old Arrows factory at Leafield in Oxfordshire, to be closer to the heart of what is known as the UK's 'motorsport valley'."

Rick Astley at the Singapore Grand Prix
Rick Astley takes in the sights in Singapore
1222: Eighties superstar Rick Astley, one of the stars of the race weekend concert, is in the paddock. Never Going to Give You Up could be a fitting anthem for the chasing pack behind Vettel today. In other news Lady Gaga has been signed up for the Indian Grand Prix, that and more in our gossip column on the BBC Sport site very soon.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Anon via text on 81111: "Vettel won't be able to run and hide today; safety car bound to play a key role. Let's hope the chasing pack of 4 can be quick enough on race pace to challenge him. "

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "Mercedes have come to Singapore with what team insiders say is their last big upgrade of the season. It has made no difference to their grid positions, with Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher lining up seventh and eighth, but the team are confident it has distanced them from the midfield battle behind them. 'It may not look as though our relative position has changed,' said team principal Ross Brawn, 'but if you think back to Hungary, which was the last high-downforce track, we struggled. We are reasonably happy with it, but it is a very difficult track to assess these things on. So far the numbers look like we have moved forward and I think we will see the benefit in the next couple of races in particular.'"

Patrick Driscoll on Twitter: "Sebastian Coe, Sebastian Vettel, Belle and Sebastian. Nuff said."
Solid trio of Sebs there.

1211: Fleetwood Mac through the headphones means the BBC One coverage is go and should be available for all UK users at the top of this page.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson on Twitter: "Courtesy @fergieweather, low chance rain: dry upstream of Marina & storm trajectories to N are into Malaysia. hints of light showers to SE."

1200: Vettel lists his own boyhood heroes as the three Michaels - Schumacher, Jackson and Jordan - as a Michael myself I'm pretty confident that, despite the Red Bull man's success, a triumvirate of Sebastians could never match up. If you reckon you can rustle up even a half-decent pair of Sebs to team up with Vettel send them on. So far the crab from Disney film 'the Little Mermaid' is making the cut.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
1156: Will today be the day that Vettel finally noses over the finish line? And if so what are you looking forward to in the remaining five races? Increasingly frenzied speculation over 2012 seat switches? A tight, but pretty much meaningless, race for second spot in the drivers championship? Get in touch via 81111 on text in the UK or via hashtag #BBCF1 on Twitter.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "Sebastian Vettel is a red-hot favourite to win here and if he does that he can win the championship if other results go his way - it would require Fernando Alonso to be lower than third and Mark Webber or Jenson Button lower than second. Those three and Lewis Hamilton are all determined to, as Webber put it, 'keep him honest as long as we can'. Button admitted that 'even if Vettel doesn't start the next six races it's still going to be pretty difficult for us to beat him.' Webber added: 'For all the great work Seb did at the start of the year, this is the situation we're in. We know the championship's been pretty boring for that reason but the racing has been awesome, and I think we're going to have some great races before the year's out. This will hopefully be another good one.'"

1145: The champion-in-waiting has arrived at the circuit, strolling through the paddock with a host of media buzzing about him, looking for a few pre-race soundbites. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, virtually unbothered by the press, gives Vettel an affectionate, empathetic grab on the shoulder. They drivers have all got on pretty well at the front of the pack this season haven't they?

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "The sun has gone down, and the lights have come up on one of the biggest and most spectacular stages in world sport. The Singapore Grand Prix is an intoxicating mix of one of Formula 1's toughest races played against the stunning backdrop of this south-east Asian city state's night-time skyline. The race is long and hot and tests the drivers to the absolute limit. The chances of a safety car are statistically quite high, and everyone here is expecting a fascinating, eventful evening."

1138: And it could get frenetic out on the twists and turns of the Singapore streets. The circuit has hosted Formula 1 for three years and on each occasion the safety car has been deployed.

1136: Hold on to your hats though, there is some maths involved. Sebastian Vettel could finish third today and seal his title, but there are various suspects hoping to keep him waiting until at least the next race in Japan. Chief amongst them is Fernando Alonso. If the Spaniard finishes anywhere on the podium then the champagne stays on ice in the Red Bull motorhome. Likewise, if Lewis Hamilton wins his third race of the season, the wait continues. From there the scenarios get increasingly complex. Take a look at the various possibilities and permutations on the official Formula 1 site, I know I will be.

1130: Will the 2011 Formula 1 world champion be crowned today? What has at times felt like a season-long coronation could finally be complete in Singapore. The 112-point chasm separating Red Bull's reigning champ Sebastian Vettel at the top of the standings from the rest of the field could finally become unbridgeable today.

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see also
Singapore Grand Prix race results
08 Mar 11 |  Results
Massa angry at Hamilton incidents
25 Sep 11 |  Formula 1
Di Resta celebrates 'best race'
25 Sep 11 |  Formula 1
Title race not yet over - Vettel
25 Sep 11 |  Formula 1
Vettel wins but title must wait
25 Sep 11 |  Formula 1
F1 big picture - Abu Dhabi GP
13 Nov 11 |  Formula 1
Vettel storms to Singapore pole
24 Sep 11 |  Formula 1

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