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Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Friday, 25 September 2009 16:22 UK

Singapore GP practice as it happened



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By Sam Lyon

1615: I'll take that as a "no" then. For what it's worth, I'm going for a Jenson Button-Rubens Barrichello-Lewis Hamilton 1-2-3. So don't put your money on that. Chris "Who, What" Whyatt is in the text commentary chair on Saturday, and I'll be back to bring you the race on Sunday - I look forward to seeing you then. In the meantime, check out Ben Dirs's England-Sri Lanka cricket commentary why don't you? We're actually not doing all that badly (no, seriously).

1608: Not for the first time this season, then, the Brawns and the Red Bulls look most likely to battle it out for the podium places come Sunday, though the likes of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton cannot be ruled out of the reckoning by any stretch, of course. Force India will be wondering where the pace of the past few races has gone, but BMW might like the look of their car following Nick Heidfeld's impressive run in that second session. Much work to do for Ferrari, though, with Kimi Raikkonen and Giancarlo Fisichella 14th and 16th quickest respectively in that session - how much can we read into that, though? Anyone bold enough to give me a top three?

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revvvhead on 606: "Is Fisichella thinking he'd rather be in a Force India this weekend?"

1602: Nice late run from Fernando Alonso, who posts the second fastest time of the session with a 1:48.924, despite being held up late in his circuit. Sebastian Vettel remains quickest, then, with Heikki Kovalainen, Nick Heidfeld and Jenson Button following Alonso in the timings. Other times of note - Lewis Hamilton is ninth, Rubens Barrichello 11th and Kimi Raikkonen 14th.

1558: If this race were decided over the first sector, Lewis Hamilton would win it hands down, the McLaren driver lowering the fastest time through that again and again. Plenty of traffic out there now, which is not doing the likes of Jenson Button any favours as he has to back off a flying lap - the timing of your runs is so important on these street tracks and get it wrong and you're qualifying could be done and dusted before you know it on Saturday.

1556: ..but not that much of a flyer, the Briton losing it over the last two sectors to post only the eighth fastest time of the session. Mark Webber, who crashed out almost three-quarters of an hour ago, by the way, remains fifth fastest. Further encouraging signs for Red Bull.

1554: Sebastian Vettel tears up the final sector to post the fastest lap of the day in his Red Bull, a 1:48.650 - he made up four tenths of a second in that last section alone. Encouraging signs for the German. Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, posts the fastest first sector out of anyone... he's on a flyer...

1550: We've got 10 minutes left in the session. Expect some flying laps in the coming minutes.

1548: Lewis Hamilton, boasting McLaren's last upgrade package of the season, including a rather funky looking new front wing and brake cooler, returns to the pits - he's 11th fastest at the moment, but team-mate Heikki Kovalainen is pounding the track again as he looks to improve on his current position of eighth. And the Finn does just that by ripping up the first two sectors and holding it together through the third to post a 1:48.952 - the first man today into the 1:48s.

1544: Romain Grosjean, with just 11 laps under his belt in this session, is back in the Renault pits... with a brake problem. Ouch. Meanwhile, the man in form Rubens Barrichello is out and about again, as are team-mate Jenson Button and Renault's Fernando Alonso.

1539: With just over 20 minutes to go, we're very much looking at a calm before the storm situation with most drivers back in the pits. Romain Grosjean is looking to climb his way up the charts... but remains the only driver down in the 1:52s in his Renault. Not his greatest day so far, this.

1534: Anthony Davidson reports on the BBC commentary that Rubens Barrichello made a worrying systems-check call to the Brawn garages after that near-miss earlier, only to get the all-clear damage report back. The Brazilian was convinced from inside the car he had clipped the wall but all is apparently well. All the drivers having a few problems with back-tyre graining out there - they must all be desperate for more rubber and grip to make it's way down on the track.

1529: The top 10 drivers all in the 1:49s now, with the Brawns, Red Bulls and McLarens continuing to pile into the low numbers behind chart-topper Nick Heidfeld of BMW. Ferrari might just be casting a concerned glance in Giancarlo Fisichella's direction, with the Italian way down in 19th spot. I wonder what Luca Badoer thinks about that.

1525: My word that was close - Rubens Barrichello crawling all over the kerb, giving the wall the faintest of pecks on the cheek, and driving away unscathed and unhindered. Nice escape in the end from Brawn's Brazilian, but he's yet to post a time of any real note in this session. His team-mate Jenson Button, meanwhile, is third fastest with a 1:49.311, just behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.

1519: Nico 'Prince of Practice' Rosberg sticks a 1:49-er on the board with a nice circuit, only for BMW's Nick Heidfeld to register the lap of the day so far with a 1:49.098. Just over 40 minutes to go in the session and Romain Grosjean finally posts a lap - a hugely underwhelming 1:54.828, by no means his flying lap. Meanwhile, the Frenchman's new boss has been talking of his team's "relief" that harsher sanctions were not imposed upon the team and staff following 'Crashgate'. Talk about thrown in at the deep end.

1513: And we're back under way, with Rubens Barrichello wasting no time in stretching his wheels.

1511: As the mobile crane comes out to move Mark Webber's Red Bull off the track, all the drivers take a chill pill in the pits. Team boss Christian Horner tells BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos the crash was "simply driver error". The sound of a wrist being slapped emanates out of the Red Bull garages. We'll be back under way in two minutes.

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craiggyrulez on 606: "If Red Bull do not get it together this weekend, both titles are basically lost. If they dominate and Brawn fail, they will still have to pick one driver to fight the Brawns with for the title, because they cannot afford to have both drivers fighting each other in the end."

1504: RED FLAG! Red Bull's Mark Webber, who was enjoying a very productive session to that point, sends his car brutally into the wall on the pit straight. The nose, left-front wheel and wing take the impact, and there's plenty of debris across the track now. That's the Australian's session done, no question.

1503: BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos reports that Ferrari have confirmed Felipe Massa will be one of their drivers next season and Giancarlo Fisichella their reserve. Who'll take the second seat? As yet unconfirmed... though, of course, Kimi Raikkonen has always insisted he has a contract for next season (cue more chin-stroking).

1458: With the dust on the track slowly getting sucked up, the teams are starting to try out the super-soft tyres now. Renault's Romain Grosjean continues to kick his heels in the pits - he's still without a lap time.

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spring_onion on 606: "Heavy downpours in Singapore normally happen in the late afternoon, like we saw at Sepang this year. It's less common for it to rain at night so hopefully we should be in the clear there."

1453: Red Bull's Mark Webber is the first man of the day into the 1:49s with a lap of 1:49.317. On board with the Australian on BBC TV you really see the vibrations and difficulty of handling around this bumpy Marina Bay track - and Sir Jackie Stewart is providing unrivalled expert analysis of the drive for your aural pleasure on our commentary. Get involved - he's been there, done that, designed the T-shirt.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Bob Bell has survived his first media scrum as the new Renault team boss. He says the team are 'fundamentally strong and committed'."

1448: Despite losing the back of the car at least two times round the corners, Adrian Sutil posts the fastest lap of the session with a 1:50.382. That's still around seconds slower than Felipe Massa's pole-winning lap last year. Fernando Alonso is second, with less than three tenths separating the top five drivers.

1443: BMW's Nick Heidfeld is top of the charts as we stand with a 1:50.539, with Adrian Sutil's Force India and Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull following closely behind. Heidfeld's team-mate Rubica and Renault's Romain "watch out for that Turn 17" Grosjean the only drivers yet to post a lap time.

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David, Hull, via text on 81111: "I was in Singapore last year and the torrential downpours avoided the sessions. This may turn everything upside down this year. The humidity dries everything in minutes, which is another variable. Brawns will wrap this up."

Sir Jackie Stewart on the BBC commentary: "On any road course that is used by normal vehicles, there's droppings of oil and diesel and all sorts of mess to be cleared up. When we go back to a custom-made track, some rubber has to be laid down but there is at least a groove there - there's no groove here. There's so much concrete around, and so many penalties, I think all the drivers are being careful."

1437: Robert Kubica, Rubens Barrichello and Romain Grosjean are the only drivers not out on track as all the teams look to get an early look in this session. Adrian Sutil, meanwhile, spins at the back of the end straight - grip will again be an issue in this session, it would seem. Sebastian Vettel's new fastest time is 1:50.958, ahead of Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

1434: Nico Rosberg looks like being the first man to stick a lap time on the charts until he is held up by a Toro Rosso and abandons his circuit. That allows Sebastian Vettel to set down the early marker in his Red Bull with a 1:52.972.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Singapore: "There's something about this night racing which seems to be lifting spirits in Singapore. A quick promenade through the paddock found everyone in friendly mood. Toyota's Timo Glock was posing for photographs; Sebastian Vettel was hanging out on Red Bull's front lawn, while Bernie Ecclestone was chit-chatting dressed in his uniform crisp white shirt and jeans. I found a bunch of respected journalists hunkered merrily over tubs of strawberry ice-cream. Even Bob Bell, facing his first media scrum as Renault boss, was in a good mood. There really must be something in the air."

1430: And we're back under way - Nick Heidfeld the first man out on the track in his BMW. We'll soon find out if any more grip has gone down at Marina Bay... F1 great Jackie Stewart has joined the team on Five Live sports extra, by the way, so tune in and give them a listen, why don't you.

1426: Four minutes until second practice people, so get yourself settled. Especially you at the back. Yes you.

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smifffies on 606: "I think Jenson's up for this, similar to Monaco. I feel he is going to push all out for a win to try to extend his lead over Rubens. So, my predictions: Brawn 1-2 , with Ferrari, McLaren and Renault fighting for the third spot on the podium."

1423: And don't automatically assume we've seen the last of Flavio Briatore just yet, either - well not if you listen to the former Renault supremo anyway. The Italian is quoted on La Repubblica's website as saying: ""In the end I will win and you will see, we will have a big party. It will be well organised and we'll invite everyone who has stayed close to me in these difficult times. I've been betrayed by my own world." Expect this Renault 'Crashgate' (you know you love that term really) to run for a little while yet.

1419: And of course it's not just the drivers who are on the move ahead of next season, with Max Mosley stepping down as president of the FIA. Former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt is at the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend, and only today F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has joined Mosley in backing his candidature over fellow contender Ari Vatanen - he of world rallying fame. I wonder if a few nods and winks will be going on in and around the paddocks this weekend?

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From James, waiting for Pub O'Clock, via text on 81111: "I think this is Webber's race, the pressure is off him now. Never thought I'd back an Aussie?"

1414: A word, too, on Felipe Massa, who looks to be on track (if you'll pardon the pun) for a return to racing next season. What a hero that boy is - talented, personable and fearless as hell. He and Fernando Alonso would make quite the pairing wouldn't they? If that is indeed the road down which Ferrari go, word is that Kimi Raikkonen could go to Renault, with Robert Kubica joining Williams and Nico Rosberg Brawn GP-bound, though of course very few people even at the very heart of the sport will be able to predict every shake and move. And when you throw in the new teams joining the grid, we could be looking at a right royal rumble next season. But who will enter the season as champion?

1407: So, if the rumours are to be believed, one or some of the drivers might be fighting for their seats this weekend and the next three races to come. Heikki Kovalainen could be one of those feeling the heat, but he had an encouraging practice earlier and will be looking to push on when second practice gets under way at 1430 BST. However, the Red Bulls look back on pace after one or two struggles of late - and the Brawns are still front and centre when it comes to topping time-charts. It'll be interesting to see if the track has calmed down a bit later, too, after the grip problems of earlier in the day. Someone get out there with a broom, will ya?

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gavinthegromit on 606: "Rubens stop being so annoying, come on Jenson!"

Hammydigrassi on 606: "My Predictions for this weekend:
1) Barrichello. 2) Button. 3) Hamilton. 4) Raikkonen. 5) Webber. 6) Vettel. 7) Kovalainen. 8) Alonso."

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jaa on 606: "Would love to see Alonso in a Ferrari next year. He had such superb fights with Schumacher, I never imagined he would move to Ferrari ever, but then again I didn't think he would move to McLaren before he did either!"

1400: Welcome back people, good to have you here. Now then, I asked you to consider who might be moving where next season, so check out our Mole's piece from a few weeks back for a summary of the possible movers. It's not all about Fernando Alonso, with speculation surrounding Kimi Raikkonen, Robert Kubica, Nico Rosberg, Heikki Kovlainen and even title-chaser Rubens Barrichello - with the last three all out of contract at the end of the season - to name but a few, it could all kick off quite spectacularly. So right, I'll turn the stereo on, you all dash round the chairs, and when the music stops...

1245: So that's it for now, I'll be back at 1400 BST ahead of second practice at 1430. Just time enough for you to consider your predictions for driver movements next season. Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica... all change please.

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Tisiphone on 606: "If Barrichello does have to change his gearbox, all the conspiracy nuts will be out in force no doubt."

1237: A hugely encouraging session for the Brawns, Red Bulls and McLarens, then, while Fernando Alonso continues to show why he will be the hottest property available in the driver merry-go-round at the end of the season (more on that in second practice, people). Talking of which, Ferrari (cough cough) won't be too enamoured with 9th and 17th from that session - though who knows what fuel they were running - while the Force India's purple patch is under threat as well. One thing is for sure - it's still all very much to play for.

MASCH MASCH MASCH POTATO on 606: "Anyone of about 7-8 drivers could win this. But the Brawns, Hamilton and Vettel look to be the most likely."

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knowledge_is_good on 606: "Looks like the usual suspects plus the Mercs right now. Expect one of the Red Bulls to still be in the championship come Sunday evening."

1231: That's your first practice session of the Singapore Grand Prix done folks, and Rubens Barrichello tops the time-charts with a 1:50.179 - the third time this season he's topped first practice. His Brawn GP team-mate and title rival Jenson Button is second on the timings, with Fernando Alonso dividing the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel and the McLarens of Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton sixth and seventh.

1229: Fernando Alonso shows Renault team-mate Romain Grosjean how it should be done by going third fastest, just before Mark Webber rear-locks going into a left-hander - grip-issues-tastic, this session.

1227: Bit of a scare for Jenson Button as he loses the back end and narrowly avoids a spin into the wall. He backs off, wisely, and is three seconds off the pace as a result on that lap.

1226: Another new fastest time for Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello - 1:50.179 - while Mark Webber goes second fastest 0.237 down. McLaren's Kers power-boost system is helping both Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen put in the fastest first sector on the track, both of those are in the top five.

1223: Giancarlo Fisichella is now 18th in the timings - compared to Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen who is up in 10th - but his engineers "seem satisfied enough with his progress," reports BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz. The Toyotas of Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli, meanwhile, don't look too hot either - how they miss their early-season form.

1220: After a little break for adjustments and refreshments, the leading drivers are back on the track for a late-session charge and Rubens Barrichello starts the crash of the timings with a new fastest lap of 1:50.549 in his Brawn GP.

1215: Just 15 minutes of the session to go folks, and time to start thinking about what we've learned so far. Brawn GP, McLaren and Red Bull all look very comfortable so far, while last year's winner Fernando Alonso doesn't look too far off the pace at all with a best time of 1:51.403 after just nine laps. Much could change as the session closes, but any assessments from you lot so far? Come on, let me make you famous.

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F1Yorkshire on 606: "A gearbox change for Barrichello could practically give the title to Button. A five-place grid drop is the last thing he needs right now."

1211: Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are split by a mere 0.087 seconds at the top of the practice time-charts - who would bet against those three filling the podium places come Sunday? BMW's Nick Heidfeld is the only man out at Marina Bay, and he too is struggling with grip so won't be troubling the fastest times of the day. By the by, the sun has well and truly gone to bed in Singapore - and the track could barely look more spectacular. Wonderful stuff.

BBC pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie on Twitter: "Here's hoping Rubens doesn't have gear box problems this weekend. At Spa he was warned it may have to be changed - that would mean a grid penalty."

1207: Encouraging signs already for Brawn GP, with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello separated in the timings only by McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen, while the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel following behind. Ferrari's Giancarlo Fisichella, meanwhile, is down in 16th with a lap of 1:52.994 - not what he will have been hoping for at this stage I wouldn't have thought.

Andy Stobart of tyre manufacturers Bridgestone on possible race conditions: "I know we had a lot of talk last year that it would be cooler during the night, but the track at night here is warmer than a lot we visit anyway. A night race in the wet would be a first for F1, it would be a bit of a step into the unknown - the amount of water is never a constant, you might find there's a puddle where there wasn't before for example, so a wet night race would be very interesting indeed."

1201: Heikki Kovalainen, the fastest man through sector one, is now the fastest driver out there with a 1:51.255, almost three tenths quicker than Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen. Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello, meanwhile, takes his left hand off the steering wheel going through Turn Six, perhaps suggesting at a gear problem? Don't forget he's already got worries about that gearbox following a recent flash fire. I'll keep you posted, although the Brazilian recovers seemingly well enough later down the road.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner talking to Holly Samos on Five Live sports extra: "We've got some engine issues we need to manage with Sebastian (Vettel), which is why he's not been out yet. We've got nothing to lose so we're going to go for it. We'll do our own thing and hopefully that'll put us up the front come Sunday."

1155: Six laps into his session and Brawn GP's Jenson Button is top of the time charts with a 1:51.589 - oh how he would love a return to winning ways this weekend. Adrian Sutil is the latest man to slip and slide his way round the corners, there really is so much dirt on the track, so expect the lap times to plummet later in the session once more rubber has gone down.

BBC pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie on Twitter: "Loving the irony of Grosjean's off! Even Renault guys looked astonished!"

1153: We have 37 minutes remaining in the session, and Adrian Sutil is the first man back on the track in his Force India.

1150: Practice to resume in two minutes people, not too much debris to clear away at all there, although there are some rather lovely skid marks around Turn 17. Grab a custard cream and get comfortable again folks.

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Mike, Wirral via text on 81111: "Re: Grosjean's spin - maybe Renault forgot to change their briefing notes from last year?!"

joe strummer on 606: "That crash is too good to be true."

1144: "Sorry guys, I lost the car in Turn 17," says Romain Grosjean. Yes, we saw that. Disbelieving looks on the Renault pit wall that scream "seriously, that corner??". By the way, there isn't room to put a permanent crane at that point, which basically means that we'll be looking at a safety car - again - should the same thing happen in the race. Cue lots of chin-stroking.

1141: RED FLAG. Renault's Romain Grosjean loses the back end coming out of Turn 17 and catches the right rear on the wall before rolling into the opposite wall. Unbelievably, that is the exact wall that Nelson Piquet Jr smashed into last year. Oh the irony.

1139: Mark Webber goes even faster still with a 1:51.912 - that's over a second quicker than the next man on the time-sheets Heikki Kovalainen. Toyota's Jarno Trulli is the last of 13 drivers on the lap times, with the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Rubens Barrichello yet to post a time.

1135: Lewis Hamilton is the fastest man through the first two sectors, but loses it a touch on the last and he posts a 1:53.8 in his McLaren. Red Bull's Mark Webber goes fastest of the day with a 1:53.076 - just before Heikki Kovalainen pulls an almighty doughnut on the concrete dust. Grip out there looks about as readily available as strawberry flavoured Monster Munch.

Jenson Button on Twitter: "I love the Singapore GP!"

1131: Mark Webber, Giancarlo Fisichella, Kazuki Nakajima and Romain Grosjean have all posted times now as the session starts to warm up. Toro Rosso's Sebastian Buemi is the quickest man out there with a lap of 1:53.757 - remember that Felipe Massa secured pole position last year in a time of 1:44.801, so those times will go down faster than a vol-au-vent at a wedding when the going gets tough.

1127: Giancarlo Fisichella has just been given stark warning of just how bumpy this track is as he goes through the fast part of the circuit with huge sparks emanating out the back of his Ferrari as what looks like the screws that hold his plank in place on the bottom of his car drags along the surface. The Toro Rossos are still the only cars to have posted times - Ted Kravitz reports that Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel "doesn't see the point in testing the track in the daylight when the race is at night". BBC Five Live sports extra's Anthony Davidson suggests he's missing a trick, there, but we'll see.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Brawn are expected to go well in the warmer climes of Singapore & the Marina street circuit's slow corners should suit them too."

1123: Sebastian Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari are the first drivers to post lap times in their Toro Rossos, the former quickest in a time of 1:55.715. BBC's pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz, meanwhile, reports that Renault have not yet disposed of Flavio Briatore's chair in the paddock. A ghost-like return from the Italian maybe? Nahhh...

1117: On the weather, it is worth bearing in mind that there will be some concerns surrounding rain at Marina Bay - especially the glare on the track it will likely create. This year's MotoGP in Qatar was postponed by 24 hours because of such a problem, though the rain then was biblical rather than just a heavy shower. We know last year organisers were definitely aware of the potential problems of wet weather under the floodlights - but I think we're looking at a suck-it-and-see approach this weekend as far as delays/postponements go.

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VillaFour on 606: "Wonder where the BMW updates will leave them in relation to the rest of the field? I hope they can nick another win somewhere before the end of the season."

1111: Lewis Hamilton pops out, has a little whizz round the track in his McLaren, and then comes back in. Nico Rosberg, meanwhile, looks more relaxed than a sunbathing Koala as he mulls around the BMW paddock. This session very much yet to kick into gear.

Anthony Davidson on Five Live sports extra: "It really is dusty out there right now - and while that will change the more rubber that goes down, all the teams appear to be playing their usual trick and delaying their first laps of the session. That's right - let Rubens Barrichello do all the work!"

BBC Sport's pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie: "Temperatures are very high in Singapore with humidity up to 75%. It will be extremely tough for the drivers out there. Despite the fact it is just after 6pm here and getting dusky, people at the track have just finished their breakfast. They are long days here in Singapore and I won't be interviewing until very late - Renault is scheduled for 0100 hours!"

1106: Rubens Barrichello is having a dally round Marina Bay now, and he lets the Brawn GP garage know the track is "a little bumpy". A weather forecast update for you, it's looking bright for the rest of today BUT heavy showers could come down tomorrow - interesting.

1100: Practice gets under way, and it appears Romain Grosjean has dusted himself down, let himself out of cubicle three and hopped into his Renault, because the Frenchman with the dicky tummy is the first man out and about at Marina Bay. It's still daylight at the moment, by the way folks, but that will all be very different in around, erm, half an hour or so - I love it. And ever wondered what it's like to rip round this circuit? Check out our circuit guide for an in-the-cockpit ride of terror/joy (delete as applicable).

Siobhan Redmond, Edinburgh via text on 81111: "In my honest opinion Renault got off too lightly and that sends out all of the wrong signals to the public who follow and support Formula 1."

1055: David Croft, Anthony Davidson et al are now live on the red button and on this page for UK users, so don't forget to tune in. By the way, if you want some sensational behind-the-scenes chat following the Italian Grand Prix last time out, have a good read of Ted Kravitz's blog - lot's of good chat about Button v Barrichello, Sebastian Vettel's engine problems and Ferrari's pit-stop issues.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Singapore: "So anyway, afternoon, evening, um, morning everyone? The Formula 1 circus may have moved nearly 7,000 away from London but we are still racing in Singapore on European time and that's confusing for everyone. One thing that is for certain is that with just four races left we are closing in on the championship battle. Brawn Grand Prix can seal the constructors' crown under Singapore's night skies if they outscore rivals Red Bull by 14 points. You can expect Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello to be fighting tooth and nail for every point as the battlelines in the drivers' championship have been drawn between the Brawn duo. The team insist they are still free to race each other. So, it may be upside down night-time in Singapore but with all this excitement, I'm not betting on grabbing a sneaky 40 winks."

1049: And while we're waiting for practice to start in Singapore, why don't we reminisce about when times were oh-so good on the track? I'm talking the French GP of '79, the Austrian GP of '82, the Dallas GP of '84 and the Mexican GP of 1990. All classics, and all available for your viewing pleasure. Get stuck in folks.

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Simon, Norhampton via text on 81111: "Yup, I still love this sport anyway despite what goes on off the track. Can't wait to see if Button & Barrichello take our minds of the politics."

1042: I make glover-tom right, let's side-step the race-fixing landmine for a minute and look at what we might get on the track today. Well, at the top of the leaderboard, it looks very much like a two-horse race, with leader Jenson Button and Brawn GP team-mate Rubens Barrichello battling it out for the title and seemingly well clear of the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Ross Brawn insists he wants an "open fight" between the pair, so we might see things getting a little spicy. Elsewhere, Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen continue to pick up the pace in their McLarens - and that's before we even look at how Fernando Alonso will fare on his return to Marina Bay. It's all really rather open isn't it?

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glover-tom on 606: "Hurry up and get the cars on the track. Then the driving can start and the politics can stop."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Singapore: "It's all change in the Renault garage this weekend. With team boss Flavio Briatore and engineering director Pat Symonds gone in the wake of the race-fixing scandal, technical director Bob Bell lends his steady hand as he steps up as team boss. The cars have also had a hasty lick of paint overnight as Dutch bank ING withdrew its sponsorship with immediate effect; although there were still plenty of shirts emblazoned with their logo mooching around the paddock. AND, as if all that wasn't enough, Romain Grosjean is struggling with a stomach virus and so could be replaced in first practice by reserve driver Lucas di Grassi."

1035: So, once again, all eyes are on F1 for the wrong reasons. As Red Bull's Mark Webber beautifully put it to BBC Sport: "I'm running out of patience sticking up for this sport." But you know what? Would we love it as much if it were any different? As always, I want you to get in touch in a big way - over on 606 or via text on 81111 - and let's see if we can't just sort out this mess, huh? Oh, and we'll be talking about events on the track soon enough, too, so don't worry about that. Practice starts in 25 minutes - where's ya money?

1030: It may only be in its second year following its resurrection in 2008, but the Singapore Grand Prix has written itself firmly into Formula 1 history books already, hasn't it? Around about this time last year, Nelson Piquet Jr deliberately crashed his Renault into a wall at Marina Bay in order to aid team-mate Fernando Alonso's bid for victory - a ploy that paid dividends when the Spaniard went on to take the chequered flag. Last week, team boss Flavio Briatore and engineering director Pat Symonds left the team as a result and, this week, Renault were handed a two-year suspended ban from the sport. Today, a little like Goldilocks creeping back into the three bears' house, Renault return to the scene of the crime for the first time since those revelations first blew up barely three weeks ago. If we've said it once, we've said it a million times - Formula 1, it just absolutely loves to shoot itself in the foot doesn't it?

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After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham

see also
Vettel heads Alonso in practice
25 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Singapore GP practice photos
25 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Boss relieved at Renault verdict
25 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
F1 returns to scene of the crime
24 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Renault suffer twin sponsor blow
24 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Briatore ban too harsh - F1 boss
24 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Button rejects cautious approach
24 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari cast doubt over Raikkonen
23 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Reeling Renault to continue in F1
24 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Lotus will return to F1 in 2010
15 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
BMW F1 team secures Swiss buyer
15 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Canadian GP back for 2010 season
14 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Why Barrichello is beating Button
15 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Brawn to allow 'open' title fight
13 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Button back as Barrichello wins
13 Sep 09 |  Formula 1

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