Well that's it from me, then, and I sign off in the knowledge that the Drivers' Championship race is DEFINITELY down to... three. Mark Webber can no longer win the title, with the contenders being Jenson Button on 84 points, his Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello 69, and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel on 59. Surely now, more than ever, this is Button's title to lose but we know all too well not to count our chickens before they hatch don't we - 2007 anyone? Thank you to all you guys - great chat as always - keep things going over on
why don't you? Cracking racing from Lewis Hamilton, Timo Glock, Fernando Alonso and Button - among others - today, and next up it's Japan. That marks the first race where Button can wrap up the title, but Rubens Barrichello and Sebastian Vettel will have something to say about that, I'm sure. Do not miss it.
Fernando Alonso on BBC's F1 Forum:
"It is a fantastic result for us to get our first podium of the season. It was a bit chaotic on the first lap, but once I was allowed to re-pass Mark Webber I felt we did a great job. A podium is much better than we expected, for sure."
Timo Glock on BBC's F1 Forum:
"I knew I didn't have the pace of the top guys, so I just had to push my car all the way - this is a track where a driver can make a big difference - and I felt I did that. As a team we did everything right and we got better and better over the weekend."
Lewis Hamilton on BBC's F1 Forum:
"It was a very, very tough race, I think I can speak for all of us. But generally the race was pretty straight forward for me. I just needed to build a gap and know that I was running longer than the guys behind me. I felt it was a nicely controlled race from myself and I want to thank my team again for a fantastic job. I had a problem with my Kers where I had to switch it off and then on again - it was a bit complicated but it worked! - and after that I just enjoyed myself. I was keen to redeem myself after what happened at Monza last time out and I did that."
OwlsandDoughnuts on 606:
"The real question is - will Kuzuki Nakajima get a point before the season is out, or will he be destined for a bunch of 9th places?!"
remarkable and potentially/probably (delete as applicable) pivotal turn-around for Jenson Button,
then, the champion-elect turning an 11th-place start into fifth in the race and he extends his lead in the title race to 15 points over Rubens Barrichello. That means the Brazilian has to take more than five points a race out of his Brawn team-mate to snatch the title - and wouldn't that just mark an extraordinary end to an extraordinary championship both on and off the track? While BBC One coverage ends, don't forget you can watch the F1 Forum
on the red button and here on this website for UK users - with so much to discuss you'd be a bit silly to miss it right?
Championship leader Jenson Button on BBC:
"I just wish I did those laps in qualifying. It would have made life a lot easier. I got stuck behind Heikki Kovalainen for quite a few laps but when he pitted I was able to get past. It was difficult though as you lose a lot of downforce. But I was happy to get Kazuki Nakajimi off the line - that made the race for me. I'm very happy with the result and I go to Japan next week feeling positive."
David Coulthard on BBC One:
"That was a faultless drive from Lewis Hamilton - he was under pressure from Sebastian Vettel at one point and even had to correct a Kers problem, yet he brought it home comfortably. That's why he's a champion."
Lewis Hamilton punches the air as he exits the cockpit of his McLaren - and Timo Glock and Fernando Alonso look almost as pleased themselves. In the seated area behind the presentation stage, the trio look more tired than a knock-knock joke - it takes it out of you F1, but the rewards they are aplenty.
Mick, Sutton via text on 81111:
"Button is the real hero here. If he can pull this off he's a legend and should be celebrated for an amazing, tactical and patient race."
genji on 606:
"Hamilton was serene. Fully deserved by McLaren and Hamilton. Flawless. Brilliant save by Button too - he turned it on when he needed to. Great race."
Jubilant scenes for Hamilton and in the McLaren garage, while Timo Glock matches his best ever GP result with a second-place finish. Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel follow the front two home, while Jenson Button does cross the line ahead of Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello to extend his lead in the title race to 15 points - what a turnaround from the end of qualifying that is. Heikki Kovalainen and Robert Kubica complete the point-scorers.
LEWIS HAMILTON WINS THE SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX Lap 60:
Lewis Hamilton enters his final lap cruising. How he must wish he'd had this car all season.
zackpliskin on 606:
"This has been an entertaining race. Controversial decisions, unexpected mistakes and retirements. It's been nothing but surprises!"
Rubens Barrichello, now, is told to look after his brakes "Jenson has a big problem with this too," he is told. "Can we catch him?!" asks the ebullient Brazilian. "No, he's 10 seconds ahead and the same pace as you," he is told. Looks like this is your top eight, then, folks - Hamilton-Glock-Alonso-Vettel-Button-Barrichello-Kovalainen-Kubica.
BBC Radio 5 Live F1 pundit Anthony Davidson:
"Hamilton's pushing on even still, flicking the car left-right-left through that Singapore Sling chicane. He's still driving his heart out."
Yep, Jenson Button has eased right off. Ross Brawn is heard over the team radio telling the Briton "just bring the car home now, just bring it home" - looks like he has some concerns about his brakes, but he'll get to the flag for his points, no doubt.
Now then, Jenson Button - who started in 11th - is breathing down the neck of Sebastian Vettel, but it looks like he will happily settle for a fifth-place finish with Rubens Barrichello over 10 seconds behind him. That would take his championship lead to 15 points with three races to go and leave Barrichello needing spectacular.
Jenson Button, the fastest man on the track on this lap, is almost within a couple of seconds of Sebastian Vettel now, and the Briton might just be lining up a move. Not that the Briton really needs it - he'll extend his lead in the championship race with a fifth-place finish nonetheless, but can you ever ask a Formula 1 driver not to target an overtake?
Lewis Hamilton leads Timo Glock by 8.8 seconds at the front of the pack, with Fernando Alonso 7.1 seconds further back in third. Sebastian Vettel is warned that Jenson Button will be uber-fast and that he will have to put a shift in to keep hold of his fourth place, while Button is told by his own engineers that Vettel "might have brake problems". This could get very interesting. Fernando Alonso puts in a 1:48.240 - the fastest lap of the race so far - and the Renault looks tops in third place.
Jenson Button comes in for his final stop from third - this needs to be smooth - and he is out well ahead of Kimi Raikkonen AND Rubens Barrichello. That's the perfect result for the Briton. Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, runs off a touch at Turn One, but is ahead of Button in fifth with so many bits missing off his car it's almost funny. Cracking work from the young German.
Fernando Alonso pits from the lead - and he is out in fourth, ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who impressively is moving his Red Bull nicely. The German is still looking to point heavily.
MY MISTAKE! No safety car period, they opted against bringing it out. Jenson Button is the fastest man on the track at 1:48.7secs. Our running order right now - Alonso-Hamilton-Button-Glock-Vettel. Button's closest title rival Rubens Barrichello is seventh - Button is going to extend his championship lead, unbelievably.
We have a safety car situation - and that plays right into Jenson Button's hands, with Heikki Kovalainen having pitted a lap earlier - the Briton steals a place and he is running in third now.
It can get worse for Red Bull! Brake failure for Mark Webber and the Australian spins out and into the wall - he climbs out unhurt, but his slim championship hopes have just been ground into the dust.No such problems for Lewis Hamilton, who pits from the lead - it's smooth as silk - and he's back out behind Fernando Alonso, who has a stop to make.
Timo Glock is in from second place, with race leader - and almost certain race winner, bar incident - Lewis Hamilton yet to make his second and final stop.
This is not Red Bull's finest hour at the moment, with Mark Webber limping into the pits to treat his brakes, which are emitting black smoke. Anything else want to go wrong for Christian Horner's team?
Sebastian Vettel comes in for his drive-through and re-emerges in ninth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari. Jenson Button, now sixth, is looking to to make a move on Heikki Kovalainen's McLaren ahead of him.
Sebastian Vettel is told by his team that "we're still racing for fourth or fifth so stay focused". How much of that is kidology, though, only they know. Lewis Hamilton leads Timo Glock by 9.2 seconds at the front, who in turn is 7.6 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso.
BBC Radio 5 Live F1 pundit Anthony Davidson:
"The state that his diffuser is in now, that's probably at least 20 points of downforce he's lost there. Vettel's race is over."
Lap 40: Investigation into Sebastian Vettel for speeding in the pit-lane!
That's almost certainly a drive-through
for the Red Bull and to make matters worse it looks like the German suffers damage to his diffuser going over a kerb later in the lap as well. That's surely his race cooked and, all of a sudden, things look to be falling into Jenson Button's lap again.
Sebastian Vettel comes in and re-emerges in seventh. He has lost his side mirror as a result of that fin damage, by the way, and Martin Brundle is speculating what impact that will have on the weight of his Red Bull. If he is under race limits that's a penalty. Fuel hose problems for Toro Rosso Sebastian Buemi.
Damage to Sebastian Vettel's aerodynamic fin, by the look of things and that will almost certainly make life more difficult, even for a driver as talented as the German. Jenson Button's Brawn team are hoping the championship leader can jump Heikki Kovalainen into sixth at the second stop. Fernando Alonso continues to run in fourth, by the way, while Rubens Barrichello might have to pick up some pace to avoid being interfered with by Vettel's stop later.
Kerplunk! Lewis Hamilton finds something in his McLaren and posts the fastest lap of the race so far with a 1:48.345 - his lead is now 0.9 seconds. One mistake here and Sebastian Vettel will nip in, though, and no mistake. Third-placed Timo Glock is told that "the window is open" for a charge on Vettel - that suggests the Toyota is fuelled longer than the Red Bull at the moment and they hope to grab second spot when Vettel comes in.
Word on the Jenson Button team radio is that Sebastian Vettel should pit in six laps, while Rubens Barrichello - running in fifth - has been told to push. Vettel, lest we forget, can take a big chunk out of Button's championship lead with a big points haul today. Force India's Adrian Sutil, who will be investigated after the race for his Nick Heidfeld collision, insists: "I never do careless driving. When I see a possibility, I try it." Nico Rosberg pits and misses the wall on his out-lap by the matter of a camel's eyelash. Eventful race for the German isn't it?
"If anyone wonders about the future of F1, this is it - Lewis Hamilton v Sebastian Vettel battling at the front of the Grand Prix, brilliant," says Martin Brundle. Hamilton built his lead back up to a second over Vettel's Red Bull last lap, but a slight error sees that gap reduce to 0.7 seconds - it's real nip-and-tuck stuff. Nico Rosberg, meanwhile, is crawling all over the back of Jarno Trulli in 13th - looks like the German is going to have some fun from the back of the pack.
BBC Radio 5 Live F1 pundit Anthony Davidson:
"This is going to be cracking race all the way to the end now. It's really going to unfold when the leading cars move onto the (super-soft) option tyre. [Though] if Vettel is fuelled just one lap longer than Hamilton, the race could be his."
Sebastian Vettel right on Lewis Hamilton's tail, now - but he still faces a mammoth task to take the Briton, whose Kers power-boost will make overtaking very hard for the Red Bull. The McLaren and Vettel lead Toyota's Timo Glock in third by 5.5 seconds now. Rubens Barrichello, meanwhile, is holding up the pack from fifth downwards as he struggles to get the temperature back into his tyres.
Bosh - Sebastian Vettel takes half a second out of Lewis Hamilton's race lead and the German might fancy his chances of taking the McLaren here. Timo Glock is told by his Toyota team to "keep pace with Vettel and you can take him", to which Martin Brundle
responds on BBC "no chance mate, you're two seconds off the pace. No chance."
Nico Rosberg finally comes in for his drive-through - and he re-emerges in 14th. A genuine shame for the German, who looked in such fine shape before that, and it takes a little of the gloss of the race for me. Anyway, up the front, Sebastian Vettel is starting to press Lewis Hamilton - Rosberg's error might just have set up it of a battle for the lead at the least.
No overtakes following the resumption - and Nico Rosberg still does not come in. He has another racing lap to do so, though, following the safety car interruption. Lewis Hamilton's race lead already up to over a second.
So, in goes the safery car, and despite the orders of his team Nico Rosberg does NOT take his drive-through immediately. Interesting. We're back to normal running.
RogerMellie66 on 606:
"Rosberg was P2 before his penalty. He will be P16 after because of the safety car. Talk about disproportionate penalties."
Adrian Sutil pulls in and his race is over as a result of that earlier collision with Nick Heidfeld. I'll wager the stewards will want a word with him over that crash as well - it really wasn't pretty driving.
Nico Rosberg is told by his Williams team to follow the safety car , whenever it exits, for his drive-through. Winners and losers of that safety car period, according to BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz:
"The winners are the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Timo Glock and Fernando Alonso. The losers are the guys going longer, especially Jenson Button who never had his extra seven laps to make up time on Kovalainen. If he wants to get big points he's going to have to wait until the last stint."
So, effectively a free pit-stop for those drivers who have come in behind the safety car, then, with Jenson Button and Heikki Kovalainen are currently running in and seventh respectively. Just a reminder - Nico Rosberg cannot take his drive-through penalty while the safety car is out, so he will have to do that once the safety car exits.
BBC Radio 5 Live Anthony Davidson:
"The cars that hadn't pitted before that are the big winners."
Lap 21: SAFETY CAR!
Right, who had lap 21 on the sweep stake? Adrian Sutil is the man at fault, spinning on the kerb of Turn 14 and then pulling out straight into the side of Nick Heidfeld's BMW - that's the latter's race done and dusted. As soon as the safety car comes out, Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button, Kazuki Nakajima, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Buemi all pit.
Smart stop from Lewis Hamilton and he is safely back out and about. Nico Rosberg IS handed a drive-through penalty.
Rubens Barrichello and Timo Glock enter the pits now - while David Coulthard
explains on BBC One that the drivers failed to highlight the problems with the pit-lane exit in their Friday meeting and so "only have themselves to blame".
Nico Rosberg is the next of the front-runners to pit, and it's a neat 9.1-second stop. Only he crosses the white line on his exit and that could be a drive-through penalty. He is temporarily ahead of Rubens Barrichello, but with the Williams struggling on the dirty side of the track, the Brazilian re-passes almost immediately. Mark Webber into the pits.
Sebastian Vettel eats into Nico Rosberg's lead with a 1:48.5 lap... and then he comes in to the pits. Where does he re-emerge? JUST behind Rubens Barrichello - efficient work from the championship challenger, there. Meanwhile, a track steward dashes on to the circuit at the opportune moment to remove Glock's earlier deposit and we're back to free-racing around that turn again.
Rubens Barrichello, running in seventh, is ordered by his Brawn team to close the gap on Mark Webber or risk Sebastian Vettel emerging from his pit-stop in front of him. Vettel still to come in, but not much time for Barrichello to eat into his 2.2-second gap behind the Red Bull of Webber.
Lewis Hamilton still the fastest man on the track - and Sebastian Vettel will be coming in very soon as well.
We have a yellow flag situation as a piece of debris flies off the back of Timo Glock's Toyota. If that can't be moved safely, we might be looking at a safety car situation...
Giancarlo Fisichella does go for the throat of Adrian Sutil's Force India, but he "does a Webber" in passing the German off the track and he will surely have to yield that position. At the front, Lewis Hamilton continues to edge away from the field, his lead over Nico Rosberg is 2.5 seconds, with Sebastian Vettel a further 2.1 seconds back. Title front-runners Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button, meanwhile, are set rather in their ways in seventh and 10th.
No move, yet, from the other Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen, with the Finn 13th and struggling to make a move on the Toro Rosso of Sebastian Buemi ahead of him. His last lap was a 1:51.282 - compare that to Lewis Hamilton's latest effort of 1:48.731 and you get the idea of his lack of pace.
Lewis Hamilton's Kers power-boost is BACK! Some mechanical wizardry from the pits and the race leader is back at full throttle with a 1:48.423 lap. Adrian Sutil, meanwhile, stuck behind Jaime Alguersuari back in 15th is warned to ease off a bit and cool his engine. That message is relayed to Giancarlo Fisichella, who is ordered by his Ferrari engineer Rob Smedley to "really push now, make your move".
Romain Grosjean on BBC:
"We keep going with a brakes problem - we don't know what's going on. The team will work very hard rebuilding them for next week in Japan. It's been the worst weekend ever."
It's not too bad at the moment for Hamilton at all, though, as he posts a new fastest lap with a 1:48.638 and his lead over Nico Rosberg is now 2.2 seconds - don't forget he's fuelled longer too. Mark Webber, meanwhile, is told by his team to allow Timo Glock and Fernando Alonso past as his first-lap overtake is, after all, deemed illegal. The Australian is down in sixth now, then, but he will fancy his chance of re-passing those two I'd wager.
Big blow for Lewis Hamilton, the Briton is ordered to disable his Kers due to a problem and that is NOT good news. That will cost the race leader around 0.3secs a lap, and could relate to the wiring problem he suffered in Friday practice - he will need an awesome drive to win it without the Kers, surely. Sebastian Vettel responds by posting the fastest lap of the race from third - a 1:49.122. Romain Grosjean IS out.
Lewis Hamilton posts the fastest lap of the race with a 1:49.172 and his lead over Nico Rosberg is now 1.9 seconds. The drivers are, remarkably, pretty evenly spaced all the way down behind the leader with a couple of seconds separating each of the top six, and one second the gap thereafter.
Replays show Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso both went off during that earlier passing manoeuvre, so the Australian Red Bull driver should be OK with that. With that in mind, a lovely move, that. Romain Grosjean, meanwhile, pulls into the pits - and as he's dawdling along, it looks like that's the Renault driver's race done. Holly Samos says it's down to high temperatures in his brakes - he might yet re-emerge.
Lewis Hamilton already 0.9 seconds clear - his McLaren is flying - while Nico Rosberg is comfortably holding off Sebastian Vettel in second. Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber might just be in a bit of stick for his earlier passing manoeuvre on Alonso - we wonder if he went off-track to do so, but I'll keep you posted. Timo Glock is fifth ahead of Alonso, now, with the Spaniard faltering a touch after his flying start.
Great start from Hamilton, the Briton using his Kers power-boost system to get away clear to the first corner. Awesome start from Nico Rosberg, too, as he leapfrogs Sebastian Vettel into second, while Fernando Alonso briefly passes both Red Bulls before losing it at the next corner. Title rivals Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button are up to seventh and 10th respectively already.
We are go go go...
Off go the boys on the installation lap, and it would appear the majority - if not all - the drivers are on the soft tyres, the harder of the two compounds. That means the super-softs - the optimum option - will be used later in the race when more rubber has gone down and therefore more grip is on track.
We're five minutes away from race time, folks, so settle in and pay attention. I have a feeling we could be looking at a rather explosive start to this race from the very get-go.
Plenty of chat this weekend too about the difficulty of the timing of this race. Lest we forget, while it is a 1300 BST kick-off, it's actually 2000 in Singapore, which apparently has
contributed to sending everyone a little bit doolally.
Yet more on the weather, meanwhile - Renault think the rain will
hit the track. Who'd be a weather forecaster huh?
1242: Ross Brawn
has also been talking to BBC Sport, here's what Button and Barrichello's boss had to say: "Rubens's crash kind of put a full stop to a fairly disappointing qualifying. We still don't understand it
we looked very good on Friday and Saturday morning, and even Q1. But once we got into Q2 and Q3 it all started to fall apart. You never feel as negative [a day later though], you always try to look for the positives. Heidfeld's penalty puts us on the clean side of the grid. And we've got two very good drivers - small mercies. Scoring some strong points today would be a great result. The weather and track are difficult here. We'll stay on our toes and who knows."
Latest weather reports from Martin Brundle
on the track - the lightning and rain are tipped to avoid the Marina Bay circuit which, for me, is good news - we want to know who is really fastest right? Rubens Barrichello, meanwhile, tells our BBC pundit that all is "fine" with his car following work overnight. Jenson Button's dad avoids all questions about his son's state of mind, explaining: "I stay out of it in case I say the wrong thing!" Jenson, by the way, is late on the grid because he is "burning off some fuel", which I'm assuming is code for paying a visit to the porcelain throne.
RogerMellie66 on 606:
"Rosberg will win this race, and he will lap the field. Yes, that includes Lewis Hamilton."
Daz via text on 81111:
"Really looking forward to today's race. The grid is set up nicely. All the best to Jenson and Lewis,here's hoping for a cracker under the night sky."
Talking of steamy, ever wondered how the drivers stay cool in the heat and humidity of Singapore? No? Well, I am going to inform you anyway, so there. I say me - I would imagine my technique of swim shorts and an iced tea by the pool aren't the preferred techniques pre-race, so I'll leave it to reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton to put you in the know. "I've got to drink a lot, as much as possible. I will be sweating so much once I get into my racesuit. Undoubtedly, I'll lose one or two kilos here. As for my preparations, I have stayed on European time
I go to bed at 5-6am and and get up at 2pm. The hotel has really looked after me and blacked out my windows especially." And what about his thoughts on the race itself? "It appears
we are on one of the stronger strategies
but anything can happen in the race."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter:
"Most of the drivers are milling around the paddock in their shorts trying to stay cool until the very last minute. It is steamy here!"
smifffies on 606:
"Glad Rubens Barrichello's damage didn't mean a pit lane start. Hopefully, with the strategy the Brawns have, they should get at least a pocketful of points - and maybe more with a safety car?"
More on Nick Heidfeld's demotion from seventh on the grid to the back, by the way - BMW Sauber have said the wrong ballast weights were accidentally fitted to the car for qualifying. Oops.
Rod in Newhaven via text on 81111:
"After a first corner shunt taking out the Red Bulls it ends being Hamilton, Barichello, Buton on the podium."
Bom... ba ba bom ba ba bom bom bom bom... It's The Chain folks, which can only mean one thing - Jake and the team are waiting expectedly for you. Our moving pictures have started people.
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Singapore:
"Rubens Barrichello was surprisingly chipper about his race prospects despite his crash during qualifying, but he was less enthusiastic about the changes that have been made to Singapore's street circuit. The kerbs have been raised at the chicane at Turn 10 to slow it down while other corners have been modified. 'It's a difficult track,' says Barrichello. 'We come to enjoy a night race and it is different but we have to look into solutions for next year. There is not a lot space to have an off, it's bumpy and when we have practice at 6pm you can see a hell of a lot more than we can during the night racing. We need to improve the situation.' Lewis Hamilton also called the track 'dangerous' this weekend, although he was a lot more complimentary after qualifying."
Tom, Harlech via text on 81111:
"Everyone is forgetting Rosberg here. He's only fuelled about a lap less than Hamilton, he's on the clean side of the grid, and set the quickest time of anyone all weekend on Saturday - Hamilton couldn't touch it. A good outside bet at I'd say!"
Two variables, by the way, to bear in mind for today's race. Firstly, and for entirely different reasons to last year, there is every chance a safety car introduction may be needed today. The drivers met on Friday to discuss this Marina Bay track - and the conclusion was not good. "Dangerous" was the word used by Lewis Hamilton - so keep your eyes peeled. Secondly,
All is calm in Singapore at the moment, with the sun setting quickly over a very hot and very humid track. However, a glance at the forecast suggests heavy rain is on the way - the only question is will it arrive during or after today's race?
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Singapore:
"Ross Brawn has been figuring out how to maximise his team's point-scoring chances with Rubens Barrichello starting in 10th and Jenson Button behind him in 12th. First of all, there was the problem of repairing Barrichello's car after his qualifying crash. Assessing the problem last night, Brawn said: 'The left side of his car has gone and will be replaced. The chassis and the bodywork need checking.' Barrichello changed his gearbox, which had been threatening to give up in Monza, before qualifying and Brawn said: 'Luckily it doesn't look like we need another gearbox change after we hit the wall quite hard.' Brawn has conceded that sealing the constructors' crown - by out-scoring Red Bull by 14 points in Singapore - may now have to wait until next week's race in Japan."
ButtonNumber22 on 606:
"There's bound to be a safety car, making the race almost unpredictable, but if I had to guess, I'd say Hamilton. Maybe Kovalainen can help him out, with a well timed crash...?"
1152: BREAKING NEWS:
BMW's Nick Heidfeld has been relegated to the back of the grid after his car was found to be underweight following yesterday's qualifying session. As a result, the German has taken the opportunity to change his gearbox and engine. All that means that Rubens Barrichello is now ninth on the grid, with title rival and Brawn team-mate Jenson Button 11th.
So, have you all had a chance to have a look over
our fuel-adjusted grid?
The changes aren't quite as dramatic as at some races this season - but again it gives an excellent indication of the front-runners' pace here. And Lewis Hamilton looks bang on course to challenge for top spot - he's on pole, is fuelled longer than any of the top seven, and was over half a second quicker than nearest challenger Nico Rosberg on Saturday. Music to Jenson Button's ears.
bolmedias on 606:
"Rosberg for me. If Rubens hadn't crashed, the Williams would definitely be on Pole today."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Singapore:
Holt - Renault driver for 2010. Not
"So here we are then, ready for the second edition of Formula 1's only night race and, rather more infamously, back at the scene of the 'crash-gate' saga which has seen the sport splashed across the headlines for the past few weeks. The repercussions from the scandal may still be rumbling through the paddock and probably no-one is feeling them more than Renault's Bob Bell, who is managing to survive a nervous first weekend as technical director AND acting team principal.
"But, I thought you'd like to know that Renault are still managing to retain a sense of fun here. Fernando Alonso, who went on to win the race in controversial circumstances last year, has been in good spirits after his media grilling on Thursday, talking to anyone in the paddock who happens to walk past. And I took part in a bit of silly Renault promotion on the way to the track this morning. What do you reckon - Holt for 2010? Hmmm, perhaps not."
aattaacckk on 606:
"My money is on Hamilton. He is pit-stopping after everyone else in the top 10 except for Kubica and Kovalainen, but they aren't close enough to challenge. Kers off the line should see him keep out of trouble too."
Which brings me rather nicely to you guys. Why don't you all get in touch - over on
or via text on 81111
- with your thoughts on the race both in Singapore and for the championship? If you draw my interest and/or make me laugh, I will provide you your very own dear-diary moment by putting your name and comment on a page seen my millions. That's this one. Erm, optimistically. Nice one.
However, all is not lost for our intrepid hero. Brawn GP team-mate and main title rival Rubens Barrichello will only be two places ahead on the grid after he was demoted a mandatory five places for a change of gearbox during Saturday qualifying. The Brazilian is also relying on his team of mechanics to rebuild a car that he tried to mould into a Rubix Cube in crashing out of Q3 yesterday - more on that later. The Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, the other two drivers in Button's rear-view mirror in the title race, meanwhile, may be second and fourth on the grid respectively but are both on
an early pit-stop strategy
that may or may not leave them under threat from the rest of the pack. And then there is pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton. On a track that demands precision, nerve and confidence - the exact traits that make Hamilton the champion he is (thanks to
Mark Hughes in The Times
for that one) - the McLaren driver might just prove Button's greatest ally since Matt Damon turned to Ben Affleck and said: "Fancy writing a film about maths, then?" As always, it's all to play for, so where's ya money?
Yes, 14 races into a season that he once looked like dominating to the point of embarrassment and our drivers' championship leader
Jenson Button is looking about as calm and assured as a koala on a hit tin roof.
Yesterday's qualifying session saw the Briton, armed with a car that showed few signs of the struggles that were to follow, fail to reach the third and final session and
secure a grid position way down in 12th.
Button had promised us this weekend would mark a return to form, a return to winning ways that would once and for all kill off his title rivals. Except now his championship charge has rarely looked more under threat. It's the title race that refuses to conclude too early, folks.
Let's kick off with a fun little game. We'll call it "Choose the Adjective". Which of the following applies to Jenson Button...Stage fright:
A state of nervousness about performing some action in front of a group of people, on or off of a stage; nerves; uncertainty; a lack of self-assurance before an audience. Tension:
mental or emotional strain; intense, suppressed suspense, anxiety, or excitement.Blip:
A temporary or insignificant phenomenon, a brief departure from the normal; a temporary irregularity in the performance of something.