|Date 22 September 2013|
Course length 5.065 km (3.147 mi)
|Course Street circuit|
|Official name 2013 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix|
Location Marina Bay Street Circuit Marina Bay, Singapore
Distance 61 laps, 308.965 km (191.982 mi)
The 2013 Singapore Grand Prix (formally known as the 2013 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race that was held on Sunday, 22 September 2013 at 20:00 SST by the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Marina Bay, Singapore. The race was the thirteenth round of the 2013 season, and marked the 6th running of the night race, the Singapore Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel produced one of his most dominating performances. He took pole position, led every lap, scored fastest lap, and won by more than 32.6 seconds; his third Grand Chelem. With nearly perfect start and handling of safety car situation, Alonso took second position from seventh on the grid. Räikkönen, despite injury in the back and qualified only 13th, climbed up to the final podium position. Nico Rosberg, who started on the front row alongside Vettel, was caught out by a failed tyre strategy to finish fourth while British team-mate Lewis Hamilton followed him home for 5th place. Felipe Massa took sixth, over a minute behind the race winner while Jenson Button slipped down the order in the last few laps to finish seventh with Sergio Pérez, Nico Hülkenberg and Adrian Sutil picking up the final points places. The results meant that Vettel again increased his championship lead to 60 points over Fernando Alonso with Lewis Hamilton a further 36 points behind and Kimi Räikkönen two behind Hamilton's total.
The circuit layout was revised for the 2013 race, with the removal of the "Singapore Sling" chicane at Turn 10. The corner was condensed down to a single change in direction, with the large kerbs that had been used to mark the chicane removed entirely.
Tyre supplier Pirelli brought its white-banded medium compound tyre as the harder "prime" tyre and the red-banded supersoft compound tyre as the softer "option" tyre, as opposed to the previous year where soft and supersoft selection were provided.
Pirelli stated that their supersoft tyres are two seconds faster per lap than their medium compound, which meant that the teams had to establish a good tyre strategy for the weekend. Reigning triple world champion Sebastian Vettel took command in the final two practice sessions, while Lewis Hamilton was the fastest man in the first session. Hamilton's teammate Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean were also strong contenders for pole position.
The two Red Bull drivers and Grosjean successfully qualified for the next session with the medium compound tyres, leaving their three sets of supersofts unused for the following two sessions. The two drivers from Caterham and Marussia as well as Pastor Maldonado and Paul di Resta were eliminated during this session.
The biggest surprise of Q2 was the elimination of Lotus's Kimi Räikkönen. It was later revealed that the Finn suffered from a trapped nerve in his lower back on a quite bumpy circuit. Sauber's Esteban Gutiérrez qualified for Q3 for the first time in his young Formula One career. His teammate Nico Hülkenberg was on pace for a Q3 appearance as well, but the German suffered a DRS issue during his final flying lap, resulting in a Q2 exit. It was the first time this season that Hülkenberg could not out-qualify his teammate. Interestingly, both Mercedes drivers qualified for Q3 on the set of supersofts they previously used in Q1, which means that they joined Vettel, Grosjean and Mark Webber as the drivers who still had two sets of new supersoft tyres for Q3.
The five drivers with two unused sets of supersoft tyres went out on track early in the session for a first flying lap. Vettel was by far the fastest man of that group, lapping in 1:42.841, more than six tenths of a second faster than Rosberg. As a result, the defending world champion elected to stay in the pits, while the others all went on track, either for a first or a second flying lap, except Esteban Gutiérrez, who opted to save his tyres for the race. What seemed to be a guaranteed pole position for Vettel proved to be very uncertain as the German watched Webber posting the fastest first sector time, quickly followed by successive fastest second sector times by Rosberg and Grosjean. Vettel's time still stood by less than a tenth, ahead of Rosberg and Grosjean. Webber took fourth in front of Hamilton. The Ferrari duo could only manage sixth and seventh, with Felipe Massa in front of Fernando Alonso. Jenson Button had to settle for eighth, while the impressive Daniel Ricciardo posted yet another Q3 appearance with ninth. Gutiérrez started in tenth place after not posting a lap time to save his tyres for the race.
The race began Sunday, 22 September 2013 at 20:00 SST. Sebastian Vettel started from pole ahead of Nico Rosberg with Adrian Sutil the only driver starting on the medium compound 'Prime' tyre.
Rosberg got a better start than Vettel into the first corner but ran wide allowing Vettel back through. Fernando Alonso who started seventh got a good start to move up to third. Vettel gained a five-second advantage over Rosberg in the first three laps and continued to pull away as Rosberg also pulled away from Alonso. Mark Webber overtook Romain Grosjean early on using DRS to move back up to fourth. Lewis Hamilton had a bad start falling behind both Ferraris. He overtook Massa back soon after but the move was deemed to be an illegal overtake by the stewards as it took place off the track, meaning he had to give the position back. After the first few laps Vettel led from Rosberg, Alonso, Webber, Grosjean, Massa, Hamilton, Button, Hülkenberg and Pérez.
Kimi Räikkönen who started 13th and had a bad back quickly moved up the order overtaking Esteban Gutiérrez and Daniel Ricciardo who both started in the top 10. Webber chased down Alonso before being instructed to stay around two seconds behind Alonso so he would not overheat his tyres or engine. The race was then mostly uneventful as Vettel extended his lead to around seven seconds before Räikkönen became the first driver to stop on lap 11. This sparked a chain reaction showing the tyres had not lasted as long as expected. Hamilton jumped Massa in this first round of stops. Paul di Resta kept going until lap 21 before stopping to change his worn option tyres and in doing so slowed down Alonso and allowed Webber, Grosjean and Rosberg to bunch up behind Alonso. Räikkönen used his early stop to move into the points ahead of Hülkenberg, Pérez and Button but at the front Vettel stretched out the lead even further to over 10 seconds until Ricciardo, Vettel's Red Bull team-mate for 2014, crashed under the grandstand bringing out the safety car. This meant that the safety car had been used in every Singapore Grand Prix. Shortly after the safety car came in, Grosjean had pneumatic problems in his engine and have to retire after a failed rescuing repair attempt. Vettel quickly pulled away from the rest by about two seconds per lap until he is able to pit without losing the lead. Di Resta was running in 10th before he crashed into the barriers. Webber's car discovered a water leak which slowed him down before it caught fire on the final lap.
Alonso stopped in the middle of Turn 7 to pick up Webber, who had retired on the final lap of the race. The stewards gave reprimands to the both of them for their actions. Crucially, Webber earned his third reprimand of the season, thus triggering an automatic 10-place grid penalty at the next race in Korea.
A controversy developed after some spectators booed at Sebastian Vettel during the podium ceremony, prompting the TV interviewer Martin Brundle to break off and tell the jeering crowd to be quiet politely. The crowd's behaviour, which was not the first such incident directed at Vettel during the 2013 season, drew condemnation from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, fellow driver Lewis Hamilton and racing legend Niki Lauda, among others.