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Sep 26 2010

F1: Singapore

Scuderia Marlboro UPC has an interesing grid, first and last.  This is unlikely to move them in the Constructors Championship, but then again both Red Bull and McLaren would have to DNF both their cars for about 3 races to move Marlboro into contention anyway.  I’m sure Alonso sees this as an opportunity and Massa is sorely disappointed, it’s been a very bad year for him.

Not as bad as Schumacher’s mind you, though he starts in the top 10 for the first time in what seems like… ever.  Lots of speculation that at 41 he’s just too damn old, but I don’t blame the man, it’s his equipment.  Brawn/Mercedes has never contended.

Anyway this is the kind of commentary that takes up the boring parts of the race (which is most of it quite frankly) during the silly season as we wind down the races and everyone’s position gets set further in stone.  I don’t really find the debates about who’s the best of the worst (none of the new teams has shown much this year) all that fascinating.  What I did find a little interesting was talk about rule changes that would allow turbo charging and fatter front tires.  The concept is that would eliminate some of the passing problem which is ‘supposedly’ due to spoiled air and lack of boost.  I look at Turn Left racing and its emphasis on drafting and say- maybe.  Many of the drivers of the not so rich teams are unhappy with the idea and contend instead that it’s the constant rule changes and lack of development time that keep them down.

The track will be damp and stay that way since it’s hot and humid and there’s no sun to dry it out.  All the edges are sharp so there will be no recovering, just broken suspensions and flying body parts.  Hamilton really, really hates the adjusments they’ve made to the main chicane, but he can’t afford another DNF.  Vettel qualified well (again) but the Championship action is all with Webber.  Alonso and Scuderia Marlboro UPC think they were born to the throne but truth is without winning out and some mistakes from everyone else it ain’t happening.

The big puzzle is all the electronics failures.  Most teams are reporting at least brown outs in telemetry (not so difficult to imagine given the interference from buildings and grand stands), but losing your engine control computer is a race ender.

Nick Heidfeld has replaced Pedro de la Rosa on Sauber, Christian Klien has succeeded Sakon Yamamoto and Karun Chandhok on Hispania.  Hulkenberg has a 5 position penalty for replacing his transmission.  Race 15 of 19.

My Qualifying Commentary, Speed Channel Racecast, Formula One Official Website.

Starting Grid and Standings below.

Starting Grid

Grid Driver Team Q Time Laps
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 01:45.4 21
2 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 01:45.5 17
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 01:45.6 18
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 01:45.9 18
5 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 01:46.0 19
6 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 01:46.2 22
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 01:46.4 18
8 Robert Kubica Renault 01:46.6 15
9 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 01:46.7 17
10 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 01:47.9 18
11 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 01:47.7 16
12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 01:48.2 13
13 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 01:48.5 16
14 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber-Ferrari 01:48.6 16
15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 01:48.9 14
16 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 01:49.0 11
17 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 01:47.7 13
18 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 01:50.7 9
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 01:50.9 9
20 Lucas Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 01:51.1 9
21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 01:51.6 10
22 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 01:52.9 7
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 01:54.2 9
24 Felipe Massa Ferrari No time 2

Driver Standings

Rank Driver Team Points
1 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 187
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 182
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 166
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 165
5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 163
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 124
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 112
8 Robert Kubica Renault 108
9 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 46
10 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 45
11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 31
12 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 21
13 Vitaly Petrov Renault 19
14 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 16
15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 13
16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 7
17 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 6
18 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 3
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 0
20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 0
21 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 0
22 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 0
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 0
24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 0
25 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 0
26 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber-Ferrari 0

Team Standings

Rank Team Points
1 RBR-Renault 350
2 McLaren-Mercedes 347
3 Ferrari 290
4 Mercedes GP 158
5 Renault 127
6 Force India-Mercedes 58
7 Williams-Cosworth 47
8 BMW Sauber-Ferrari 27
9 STR-Ferrari 10
10 Lotus-Cosworth 0
11 HRT-Cosworth 0
12 Virgin-Cosworth 0

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