|2012 Singapore Grand Prix|
|Race 14 of 20 in the 2012 Formula One World Championship|
|Date||23 September 2012|
|Official name||2012 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix|
Marina Bay Street Circuit|
Marina Bay, Singapore
|Course length||5.073 km (3.152 mi)|
|Distance||59 laps, 299.170 km (185.896 mi)|
|Scheduled distance||61 laps, 309.316 km (192.201 mi)|
Hot and humid|
Air Temp 29 °C (84 °F)
Track Temp 31 °C (88 °F)
252,951 (3-Day Total) |
84,317 (3-Day Average)
|Driver||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India-Mercedes|
|Time||1:51.033 on lap 52|
The 2012 Singapore Grand Prix (officially the 2012 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race that took place at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Marina Bay, Singapore on 23 September 2012 as the fourteenth round of the 2012 season. The race was the thirteenth time that a Singapore Grand Prix has been held, and the fifth time it was a round of the Formula One World Championship.
Having been unable to race in Italy two weeks earlier because of a one-race ban he received for causing a serious collision in Belgium, Romain Grosjean was back in the driving seat again with Lotus F1 for the race in Singapore.
Like the 2011 Singapore Grand Prix, tyre supplier Pirelli brought its yellow-banded soft compound tyre as the harder "prime" tyre and the red-banded supersoft compound tyre as the softer "option" tyre.
The first practice session on Friday evening was held in damp conditions. Rain earlier in the day had soaked the circuit, but it had started drying out as the session began. Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time of the session, five hundredths of a second faster than Lewis Hamilton. Although several drivers went off the circuit, they were able to rejoin without damage and the session was uninterrupted. By the time the second session began, the circuit was completely dry. Vettel was once again fastest, this time three-tenths of a second faster than Jenson Button. The session was briefly interrupted when Bruno Senna clipped a barrier coming out from under the grandstand at turn 19 before spinning to a halt at the next corner. Vettel topped the third and final session on Saturday evening, three-tenths faster than Hamilton. The session was cut short two minutes before the chequered flag when Vitaly Petrov hit the wall at Turn 21, breaking his right-rear suspension and as a consequence, his Caterham stopped in the entrance to the pitlane and by doing so, blocked it causing a red flag until the session ended.
The first qualifying period saw several teams caught out by the difference in performance between the harder prime tyres and the softer options, which was estimated to be up to a second and a half per lap. The end result was that several teams had to use up a set of soft tyres to guarantee a place in the second period. Williams' Bruno Senna clipped the wall on his final lap while faced with the threat of elimination, but made it through to the second period by a tenth of a second when Kamui Kobayashi failed to better his lap time. Vitaly Petrov out-qualified teammate Heikki Kovalainen to start nineteenth, putting the Caterhams ahead of Marussia duo of Timo Glock and Charles Pic. HRT once again filled the final row of the grid, with Narain Karthikeyan out-qualifying Pedro de la Rosa for the second race in succession with a time that was over a second faster than the Spaniard's. De la Rosa started qualifying with the knowledge that he would receive a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change regardless of where he started, but as he qualified twenty-fourth and last, the effect of the penalty was negated.
The second qualifying period started with Senna and Romain Grosjean crashing. While Grosjean was able to continue after mechanics inspected his car, Senna - who had once again hit the wall at Turn 19, his third such incident at that corner - returned to the pit with terminal damage. With his failure to set a lap time, he was relegated to seventeenth on the grid. At the end of the fifteen-minute session, Nico Hülkenberg was eliminated in eleventh, and later admitted that he felt he could have gone faster in the first sector. Kimi Räikkönen qualified alongside him in twelfth, ahead of Felipe Massa and Sergio Pérez. Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne had a quiet qualifying session, and ultimately finished fifteenth and sixteenth respectively.
Mercedes elected not to take part in the final period of qualifying, allowing Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg to save a set of tyres and giving them the choice of which compound on which to start the race. As a result, only eight drivers took part in the final ten minutes of qualifying. Lewis Hamilton prevailed, taking pole position by half a second from Pastor Maldonado. After being consistently fast through free practice, Sebastian Vettel could only manage third overall, ahead of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, the latter admitting that he was not expecting to be fast during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend. Paul di Resta qualified sixth, ahead of Mark Webber, leaving Romain Grosjean as the eighth and final driver to set a time.
In an interview after qualifying, Lewis Hamilton publicly implored Pastor Maldonado to be careful during the start of the race, given the latter's reputation for reckless driving and frequent on-track incidents.
Hamilton led lap 1 with Maldonado falling to 4th with Vettel and Button overtaking into P2 and P3 respectively.
On lap 23, Hamilton's gearbox failed forcing him to retire allowing Vettel to take P1 which continued until the end of the race. It was noted to be the 2nd mechanical retirement for the Briton.
On lap 30, Karthikeyan crashed at turn 18 causing yellow flags and a safety car to be deployed. Maldonado retired with hydraulic issues before the safety car came in. He had a call 1 lap before he came to the pits and retired. 2 laps later, Schumacher and Vergne collided, with Schumacher failing to brake properly, and consequently crashing into the back of Vergne's Toro Rosso, resulting in their retirement. After the crash, Michael Schumacher climbed out of his car and went over to apologise to Vergne, this brought out the safety car for the second time in the race, it came in at the start of Lap 42 and racing resumed. Vettel went on to win the race and he dedicated his victory to Sid Watkins who had recently died.
Paul di Resta managed to keep Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg at bay to claim his career-best finish of P4, gaining him two places in the Drivers' Championship to stand 11th. the race finished two laps early as the two-hour limit was reached, the first time this had happened since the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix.
After the race, the stewards gave Michael Schumacher a ten-place grid penalty at the next race, Suzuka, after he crashed into Jean-Eric Vergne and caused them both to retire. This penalty was applied in accordance with article 16.1 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations. Mark Webber was also demoted by a place, losing the 10th place and the point to finish 11th, due to a move deemed by the FIA to be advantageous as it resulted in an unfair advantage.
|Pos.||No.||Driver||Constructor||Part 1||Part 2||Part 3||Grid|
|3||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1:48.240||1:46.791||1:46.905||3|
|6||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:48.028||1:47.667||1:47.241||6|
|7||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1:48.717||1:47.513||1:47.475||7|
|9||7||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes||1:49.546||1:47.823||no time||9|
|10||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||1:49.463||1:47.943||no time||10|
|11||12||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:49.547||1:47.975||11|
|15||16||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:49.023||1:48.774||15|
|16||17||Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:49.564||1:48.849||16|
|17||19||Bruno Senna||Williams-Renault||1:49.809||no time||221|
|24||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:53.355||241|
|107% time: 1:55.226|
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||59||2:00:26.144||3||25|
|4||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||59||+19.063||6||12|
|9||16||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||59||+45.820||15||2|
|11||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||59||+1:07.1751||7|
|14||12||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||59||+1:39.413||11|
|17||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||58||+1 Lap||24|
|19||21||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham-Renault||57||+2 Laps||18|
|Ret||17||Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||38||Collision||16|
'He has definitely learned his lessons and I know he is eager to get back in the car in Singapore,' said Boullier.