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Vettel shrugs invasion to win Singapore


Sebastian Vettel celebrates another victory in Singapore. PHOTO/courtesy.

SINGAPORE, September 20 – Sebastian Vettel recovered from a heart-stopping track invasion by an unidentified fan on Sunday as he convincingly won the Singapore Grand Prix and closed the gap on Mercedes.

Ferrari’s Vettel led wire-to-wire for his third win this year, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, with championship leader Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes forced out with mechanical problems.

But Germany’s Vettel had a major shock on lap 36 when he spotted a man walking on the track, a bizarre incident which brought the race to a temporary halt.

“There’s a man on the track!” he yelled over the team radio, as the safety car came out for the second time in the floodlit night race.

The disruption was the closest Vettel came to an upset and there were echoes of his quadruple world title romp with Red Bull as he calmly won by 1.4 seconds.

“Yes, you did it!” Vettel screamed to his team-mates over the radio as he crossed the line, with fireworks exploding over the grandstand and lighting up the night sky.

With his 42nd career victory, Vettel draws within eight points of second-placed Nico Rosberg of Mercedes on the drivers’ standings, with Hamilton’s lead reduced to 41.

Hamilton’s retirement just after halfway completed a miserable weekend for the Briton, who was in line to match Ayrton Senna’s tally of 41 wins in 161 races but left empty-handed.

– Message to Mercedes –

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Vettel got away smoothly from pole with the top cars staying in formation behind him, but 17-year-old Max Verstappen had a horror start when he stalled and then rejoined one lap behind.

Overtaking was non-existent in the early stages on the narrow street track but second-placed Ricciardo was slowly hauling in the leader when a crash brought out the safety car.

Felipe Massa exited the pitlane and went straight into the side of Nico Hulkenberg, sending his Force India briefly airborne and into the barriers, and then out of the race.

The top three bunched tightly after the restart followed by Hamilton, until the championship leader suddenly lost accelerating power and eventually retired on lap 32.

“It hasn’t been our weekend as a team, but sometimes it happens,” a dejected Hamilton said as he left the team garage.

At the front, Vettel dropped the hammer and set a fastest lap of 1min 50.520sec as he extended his lead to four seconds at the halfway stage.

But the German got a shock when he spotted a fan walking along the circuit on a few laps later, bringing the safety car out yet again.

Jenson Button went into the back of Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus after the restart, showering shards of shattered bodywork over cars behind and ultimately forcing the McLaren driver out.

Young Verstappen fought brilliantly up to eighth from the back of the grid and angrily refused when Toro Rosso ordered him to yield his spot to team-mate Carlos Sainz.

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Out in front, Vettel was untroubled and he duly completed the win to send out a message to Mercedes that they will have to work to secure their second straight one-two in the title race.

Click to comment


  1. araka

    August 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    whats wrong with you ma ende

  2. ric mit

    August 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    marende u are insane,dont forget we are borrowing money from donros for u to be making such insane amount.Evryone in the world knows you kenyan mpigs are selfish.Even the people who give you financial aid,cannot fathom why u paid that amount of money

  3. Elijah Andika

    August 24, 2012 at 9:27 am

    It seems every time Marende is in control of the house, there is no one to inform him of lack of forum. Those seats worth Ksh. 240,000 are never adequately used, most of the time they are empty! In short, it is madness to propose a pay rise to good for nothing legislators.

  4. Boiyot

    August 29, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Mr Speaker sir,
    Just because someone is answerable to parliament doesn’t mean they are doing a lower job than parliament… That is a very outdated and primitive way to analyse how much one should make. Point to note is all those ‘executives’ who are ‘junior’ to MPs in your view have very high qualifications! If MPs/senators are to earn more than them, they should have either higher skills or more work experience.
    If also we used the logic that whoever’s been reported to is senior, then remember MPs and senator report to the voters. And guess what the voters are saying? Yes, MPs/senators should get a pay cut. In fact, they should be paid pro rata, i.e. they should get paid according to how many times they actually report to work!
    And lastly, we all wish that MPs really did support the destitute in their constituency as you’ve mentioned above. But we all know that this is not in their job description, those who actually do that are few and far between. Most MPs are seem by their constituents during campaign time!
    We just hope that Salaries and Remuneration Commission will not decide to raise everyone’s salary at the end of their fact finding harmonisation exercise. If there is to be any harmonisation, it should involve those being excessively paid taking a pay cut to manageable levels.

  5. Kwessi Pratt

    August 29, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Speaker Kenneth Marende has always shown heavy signs of self-centredness. When PM Raila attempted to appoint himself leader of government in parliament, Marende agreed with that self-appointment. That he was selfishly reinforcing his party’s position was never in doubt at all. However, in a democratic country, there is no way one can appoint himself to any position at all. People are directly elected or appointed by other insitutions. Nevertheless, selfish Marende hidding under national accord, attempted to rewrite democratic norms. Thus, earning himself fake solomonic wisdom. Many of his subsequent rulings and stands have followed that conceited pattern. Its interesting when all other sectors are facing salary constraints, Marende has no qualms in agitating for increment of pay for MPs, the highest people in the country and doing alot of nothing.

  6. mkenya

    August 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    yah, pay them that much and tax it! i thought under your skull there is substance marende…

  7. maina nderitu

    August 30, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Which world is the speaker living in? Probably a world of the ostrich where he has buried his head in the sand. He is one of them and so he will protect his turf. Shame on him. Let him take account of what him and his ilk do, compare it with other modern and successful democracies, then he will see that him and his ilk are ill begotten creatures who deserve nothing but an implosion of the building in which they conduct their sessions when the whole lot is in session.

  8. daudi

    September 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Marende this is so unfortunate for the tax payers,i cant tell n ive never heard any thing tangible that i can recommend for my MP what he hv done, just took tha salary, n now he is back searching for votes, yes reporting in parliament is his duty to stand for role call, next does his own things 4 his benefit, ,tyme 2 think about doctors, nurses, teachers, who toil hard n are the back bone of our Economy rather than talk about the selfish MPs

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