Sebastian Vettel wins Singapore Grand Prix to extend F1 championship lead
Jenson Button finishes second with Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber in third
Vettel needs a single point in the next race in Japan to clinch a second straight F1 crown
Ninth win of the season for all-conquering Vettel in his Red Bull and 19th career
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel claimed his ninth victory of an all-conquering season in Singapore Sunday but must wait to clinch the Formula One world title for the second straight year.
The German took the checkered flag in the night race ahead of Jenson Button of Britain with Mark Webber, Vettel’s teammate, in third place.
The 24-year-old Vettel has a massive 124-point lead over McLaren’s Button, whose fourth straight podium denied him the chance to wrap up the championship crown.
He will surely achieve the feat at the Japanese Grand Prix on October 9, where he needs just a single point, after another commanding display on Singapore’s Marina Bay street circuit. It was his 19th career victory.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso came home fourth and is third in the standings, one point adrift of Button, while Lewis Hamilton took fifth after a drive through penalty in his McLaren and no less than five pits stops.
Another Briton, Paul Di Resta, was an excellent sixth for Force India, his best result to date in his rookie season in Formula One, ahead of Germans Nico Rosberg in seventh for Mercedes and Adrian Sutil in the second Force India.
Felipe Massa of Ferrari, who collided with Hamilton in the early stages, finished ninth with Mexican Sergio Perez in the final points scoring position in 10th.
Perez had a coming together with seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, which eliminated the German in his Mercedes.
But once again it was Vettel who hogged all the headlines and he is set to become the youngest-ever double champion.
“I was in control at the end and it is a great feeling to win this race – I love the track here and it’s such a challenge,” he told the post-race press conference.
“As to the championship? Ah, well, I guess I have another chance at the next race.
“It’s not over until it’s over,” he added, but 2009 champion Button would have to win all the remaining five rounds with Vettel failing to score a single point.