Alonso takes checkered flag at Singapore Grand Prix

September 28, 2008

In Formula One’s first night race, Renault’s Fernando Alonso captured the Singapore Grand Prix after starting 15th on the grid Sunday while McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead.

Alonso won for the 20th time in his career, his first victory since last year’s Italian Grand Prix. Williams’ Nico Rosberg was second, his best Grand Prix finish, and Hamilton was third.

Aloson was way back on the grid after a fuel pump failure in qualifying. On Sunday, the Spaniard benefited from an early safety car period that turned the race around.

Hamilton extended his championship lead to seven points because of a turn of events that cost title rival Felipe Massa of Ferrari any points. The Brazilian led early on from the pole, but his race was ruined when he pitted after the end of a safety car period at the start of the 20th lap.

Massa pulled away from his stop prematurely, taking the fuel rig and hose with him up the pit lane. He knocked over one of his mechanics, who needed medical treatment, and almost collided with another car.

By the time the Ferrari crew was able to sprint the length of pit lane and wrestle the rig out of the car, Massa had dropped from the lead to 18th and last. He then incurred a drive-through penalty for an “unsafe release from a pit stop.” Massa finished in 13th place.

It was a dismal race for Ferrari, with reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen crashing out on the 58th of 61 laps. The Italian team’s pointless finish and Hamilton’s third place lifted McLaren atop the constructors’ standings by one point.

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One Response to “Alonso takes checkered flag at Singapore Grand Prix”

  1. newdar Says:

    Who do you think will win the 2008 Formula 1 season? I think Lewis Hamilton will.


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