Sunday, September 23, 2012
Vettel reignites title push in Singapore
By John O'Brien
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - World champion Sebastian Vettel won an incident-packed Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday to strengthen his chances of claiming a third successive Formula One title.
Vettel inherited the lead from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who retired on the 23rd lap with a gearbox failure, and withstood the challenge of Jenson Button through two safety car periods on the way to repeating his victory at the same circuit a year ago.
Championship leader Fernando Alonso took third spot in his Ferrari but saw his advantage over Vettel reduced to 29 points with six rounds remaining.
Force India's Paul di Resta claimed a creditable fourth spot, his best finish in Formula One.
"You're back in this championship, well done," Red Bull team principal told the German over the team radio.
After Narain Karthikeyan crashed on lap 33, the safety car was deployed for a first time and it returned to the track a lap after coming in when Michael Schumacher slammed into the back of Jean Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso.
The delays shortened the race by two laps to 59 but Vettel was never threatened by Button and cruised to his second consecutive victory in Singapore and second win of the season overall.
Nico Rosberg took fifth place for Mercedes with Kimi Raikkonen maintaining his championship challenge with a sixth place finish in his Lotus, although the Finn is now a distant 45 points behind Alonso.
(Editing by xxxxxxx)