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  #411  
Old 01-10-2009, 15:26  Translate from English to Italian  Translate from English to French  Translate from English to German  Translate from English to Spanish  Translate from English to Dutch  Translate from English to Greek  Translate from English to Portuguese  Translate from English to Russian  Translate from English to Russian
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REACTION: WILLIAMS, FERRARI, FI, TR

Williams:
Kazuki Nakajima: "It was a difficult race and I think I did the best job I could, but it was disappointing not to be able to claim any points. There seemed to be a possibility in the last stint as the car in front of me was struggling with its tyres but as much as focus on the car ahead, I also had to defend from behind, so it was tough to find the balance. The car has been good here and hopefully we can carry this with us to Japan."

Nico Rosberg: "Today's outcome was hugely disappointing. I made an unnecessary mistake by braking too late and running over the white line on the pitlane exit. Then the safety car came out at the worst possible moment. It left me with a really horrible feeling, also for the team, knowing that I wouldn't be second when I have served my drive-through penalty and I would have to spend the rest of the race at the back. The team gave me such a good car this weekend having put more effort into development than anyone else, and I am now determined to use this to best advantage in Japan."

Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen: "I couldn't do any better. The car was sliding everywhere and I had no grip. In the final part, with the softer tyres, the situation improved a bit, but by then it was too late. I closed up to Nakajima and, a few times, I tried to risk a passing move, but here it's really difficult to overtake unless the guy in front makes a mistake. I don't expect the situation to be much different next week in Suzuka: it is a very demanding track for the car, from an aerodynamic point of view and we are lacking in this area. Having said that, I will be trying my hardest."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "It was a very tough race, both physically and mentally. The pace was not up to Ferrari's standard and we have to take that on board. I was struggling to keep the car on track because of a lack of grip. At the end, on the softer tyre, the car's handling improved and I managed to do some good lap times. We brought my first pit stop forward to try and get me out of traffic, given that I was stuck behind Sutil, but then with the safety car the move didn't give the result we'd hoped for. Here, KERS was less of a factor than at Monza: at the start I managed to pass a car and then it was mainly useful to defend my position. Now we go to Suzuka, a real track: given how things have gone this year, with cars being strong in one race and weak the next, it's difficult to make any predictions."

Force India:
Tonio Liuzzi: "It has been an ultra difficult weekend and race for us. The conditions are very difficult from the beginning as we were starting on the last row and trying to get some points was always going to be tough. Also having two cars with KERS in front of me didn't help. I couldn't overtake Giancarlo [Fisichella] even though I was quicker on my first two stints. On the third stint we started to have a lot of graining with the rear tyres with the soft compound and I just couldn't catch him. In the end it was a difficult race but we are more optimistic for the next races."

Adrian Sutil: "It was quite frustrating at the start as we knew with the one stop we were very heavy, but Jaime [Alguersuari] was very slow and really fighting with the car. He was holding me up a lot and I tried a few times to pass him but I finally saw a chance. I tried and it wasn't enough - I was a little late on the brakes, spun and that's it. Then Nick came around the corner and hit my front wing as I was stuck in the corner. I didn't see him coming as I was on the move already and couldn't react to it, but I'm sorry for it. It was a race incident. After the accident I then had a problem with the brakes and lost all the rear pressure and I had to stop as it was too dangerous to drive. We should be much better in Suzuka - I really can't wait for it. It's one of my favourite circuits and I have big hopes for a better result."

Toro Rosso:
Sebastien Buemi: "The start was good for me as I got past Kimi and was going well, but towards the end of the first run, I began to suffer with tyre degradation. The first pit stop went well and I rejoined in P12. After that the Safety Car came out, bunching up the field. I was behind Kimi again and pushing hard until my second pit stop, when we had a big problem as no fuel went in and I had to come in again. Finally, I had an issue with the gearbox which meant I had to stop. I am very disappointed that we had reliability problems in a race where we might have got a good result."

Jaime Alguersuari: "It would have been difficult for me to do better today, as conditions in the race in terms of the track and the heat were very tough. I ran at my own pace and then I was stopped with a brake problem. Now we go to Suzuka where I hope to do better and finish the race with no technical issues."



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  #412  
Old 01-10-2009, 15:26  Translate from English to Italian  Translate from English to French  Translate from English to German  Translate from English to Spanish  Translate from English to Dutch  Translate from English to Greek  Translate from English to Portuguese  Translate from English to Russian  Translate from English to Russian
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REACTION: RED BULL, BRAWN GP, BMW

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel: "The start was not so good from the dirty side of the track, but it was pretty good race for me until we had the drive-through. There's a bit of a question mark as to why I got the penalty, I mean I had no reason to push at that point. We knew we couldn't pass Lewis at the pit-stop because he was staying out longer, so I was surprised when I got the call on the radio for it. We were on the limit with the brakes, I was lifting earlier than normal and braking a little more smoothly when I was in traffic. Sometimes I had to drop off a bit to cool them too, before I could push again - you always have to listen to your car. Regarding the Championship, I think history has shown many different examples of how it can finish over the years, with it going either way. At the next races our approach will be simple: we will try to get pole position and try to win, so it's very straightforward."

Mark Webber: "We had a suspected brake problem, so when I came in for my pit-stop, the guys made a visual check. It seemed reasonable for me to continue, but then we had the failure and I retired. The guys did everything they could - I think they were seconds away from retiring me when we had the failure, so it's disappointing. The first lap was pretty feisty, as you'd expect on a street circuit and I had a bit of a fight with Fernando in Turn 7 and we both ran wide. About nine laps later I had to let Fernando back through, but unfortunately Glock was in the middle by then, so I had to let them both through. My race was heavily compromised from there. I thought the incident was fifty/fifty - but the stewards decided I had to let Fernando and Glock through, so I lost the hard work I'd done during my first stint. It was a hard penalty I think, Kimi did something similar in Spa and got away with it. I'd like to say thanks to the guys in the garage for this weekend - they're awesome and that's why we're second in the Constructor's Championship. Fingers crossed we can finish this year on a high."

Brawn GP:
Jenson Button: "It was a good race for me and I'm happy with fifth position and four more points today. Getting ahead of Kazuki off the line was key and that really made my race. The first stint was quite frustrating as I could see Rubens getting away from me whilst I was stuck behind Heikki with a heavier fuel load. The safety car then made it very difficult as I still had fuel for a few more laps and should have been able to make up two places at my first stop. I had to put in some quick laps before my second stop to close up to Rubens and then we were pushing to catch Sebastian before deciding to save the brakes and settle for the fifth position. The weekend hasn't been quite what we expected but it's good to come through from 11th on the grid to score points today. I'll go to Japan tomorrow feeling very positive and looking forward to the next race."

Rubens Barrichello: "It was a pretty eventful weekend for me and a tough race today. I had a great start to make up two places and everything was going well in the first stint. It's a shame that the safety car didn't play into my hands but I was in a good position. Unfortunately I had a problem on my second pit stop when I couldn't engage neutral and the engine stalled which lost me the crucial time needed to stay ahead of Jenson. After that my brakes were struggling and I couldn't fight anymore so we came home with sixth position. It could have been a better weekend but I only lost a point to Jenson in the championship despite everything that happened so I'm staying positive."

BMW
Robert Kubica: "This was a very tough race. I was quite unlucky with the safety car period. I lost a couple of positions as I had just refuelled before the safety car went out. On top of this we had a lot of problems with my car's rear tyre degradation. As a result the final ten to fifteen laps of my stint were very slow and, especially in the final stint, I had to defend my position extremely hard. In the end I must say this was the most difficult point I have scored in my whole life."

Nick Heidfeld: "For me it was clearly Adrian Sutil's fault. Obviously I saw it from the inside and later also on TV. He had spun backwards and then just drove back onto the track and straight into my car. That's something you just can't do. I had no chance to avoid this accident. I was last with a lot of fuel on board. The speed at the back of the pack was very low and, therefore, I started to save fuel very early on as overtaking was impossible anyway. Although my chances were far from promising today, it is still annoying not to finish because of such a stupid incident."



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  #413  
Old 01-10-2009, 15:27  Translate from English to Italian  Translate from English to French  Translate from English to German  Translate from English to Spanish  Translate from English to Dutch  Translate from English to Greek  Translate from English to Portuguese  Translate from English to Russian  Translate from English to Russian
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REACTION: McLAREN, TOYOTA, RENAULT

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton: "This is the perfect end to a fantastic weekend. The race was physically very tough for all the drivers, but it was actually quite straightforward for me. I made a good start and I knew I was running longer than the guys behind me, so I was able to bridge the gap back to them. It was a very nicely controlled race in that way. The team did radio me about a small problem with KERS - but I didn't have a problem in the cockpit and was able to just disable it and then re-engage it. It worked fine after that. We came here hoping for a good result - and I wanted to redeem myself after the last lap in Monza - and we got it!"

Heikki Kovalainen: "I had no problems from start to finish and was feeling very comfortable, but I couldn't go quicker. I drove to the pace I could with this car. I struggle a bit to maintain the tyre's performance and the car gets out of shape if I try to increase my pace, so I can't carry more speed through the corners. My focus now is to get the car better for me, so I can achieve better results. As a team, we'll take many positives from this race. First of all, our car performance has been fantastic all weekend - and Lewis's victory shows that the performance is definitely there. But, to be honest, my weekend was ruined yesterday in qualifying, which was very unfortunate for me."

Toyota:
Timo Glock: "We have had a really good weekend and this is a great reward for the team. After a solid qualifying the pace was good in the race so I am really happy for the team and myself. It was important to get in front of Fernando (Alonso) on the first lap and I was disappointed I didn't do it at the start. I saw he was fighting with Mark (Webber) and I just dived in and made the pass. It paid off because after that our strategy worked well; it was the key point in my race. I was just concentrating the whole race on my speed and we didn't make any mistakes. This is a brilliant result for Toyota before the Japanese Grand Prix. It's important for everyone in the team; the mechanics and engineers as well as the people back home in Cologne and in Japan. The car worked well today with the new package and I hope we can be competitive again in Suzuka."

Jarno Trulli: "It was a really tough race and not much went right for me. As soon as I got out of the traffic the safety car came at the wrong moment for me; right when I was passing through the pits for my first stop. I wasn't particularly competitive all weekend and I was struggling with traction so we have to take a look at that. But on the positive side Timo's second place is a great result for the team, who really deserve it. Timo drove a great race and I am happy for his podium; it is also good news for us in the Constructors' Championship."

Renault
Fernando Alonso: "This was a great result for the team allowing us to be positive and put behind us the past few weeks. I had a good start and great pace throughout the race and third place came as a result of a good strategy and a solid race. Everyone at Enstone, Viry and here at the circuit has done a great job and this has paid off today. Now we go to Suzuka in high spirits."

Romain Grosjean: "It was a disappointing weekend for me. The car just wasn't right and we had recurring brake problems which we hoped we had solved before the race. I had a good start and a good first lap when I felt my brakes failing and so the team asked me to retire. It's too bad because I was comfortable and enjoying this track and racing at night. Now we will have to work hard and get the car back in order for Japan next week."



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Old 01-10-2009, 15:28  Translate from English to Italian  Translate from English to French  Translate from English to German  Translate from English to Spanish  Translate from English to Dutch  Translate from English to Greek  Translate from English to Portuguese  Translate from English to Russian  Translate from English to Russian
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SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX LAP-BY-LAP

FINISH: Well that's it from Singapore. Join us again next week for the Japanese GP

FINISH: Kovalainen and Kubica complete the top eight

FINISH: Fernando Alonso takes third place, completing the podium ahead of Vettel, Button and Barrichello

FINISH: Timo Glock is second, equaling his best-ever F1 result

FINISH: Lewis Hamilton wins the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix

Lap 61: Hamilton drives for the chequered flag and only his second win of the 2009 F1 season

Lap 60: Penultimate lap for Hamilton

Lap 59: Brakes are wearing thin for many of the drivers who will be happy to see the end of this race

Lap 58: Ferrari won't finish in the points as Raikkonen is tenth. The Scuderia may yet regret not continuing development work on this year's F60

Lap 57: Trulli, Fisichella and Liuzzi are the last three drivers in the race, in 12th, 13th and 14th places

Lap 56: The Brawns, thoughy, just don't have the pace to catch Vettel

Lap 55: The other driver in the fight, Barrichello, is right behind them in sixth place

Lap 54: Button is trying to close up on Vettel, less than two seconds between the two titles rivals

Lap 53: A 1:48.240 as Alonso sets a new fastest lap time

Lap 53: Raikkonen pits from sixth place and comes out P10

Lap 52: Button pits for 6.4s and comes out just ahead of Raikkonen and ahead of Barrichello

Lap 51: Brawn are predicting that Button will come out alongside his team-mate. Should be interesting to see how that pans out. Brawn mechanics are out for Button

Lap 50: Alonso pits from the lead for 5.5s and comes out in fourth place

Lap 49: Buemi and Alguersuari are both back in the pits and retiring. It looks to be due to their fuel rig problems

Lap 48: The top eight are Alonso, Hamilton, Button, Glock, Vettel, Raikkonen, Barrichello and Kovalainen. However, Alonso, Button and Raikkonen still have to pit

Lap 47: Hamilton immediately pits. Barrichello, Kovalainen, Nakajima, Fisichella and Liuzzi

Lap 47: Mark Webber is out of the race! The Australian crashed at the opening complex of corners, going backward into the barriers. It looks as if his brakes didn't hold through the corner and he just lost control

Lap 46: Glock pits from second place, puts on the softer tyres and comes out behind a Brawn, it's Button

Lap 45: Webber comes in for his final stop of the night. A long stop for the Aussie who looks to be having brake problems

Lap 44: Vettel comes in for his drive-through and comes back out in ninth place

Lap 44: Kubica pits from ninth place

Lap 43: This drive-through will destroy any chance Vettel has of winning the World title. Although slim, if he finishes outside the points he's pretty much out of the race

Lap 42: Drive-through penalty for Vettel for speeding in the pit lane. And a problem as a huge chunk of his rear diffuser has broken off which will hamper his pace

Lap 41: Race control announces that Vettel is under investigation for speeding in the pits. If found guilty he will get a drive-through penalty

Lap 41: Buemi comes in for his third stop of the afternoon. He had to return to the pits due to problems with his fuel rig not delivering the goods

Lap 40: Vettel pits from second place. the German stops for 8.4s and puts on the super soft tyres. He comes out behind Button in seventh place

Lap 39: Vettel is behind hampered in his chase by the need to keep his car out of Hamilton's dirty air as it is causing his car to get too hot - a problem Red Bull have had for much of the season

Lap 38: The ONLY point of interest is Vettel chasing down Hamilton but that has been sitting with a gap of 0.7s since the restart

Lap 37: Aside from the lights, and I do like the lights, this is not the most exciting race of the season - not even close!

Lap 36: A 1:48.345 from Hamilton as he sets a new fastest lap

Lap 35: Rosberg pits for fuel and softer opting tyres

Lap 34: Button is currently running in seventh place, not quite where the Championship leader would have wanted to be

Lap 33: Although Vettel is putting the pressure on Hamilton, the latter has more fuel so should run longer

Lap 32: Rosberg is fighting back from his drive-through penalty and is harassing Trulli for 13th place. It will take a miracle, though, to put the Williams man back in the points

SKYBET: "Skybet are cheering on the Red Bulls - not only is Vettel a far better result for us on the day, but it would just about keep alive our hopes that some miracle could prevent the darkest day in F1 history for the bookmaking industry coming about - the day a Brawn driver wins the 2009 title!"

Lap 31: As for Ferrari, Raikkonen is P11 while Fisichella is down in 15th place

Lap 30: Glock meanwhile is falling off the fight. Although still third is five seconds behind Hamilton and falling into Alonso's clutches

Lap 29: Vettel is taking the fight to Hamilton and with less than a second between them, Vettel is all over Hamilton's tushie

Lap 28: Rosberg comes in for his drive-through penalty. The German toured down pit lane and comes out behind Trulli in 14th place

Lap 27: Race control announces that the incident between Sutil and Heidfeld will be investigated after the race

Lap 26: Safety Car in this lap. Drivers build up speed and they are off racing. Rosberg doesn't follow the Safety Car, staying out for another lap

Lap 25: Sutil calls it quits and parks his Force India in the team's garage. Clearly his car was too badly damaged in the crash with Heidfeld

Lap 24: Rosberg is told to follow the Safety Car into the pits when it comes in to take his drive-through penalty

Lap 24: Safety Car is still out as the marshals clean up the debris from the Heidfeld/Sutil shunt

SKYBET: "Lucky Lewis pitted just in time - a lap later and he wouldn't have been smiling! He is now a 1/7 shot to win the race, with Vettel the big winner - he's into 9/2 to give his title chase a big boost. Rosberg is out to 100/1 now that his Drive-Through will leave him at the back of the runners"

Lap 23: Sutil is still in the race, although he's a lap down after needing repairs for his front nose

Lap 22: Trulli and Alguersuari also pit. Problems for the latter, though, as he drives off with his fuel hose attached just like Massa did in last year's race after the Safety Car

Lap 22: Alonso, Kovalainen, Button, Nakajima, Raikkonen, Buemi and Sutil all pit

Lap 22: Safety Car is out and there's a mad dash for the pits with seven cars coming in

Lap 22: Sutil was tagged by Alguersuari and while trying to get his car back into the race lost his front nose on Heidfeld's BMW

Lap 22: Rosberg, who is currently third, gets drive-through for crossing the white line on the exit of pit lane. What a pity for the German's race

Lap 21: Hamilton pits from the lead. He stops for 8.8s and comes out ahead of Alonso. Ie he pitted and still came out at the front

Lap 20: Glock pits from second and Barrichello follows him in. Fisichella has also pitted

Lap 20: Barrichello overtakes Rosberg for fifth place while Webber comes out of the pits

Lap 19: Rosberg pits from second place. The German stops for 9.1s and comes out ahead of Barrichello. Rosberg, though, jumped the kerb that builds to the white line and could face a drive-through penalty for cutting the line

Lap 18: And finally a marshal has run onto the track to clear the piece of debris has put the yellow flags out for the past few laps

Lap 18: And Vettel pits for 8.4s and he comes out just behind Barrichello's Brawn

Lap 17 Vettel is pushing hard as he's expected to be the first to pit

Lap 16: Glock, though, is well behind the podium fight, 13.3s off Vettel. He is safely ahead of Alonso, though

Lap 15: Hamilton continues to lead ahead of Rosberg, Vettel and Glock

Lap 14: Something has come flying off Glock's Toyota but doesn't seem to be affecting his performance

Lap 13: Fisichella tussles with Luizzi, giving him a good nudge as Ferrari often do to the Force India drivers. Luizzi had taken Fisichella but the Ferrari driver fought back to hold onto his 16th place

Lap 12: Sutil is putting the pressure on Alguersuari

Lap 11: Raikkonen FINALLY overtakes Buemi for 12th place. What a day for Ferrari. What a year! Buemi actually made a mistake, running wide and onto the dust

Lap 10: Rosberg is now the man setting the pace in what has been an awesome start to the grand prix for the German and his Williams team. Some feel Rosberg should have been named the 2008 Singapore winner after Renault's shenanigans as he finished runner-up to Fernando Alonso

Lap 9: Raikkonen is still stuck between the two Toro Rossos, although stuck is an unfair word to use for Toro Rosso as Buemi and Alguersuari are holding their own against the Ferrari driver. Buemi is actually now 2.1s ahead of Raikkonen and slowing pulling away

Lap 8: Hamilton continues to put in fastest lap after fastest lap, building up a 2.4s lead over Vettel

SKYBET: "Lewis might have lost his KERS, but at Skybet we dont think that's going to hurt him as much as some people seem to think - he remains 1/4 favourite. Rosberg looks set for a strong race, and he's now 11/2, while Vettel is 7/1"

Lap 7: Webber did not make a mistake, he had gone round the outside of the corner when he overtook Alonso and Glock and therefore was told to let them both through by his pit wall

Lap 7: "Worst weekend ever" is how Grosjean bills his Singapore GP weekend

Lap 7: A 1:48.638 for Hamilton as he continues to fly despite his KERS concerns

Lap 6: Glock and Alonso have both nudged ahead of Webber, who is down to sixth place now. The Australia was seven seconds off the pace that lap

Lap 6: Hamilton has a possible KERS issues and his told by his pit wall to use a "Default X3, which should save some KERS" - whatever that means!

Lap 5: The McLaren driver is pushing hard, he already has a 1.9s lead over Rosberg. Grosjean takes a walk down pit lane, shaking his head as if he doesn't quite know what went wrong

Lap 4: Fastest lap from Hamilton, a 1:49.172

Lap 4: Grosjean is in the pits. And he parks it. Game over for the Frenchman

Lap 3: Great start from Toro Rosso. Seb Buemi is ahead of Raikkonen in 12th place while Jaime Alguersuari is behind the Finn in 14th

Lap 2: Webber makes his way by Alonso and Glock sneaks through as well

Lap 2: Kubica passes Kovalainen for eighth place

Lap 2: Not a great start for Raikkoenn, who remains P13 while his team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella is 16th

Lap 1: Button is behind Kovalainen, putting pressure on the McLaren driver while Alonso has another go at Vettel for third but hasto hold back

Lap 1: Hamilton leads from the start with Rosberg pushing Vettel wide to take second. Alonso is all over Vettel but the German holds him off. Webber, Glock and Barrichello are next in line

START: And we are go in Singapore!

13H03: The drivers line up on the grid ready for the start

13H01: The entire field is starting the race on the harder option Bridgestone tyres. No green stripes have yet been seen

13H00: The formation lap gets underway

12H59: Track temperature is sitting at 33'C for the start of the grand prix

12H58: The drivers are getting back into their cars, ready for 61 laps of the Marina Bay street circuit

12H55: However, no rain is expected

12H54: There's a bit of a lightning storm taking place a few miles from the track that the teams are keeping their eyes on

12H49: The national anthem is over and the drivers are out their cars, chatting to their team personnel

12H45: Pit lane is closed

12H43: The rest of the pack is out, all except for Heidfeld who is starting from pit lane

12H37: Grosjean, though, headed back into the pits to get the team to look at his brakes. The Frenchman headed back out after a few adjustments

12H33: Romain Grosjean and Rubens Barrichello are two of the first to make their way to the grid

SKYBET: "Despite the premature conclusion of Final Qualifying, the favourite ended up on Pole, and the news is great for Lewis, who is carrying more fuel than his closest rivals. That's ensured we've installed Lewis as the 1/2 favourite for the race at Skybet. Nico Rosberg has been popular as well, backed into 11/8 from 7/4 to finish on the Podium."

12H30: Pit lane is open

12H25: And if Brawn score 14 more than Red Bull, Brawn will win the Constructors' Championship title

12H23: Button cannot win the World title tonight but if he scores 1.5pts more than Mark Webber and four more than Sebastian Vettel he will knock the Red Bull drivers out of the title fight

12H20: As for Jenson Button, the Championship leader is starting P11 on the grid after a disappointing qualifying session

12H14: BMW explained in a statement that the wrong ballast weights were fitted to Heidfeld's car

12H13: There are changes to the grid as Rubens Barrichello dropped from fifth to tenth due to a gearbox change while Nick Heidfeld dropped from eighth to last (starting from the pit lane) after his car was found to be underweight in qualifying

12H09: Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso line up behind Hamilton, all heavier than the McLaren. Timo Glock in P6 is on the same strategy as Hamilton

12H07: Lewis Hamilton is starting the race from pole position, the Brit's McLaren heavily fuelled compared to those behind him

12H05: Today's race takes place over 61 laps, totaling 308.950km. The track runs in an anti-clockwise and is lit up by thousands of spotlights

12H00: Welcome to coverage of the 2009 Singapore GP, the second running of Formula One's sole night race



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ALONSO HAILS BRIATORE CONTRIBUTION

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso dedicated his third-place finish at the Singapore Grand Prix to former Renault team principal Flavio Briatore.

Briatore has been handed an indefinite ban from all involvement in international motorsport for his part in the 2008 Singapore race-fixing scandal.

The team had been keen to put the incident behind them with a good performance this weekend and they got that as Alonso secured a return to the podium for the first time this year.

The Spaniard, who won at the inaugural night race in Singapore last year, hailed his team for their efforts in getting his car competitive, but reserved special praise for his former boss.

"The team has been fantastic," said Alonso. "All season, we have had a fantastic team. The mechanics and engineers, everyone in the factory, did the maximum, and sometimes we got some good results and sometimes were a bit unlucky.

"It has been a difficult time for the team, now we put it behind us and we concentrate on the remaining races.

"I dedicate this podium to Flavio. He is at home but he is part of the success we had today."

Bob Bell, who has replaced Briatore as acting team principal for the remainder of the season, hopes Alonso's success will give the team the strength to go into the remaining three races full of confidence that they can compete at the front of the grid.

"Today was absolutely fantastic," he said. "It's wonderful to get a podium at any time but to get one after what the team has just been through is really positive and gives us great strength to move on now.

"Everybody in the team will now go to the final three races very buoyed by this result because it shows that the team can fight for the podium."

But despite the result, Alonso's future at Renault remains very much in doubt as he refused to commit himself to the team, although confirmed he has made a decision on who he will drive for next season.

"This podium doesn't change anything," he said. "I have made a decision already. Soon we will know."




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BUTTON BOOSTED DESPITE STRUGGLES

Jenson Button admitted he was pleased to come through a difficult weekend in Singapore with little damage to his world championship hopes.

The Brawn GP driver looked set to see his rivals eat into his advantage at the top of the drivers' championship after a disappointing qualifying session on Saturday.

Button started Sunday's race with a 14-point lead over team-mate Rubens Barrichello but lined up two places behind the Brazilian in 11th.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel also had the ideal chance to close in on the two Brawns after securing a place on the front row alongside pole sitter Lewis Hamilton.

But Button remained calm and drove a smooth race under the lights on the Marina Bay street circuit to finish fifth as his title rivals faltered.

"It was a good race for me and I'm happy with fifth position and four more points today," he said.

"Getting ahead of Kazuki (Nakajima) off the line was key and that really made my race.

"The weekend hasn't been quite what we expected but it's good to come through from 11th on the grid to score points today.

"I'll go to Japan tomorrow feeling very positive and looking forward to the next race."

As the race entered the final few laps Button was holding onto fifth ahead of Barrichello.

The Brazilian strived to catch his team-mate but in the end was unable to find that bit extra and had to settle for sixth place.

As a result Button increased his lead over Barrichello to 15 points with three races remaining.

"My brakes were struggling and I couldn't fight anymore so we came home with sixth position," said Barrichello.

"It could have been a better weekend but I only lost a point to Jenson in the championship despite everything that happened so I'm staying positive."

While it was mixed emotions from Button and Barrichello, team principal Ross Brawn admitted he was a relieved man to see his drivers finish positively following a disappointing qualifying session.

Brawn are closing in on the constructors' championship as they lead Red Bull by 42.5 points.

"Jenson, Rubens and the team put in a very good performance today to achieve two points-scoring positions after what was a disappointing qualifying result for us yesterday," said Brawn.

"We will go away from Singapore with further valuable points in the championship having done as we intended and recovered well from qualifying."




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Old 01-10-2009, 15:30  Translate from English to Italian  Translate from English to French  Translate from English to German  Translate from English to Spanish  Translate from English to Dutch  Translate from English to Greek  Translate from English to Portuguese  Translate from English to Russian  Translate from English to Russian
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'FANTASTIC' FEELING FOR HAMILTON

Lewis Hamilton was pleased to redeem himself following his disappointing performance in Monza earlier this month as the reigning world champion secured a comfortable victory at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.

The 24-year-old had been unsure of his chances heading into the weekend after some lacklustre displays in practice on Friday.

But his team worked hard through that night to fit a new chassis to his McLaren and Hamilton emerged on Saturday in dominant form to secure pole position in qualifying.

The Briton was then quick out of the blocks in the night race at the Marina Bay street circuit, pulling away from the rest of the field as soon as the race got under way.

From then on victory rarely looked in doubt, with only Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel briefly threatening before his challenge ended with a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits.

Hamilton crashed at the Italian Grand Prix when well placed for a podium and he was delighted to have been able to bounce back from that disappointment in emphatic fashion.

"This is the perfect end to a fantastic weekend," he said. "The race was physically very tough for all the drivers, but it was actually quite straightforward for me.

"I made a good start and I knew I was running longer than the guys behind me, so I was able to bridge the gap back to them. It was a very nicely controlled race in that way.

"We came here hoping for a good result, and I wanted to redeem myself after the last lap in Monza, and we got it."

It was also a pleasing day for championship leader Jenson Button as the Brawn GP driver extended his lead in the standings by claiming fifth.

The 29-year-old endured a disappointing qualifying session and started 11th on the grid but produced a fine drive to finish one place ahead of team-mate and closest title rival Rubens Barrichello.

Button now has a 15-point lead in the drivers' championship with three races remaining.

"It was a good race," he said. "I am really happy to get fifth and four points.It really has been a good race. It was good to come through (from 11th) and finish in front of my closest rival in the championship."

Toyota's Timo Glock secured his first podium finish of the season as he finished second to Hamilton.

The German had started sixth but worked his way though the field and benefited as Williams' Nico Rosberg and Vettel were hit with drive through penalties.

"It was a really good race for me," said Glock. "I lost the view of where the others guys were, and then I changed to the Option tyre and they said I was P2 and I was really surprised."

Fernando Alonso, who won the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix last year, took third place to mark his first appearance on the podium this year.

The result was all the more pleasing for Renault as they look to rebuild from the "Crashgate" scandal.

"The team has been fantastic, all season," said the Spaniard. "The mechanics and engineers and everyone in the factory did the maximum and sometimes we got some good results and sometimes we were a bit unlucky.

"But this podium in a particular moment after what happened, it has been a difficult time for the team, now we put it behind us and we concentrate on the remaining races."





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LEWIS HAMILTON CLAIMS SINGAPORE WIN

Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish to capture his second victory of the season at the Singapore Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver had downplayed his chances in the build-up to the weekend but secured a surprise pole in yesterday's qualifying.

He then carried that form into Sunday's race under the lights at the Marina Bay street circuit and victory rarely looked in doubt for the reigning world champion with only Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel briefly threatening his lead.

Toyota's Timo Glock secured a career-best second while last year's winner in Singapore Fernando Alonso took third in his Renault.

"It was a very, very tough race," said Hamilton. "I got a good start and I just managed to bridge a big enough gap.

"I have to say a big thank you to my team for doing a great job as always."

Vettel had to settle for fourth after his challenge for first ended when he was hit with a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit-lane. There was added disappointment for Red Bull as Mark Webber failed to finish the race when he crashed out due to a braking problem.

Jenson Button produced a good performance after a disappointing qualifying session to finish fifth and actually extended his lead in the championship.

The 29-year-old had started 11th on Sunday but drove well throughout to finish one place ahead of Brawn GP team-mate and title rival Rubens Barrichello.

Button leads the Brazilian by 15 points with three races of the season remaining.

McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen claimed seventh place while BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica took eighth.

Hamilton was straight out of the blocks and shot clear of the field while Williams' Nico Rosberg moved ahead of Vettel to take second.

Renault's Romain Grosjean was the first casualty of the race when he was forced to return to the pits early in the race due to a problem with his breaks.

Hamilton, meanwhile, continued to increase his lead at the front as he set the fastest time in lap 10 to climb into a 2.2 second lead ahead of Rosberg.

But Rosberg's challenge was to come to an end when the German made his first pit stop in the 19th lap but was too quick exiting the pits and bounced over the pit-exit line, resulting him being hit with a drive-through penalty.

Force India's Adrian Sutil and BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld, who had started from the pitlane after being relegated to the back of the grid when his car was found to be underweight following qualifying, were then involved in a collision that ended both their races.

That brought the safety car out and Button profited, re-emerging in eighth after he, Alonso and Kovalainen had made a pit stop,

Midway through the race, Vettel had begun to make his challenge for the lead and after 35 laps he was just eight tenths of a second behind Hamilton, waiting to pounce on any error.

But instead it was the German who committed a costly error when he entered the pits for his final stop on lap 40. Vettel re-emerged in seventh place but was found to have driven too fast in the pit-lane and was hit with a drive-through penalty as a result.

From then on the race was Hamilton's to lose and though Glock had climbed up to second he was over eight seconds behind the race leader with three laps remaining.

As a result Hamilton calmly drove out the remaining laps to comfortably claim the 11th victory of his career.






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ALONSO CAN TAKE FERRARI 'BACK TO TOP'

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali believes Fernando Alonso can help restore the Scuderia's reputation as a title-winning team.

On Wednesday Alonso was confirmed as a Ferrari driver on a three-year deal from 2010, understood to be worth £55million, with the double world champion to partner Felipe Massa.

Despite having a year remaining on his contract, Kimi Raikkonen is the man to make way.

The way is now paved for the Finn to return to McLaren, with whom he spent five years from 2002-06.

Alonso has confirmed he is joining Ferrari a year earlier than was initially agreed as he was not due to take up the seat until the end of Raikkonen's contract.

However, with the 2007 world champion seemingly resolving his own future, Ferrari moved swiftly to bring Alonso on board from 2010.

"We're happy we have reached this agreement with Fernando," said Domenicali, speaking ahead of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

"He is not only a driver of great talent, but also a winner, as he has shown many times throughout his career, and under difficult conditions.

"His contribution will be very important to taking Ferrari back to the level where it has to be - to fight at the top."

This year has certainly been a lean one by the team's standards as they currently lie third in the constructors' championship, a long way adrift of Brawn GP and Red Bull, with McLaren closing in.

Raikkonen's win in Belgium at the end of August has been their only success in a year marred by Felipe Massa's horrific accident in Hungary.

But with Massa on the road to recovery, Domenicali feels he will have the ideal partnership for next season.

"We believe this is the best possible couple for a team like ours," added Domenicali.

"Fernando and Felipe are two victorious drivers and they integrate very well with each other and with the team."

Appreciably, Alonso can now not wait to join the team as he said: "I'm very happy and very proud to become a Ferrari driver.

"Driving a single-seater from the Prancing Horse is everybody's dream in this sport, and now I have the opportunity to make this dream come true.

"Above all I want to thank Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo, who really wanted this three-year contract.

"We had an agreement this summer, starting in 2011, but then over the last few days the picture changed and we decided to anticipate my arrival in Maranello by one year."

It was an opportunity too good for either to party to resist as Domenicali added: "As chairman Montezemolo said recently, all the great champions want to come to Maranello sooner or later.

"With Fernando we started talking about a deal for 2011, but then the situation changed and we were able to look at him joining us for next year.

"We naturally preferred to take this option."

Alonso's move will now signal the start of the driver merry-go-round, with BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica to take up the vacant seat at Renault.

The Pole could potentially have Heikki Kovalainen as his partner as he will now make way at McLaren for fellow Finn Raikkonen.

Across the paddock, expect Nico Rosberg and Rubens Barrichello to trade places at Williams and Brawn GP.





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NO TITLE THOUGHTS YET FOR BUTTON

Jenson Button has played down his chances of winning the Formula One drivers' title at Suzuka this weekend.

Button needs to score five more points than Brawn GP team-mate Rubens Barrichello in order to clinch the crown and complete a second successive British triumph following Lewis Hamilton's success last year.

However, the 29-year-old admitted he is just looking to score as many points as he can rather than concentrate on any title permutations.

"It's a very fast-flowing circuit and I think every driver enjoys racing here but I don't come into this race thinking I'm going to seal the title here," he said.

"There are so many possibilities this weekend, there are three people who can still challenge for the championship and I'm one of them.

"The most important thing I can do is work as hard as I can on Friday and Saturday to get the car right for qualifying and the race and have a good race. I shouldn't be thinking about anything else."

Last weekend's Singapore Grand Prix appeared to be heading towards a disastrous conclusion for the Briton following a poor qualifying session but Button managed to turn his fortunes around with an impressive drive to finish fifth and, more importantly, one place ahead of Barrichello.

Button conceded it was driver error rather than any lack in mechanical performance that led to his qualifying troubles but arrives in Japan in positive mood following his recovery on race day.

"In Singapore, it was my mistake," he admitted.

"We tried a few different things to help the balance of the car in Q2 but it was probably the wrong thing to do. With two massive flat spots, I couldn't really do a good lap time.

"Coming here I'm in very good shape. Last weekend was a very interesting race but it was a good weekend, we came back from a very tough Saturday and had a good Sunday so I was happy. The weather's looking interesting, I would rather it would be dry for sure.

"It's been a pretty hectic season. The last two races have been good for me, I've been happy with my performance but it is a bit of a rollercoaster but if it was easy to win a title, everyone would be doing it."





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