Fernando Alonso wins the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix 

Written by David on September 28th, 2008 at 5:44 pmLast Update: September 28th, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Fernando AlonsoFernando Alonso took today an unexpected win in the first ever night race in Formula One, the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. Williams’ Nico Rosberg finished second ahead of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton. A disastrous race for Ferrari: Felipe Massa finished thirteenth after a fatal pit stop where he left early with the fuel hose still attached while Kimi Raikkonen crashed onto the barriers four laps before the end of the race. The Safety Car was deployed two times following Nelson Piquet‘s and Adrian Sutil incidents.

At the race start, Felipe Massa made a good start by keeping behind Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen while Robert Kubica had a close battle with Heikki Kovalainen who lost two positions.

In the first laps, Massa and Hamilton clocked fast laps and managed to keep their position while Jarno Trulli in P9, slower than the others, had formed a train with Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso putting pressure on him. But after a couple of attempts, the German and the Spaniard managed to pass the Italian.

On lap 14, however, the race took a big twist: Nelson Piquet crashed onto the wall bringing inevitably out the Safety Car. In the meantime, Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica, were almost out of fuel and headed over to the pits for a refueling but this, while the pitlane was still closed. A couple of laps later, race control, informed that the pitlane had been opened for refueling and consequently many drivers headed over for a pit stop. Felipe Massa, P1 at the time, stopped for his pit stop but Ferrari’s semi-automatic system malfunctioned giving him too early the green light, while the fuel hose was still attached. Massa managed to stop at the end of the pitlane losing precious seconds and waiting for a couple of Ferrari mechanics to detach the hose. He reentered the track, but in the last position. A fatal error for Scuderia Ferrari with another heavy outcome: drive-through penalty for Massa for unsafe release from the pit stop. Rosberg and Kubica got also a 10 second stop and go for refueling while the pitlane was still closed.

The Safety Car period along with the pit stops, brought some luck to Fernando Alonso who had pitted before his teammate’s incident and ended up leading the Singapore Grand Prix.

With 20 laps to go, Alonso pitted for the second time and got back on the track still in P1 ahead of David Coulthard and Lewis Hamilton. The Briton however, passed Coulthard and gained P2. One lap later, Hamilton and Coulthard headed to the pits: the McLaren mechanics pitted faster, while Red Bull’s risked a situation similar to Massa’s.

In lap 50, Jarno Trulli had to retire following what appeared to be a hydraulic problem on his Toyota. Force India’s Adrian Sutil crashed onto the barriers and brought out again the Safety Car. Two laps later, the Safety Car left the track.This brought the pack right behind the race leader, Fernando Alonso, with Nico Rosberg in P2 and Lewis Hamilton in P3.

Four laps before the end, Raikkonen bumped over one of the chicane’s kerbs, lost control of the car and hit the barriers destroying the front right of his F2008.

Fernando Alonso won the historic 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, followed by Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Timo Glock, Sebastian Vettel, Nick Heidfeld, David Coulthard and Kazuki Nakajima.

2008 Singapore Grand Prix, Race Results:

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 5 Fernando Alonso Renault 61 Winner 15 10
2 7 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 61 +2.9 secs 8 8
3 22 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 61 +5.9 secs 2 6
4 12 Timo Glock Toyota 61 +8.1 secs 7 5
5 15 Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari 61 +10.2 secs 6 4
6 3 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 61 +11.1 secs 9 3
7 9 David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 61 +16.3 secs 14 2
8 8 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 61 +18.4 secs 10 1
9 16 Jenson Button Honda 61 +19.8 secs 12
10 23 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 61 +26.9 secs 5
11 4 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 61 +27.9 secs 4
12 14 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 61 +29.4 secs 17
13 2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 61 +35.1 secs 1
14 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 61 +43.5 secs 20
15 1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 57 +4 Laps 3
Ret 11 Jarno Trulli Toyota 50 +11 Laps 11
Ret 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 49 +12 Laps 19
Ret 10 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 29 +32 Laps 13
Ret 17 Rubens Barrichello Honda 14 +47 Laps 18
Ret 6 Nelsinho Piquet Renault 13 +48 Laps 16

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