Lewis Hamilton continued his good form from last time out and starting the race from pole position lead from the start. At the end of the first lap he was over a second ahead of the chasing Sebastian Vettel. Despite starting alongside Hamilton on the grid, Pastor Maldonado was the biggest loser, dropping down to 4th behind the other McLaren of Jenson Button.
Heading into the pits on lap two was the Ferrari driver, Felipe Massa with a puncture, while Heikki Kovalainen joined him as heíd lost his front wing after touching his team-mate at Caterham, Vitaly Petrov.
With a race dominated by the choice of tyre, Red Bull brought in Australian Mark Webber on lap 8 for a set of soft tyres and two laps later, Vettel had followed suit.
Hamilton stayed out longer and pitting on lap 13 he came back out on track in 4th, Button then inheriting the lead.
But it didnít stay that way long as Hamilton made his way back to the front when Button pitted a lap later. Vettel now was back to 2nd and this time was taking chunks out of Hamiltonís lap times.
Further down Maldonado was in 4th, with Fernando Alonso behind, who was looking to get back to winning ways at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, a place he had won at twice.
Bruno Senna was having an upturn in fortune after his grid-place penalty for a gearbox change and was in 12th on lap 22, having started 22nd.
Lap 23 saw Hamiltonís luck run out as he coasted off the circuit with a gearbox failure, handing the lead to Vettel.
Webber was looking like being on a three-stop strategy as he pitted on lap 28 for a set of super-soft tyres, while Alonso went for the softs which suggested he could get to the end of the race on them.
Narain Karthikeyan brought out the safety car on lap 33 after colliding with the wall at turn 18 in the tunnel under the grandstand.
With a flurry in the pit lane, it was Alonso and Di Resta that took advantage of the situation to move up to 3rd and 4th. Despite having a good race near the front, Maldonado retired with a hydraulic problem.
The safety car came in on lap 39 and Vettel led the drivers as they crossed the line to get back to racing.
But it was to be deployed again as a collision between Michael Schumacher and Jean Eric Vergne saw debris scattered all over the track. This was to be Schumacherís second consecutive year of crashing into the back of another car, as he got caught out by the lack of acceleration between Vergne and Perez in front of him.
Back to racing again on lap 43 and with Massa battling Senna, he avoided another collision as, being squeezed by the Williams driver, his quick actions saved them both from hitting the walls of the tight circuit.
Kimi Raikkonen was lapping quicker than team-mate Romain Grosjean and after being told over the radio to not hold him up, the Frenchman let the Finn past for 6th.
Mark Webber got past the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi to aim for a top ten finish, which left the Japanese driver to battle with Nico Hulkenberg. This ended in tears as the Sauber driver driver closed the door on the German and they touched. Kobayashi broke his front wing, while Hulkenberg ended up with a puncture.
With races limited to two hours, the organisers switched to time remaining and at the finish line it was Sebastian Vettel that took the win, ahead of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.
- Sebastian Vettel
- Jenson Button
- Fernando Alonso
- Paul Di Resta
- Nico Rosberg
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Romain Grosjean
- Felipe Massa
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Mark Webber
- Sergio Perez
- Timo Glock
- Kamui Kobayashi
- Nico Hulkenberg
- Charles Pic
- Kamui Kobayashi
- Pedro de la Rosa
- Bruno Senna
- Vitaly Petrov
By Olivia Gauch
Sun, 23 Sep 2012