SINGAPORE, Sept 28 — Renault’s Fernando Alonso pulled off an extraordinary win in the Singapore Grand Prix tonight, while McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton extended his Formula One championship lead.
Starting from 15th on the grid after a fuel pump failure in qualifying looked to have wrecked his weekend, Alonso benefited from an early safety car period that turned the race around.
The Spaniard won his first race since last year’s Italian Grand Prix and the 20th of his career. Williams’ Nico Rosberg was second – his best-ever grand prix finish – while Hamilton was third.
Hamilton extended his championship lead to seven points due to a remarkable turn of events that cost title rival Felipe Massa of Ferrari any points.
The Brazilian led the early part of the race from the pole position, but his race was ruined when he pitted after the end of a safety car period at the start of lap 20.
Massa pulled away from his stop prematurely, taking the fuel rig and hose with him up the pit lane, knocking over one of his mechanics – who was taken for medical treatment – and almost colliding with another car as he pulled away from the garage.
By the time the Ferrari crew was able to sprint the length of pit lane and wrestle the rig out of the waiting 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. MORE