Formula One

 
       === Hamilton hoping to gain more ground on Alonso in Singapore ===
 
 Philadelphia,  PA  (Sports Network) - Formula  One runs its lone night race of
 the season with the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.
 
 The  61-lap race contested on Singapore's 3.152-mile, 23-turn temporary street
 circuit  is considered  as  one of  the  longest and  toughest  events on  the
 calendar.
 
 Heading  to Singapore, Fernando Alonso from Ferrari holds a 37-point lead over
 McLaren's  Lewis Hamilton. Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen is one point behind Hamilton,
 while  two-time defending world champion Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull trails
 Raikkonen by a single marker.
 
 McLaren has been the hottest team lately, winning the last three races.
 
 Hamilton  won  the Hungarian Grand Prix  and then finished 23rd in the Belgian
 Grand  Prix after  being involved in a  multi-car wreck on the opening lap. He
 rebounded with the victory in the Italian Grand Prix.
 
 His  teammate, Jenson Button, put on a flawless performance to win in Belgium.
 Button  led from start to finish in the 44-lap race. His 23rd-place finish due
 to a fuel system issue in Italy put him a distant 78 points behind Alonso.
 
 Hamilton  is at the  height of F1's "silly season" right now. It remains to be
 seen  if Hamilton  will re-sign with McLaren  or move over to Mercedes for the
 upcoming  season.  With seven races to  go, he's concentrating more on winning
 the championship.
 
 "We're  now inching closer  to the finishing line, and this is where it starts
 to  get exciting,"  Hamilton said. "After winning in Hungary and Monza, I head
 to  Singapore full of positivity and optimism that we can take the title fight
 to Fernando."
 
 Alonso won the inaugural Singapore GP in 2008 and then claimed another victory
 in  this event two  years later. His other finishes in Singapore are third and
 fourth.
 
 Hamilton won the 2009 race but finished 19th in 2010 and fifth last year.
 
 "Although  I had a fantastic win there back in 2009, I've not had the greatest
 of  results  in Singapore  recently," he  said. "I got  a puncture and retired
 after  tangling  with Mark  Webber in  2010, and I  was delayed after touching
 wheels  with Felipe (Massa) last year. Both those races were unlucky for me. I
 think I need a better roll of the dice this time around."
 
 Vettel  is the defending race winner. After leading all 61 laps in last year's
 race,  Vettel left  Singapore needing only one more point to clinch his second
 straight F1 title. He captured it in the following round in Japan.
 
 The last three Singapore GP's have been won from the pole position.
 
 Series: Formula One. Date: Sunday, September 23. Race: Singapore Grand Prix.
 Site: Marina Bay Street Circuit. Track: 3.152-mile (5.073-kilometer), 23-turn
 street circuit. Start Time: 8 a.m. (et). Laps: 61. Miles: 192.272 (309.316
 km). 2011 Winner: Sebastian Vettel. Television: Speed.
 
 09/20 00:58:57 ET

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