Formula One

 
          === Vettel wins Singapore GP for second consecutive time ===
 
 Singapore (Sports Network) - Two-time defending Formula One champion Sebastian
 Vettel  benefited from  Lewis Hamilton's gearbox failure early in the race and
 then held off Jenson Button after two restarts to win the Singapore Grand Prix
 for the second year in a row on Sunday.
 
 Vettel  started third  but  quickly advanced  his position  to  second on  the
 opening  lap. The  Red  Bull driver  then  took over  the  lead when  Hamilton
 suffered his reliability issue on lap 23 and dropped out of the race.
 
 Originally scheduled for 61 laps around Singapore's Marina Bay Street Circuit,
 the  race concluded  in a  two-hour time  limit due  to the  safety car  being
 deployed  twice  for separate accidents.  The first  deployment came on lap 33
 when  Narain Karthikeyan hit the turn 18 barrier and had the right-front wheel
 come  off  of his HRT car.  Just after the  restart on lap 39, Mercedes driver
 Michael  Schumacher  slammed into  the back of  Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso,
 forcing the second caution period. The race concluded after the 59th lap.
 
 Vettel  easily pulled  away from Button on  the last restart and then beat the
 McLaren  driver at the  finish by 8.9 seconds for his second win of the season
 and the 23rd of his already illustrious F1 career. Vettel's first victory this
 year came in the April 22 Bahrain Grand Prix.
 
 "We  benefited a little bit from Lewis' failure, which I could see a couple of
 laps  before that he lost oil," Vettel said. "After that, we had a very strong
 pace.  We  had a good start,  which got us into  second and into the hunt. I'm
 very happy and proud, because this is such a tough race to win."
 
 Both  Vettel and Button rebounded from disappointing finishes two weeks ago in
 the  Italian Grand Prix. Vettel sustained an alternator problem in the closing
 laps, while Button endured a fuel system issue just past the halfway point.
 
 "It's  nice to  be back  on the  podium," Button  said. "If  we can  solve our
 reliability  issues, we'll definitely have a chance of fighting for the win in
 all six remaining races."
 
 With  the win,  Vettel moved up to second in the world championship standings.
 He is now 29 points behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who finished third.
 
 "There's a lot of races left, and it's a bit difficult to predict what's going
 to  happen," Vettel said. "We have to make sure that we finish the races first
 of  all.  I think the pace  is there. Even if  we are not quick enough to win,
 then it's good enough to collect a lot of points."
 
 Alonso entered this race with a 37-point lead over Hamilton.
 
 "I  think it  was a very positive  weekend," Alonso said. "Of the four (title)
 contenders,  we lost  points with one (Vettel), but we increased our advantage
 with the other three."
 
 Paul  di Resta's  fourth-place run marked the career-best finish for the Force
 India  driver. Nico  Rosberg from Mercedes placed fifth, followed by the Lotus
 duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
 
 Felipe  Massa  from  Ferrari,  Toro  Rosso's  Daniel  Ricciardo  and  Vettel's
 teammate, Mark Webber, completed the top-10.
 
 After  finishing last, Hamilton  fell to fourth in the standings. He is now 52
 points  behind Alonso.  Hamilton won  the Italian  GP and  then continued  his
 momentum by winning Saturday's qualifying for the Singapore GP.
 
 "It's  heart-breaking not  to  have finished  the race  today,"  he said.  "We
 definitely had the pace to win this weekend."
 
 After  reviewing the incident between Schumacher and Vergne, the race stewards
 penalized  Schumacher  for causing  the collision.  The seven-time F1 champion
 received  a  10-spot grid  penalty for the  next round --  the Oct. 7 Japanese
 Grand Prix.
 
 "It was obviously a very unfortunate ending to my race when I ran into the car
 of  Vergne, who  accepted my apology straight afterwards," Schumacher said. "I
 am  not totally  sure  why it  happened  like  this. I  was  braking, but  the
 deceleration was not as strong as it usually would be."
 
 09/23 13:52:40 ET

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