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Webmaster in Singapore GP 2009
Seeing Jarno Trulli qualified in 15th place, my hope was on Nick Heidfeld, the other former Prost GP driver. It had looked good on Friday when Nick was 4th fastest in the second practice. But things didn't quite go the way I wanted them to.
In Nick's last flying lap, Ruben Barrichello's crash brought out the red flag. As a result Nick only qualified 8th. Worse was that he was found to have qualified underweight and would have to start the race from the pit.
Barrichello himself qualified 5th, a position he was unlikely to hold on to if not for the red flag. He was given a 5 grid place penalty, however, for changing gearbox on Friday.
Sunday. Even in the drivers' parade Jarno still looked unhappy and disappointed. In the race, when Romain Grosjean retired on lap 4, it was Jarno and Nick at the back of the field. Jokingly, I told my friend: "Maybe I can leave now." But the worst was still to come...
Sitting on the Turn 1 Grandstand, we saw Nico Rosberg blew up his strong 2nd position when he crossed the white line in the pitlane exit after his first pit stop. Curiously, it took the race stewards long to hand out the drive-through penalty - shortly before the safety car was brought on.
Jaime Alguersuari was in 14th place in front of Adrian Sutil. Alguersuari was lapping 3 seconds slower than race leader Lewis Hamilton. As a result a train of cars formed behind him.
Sutil ran out of patience having followed the slow Toro Rosso for many laps and decided to go for a gap that quite simply didn't exist. The two cars touched and put Sutil's Force India car into a spin. Without waiting for the rest of the field to go by, Sutil tried to get back into the race and hit Heidfeld's BMW-Sauber.
That brought out the safety car. But more importantly, it ended Nick's amazing record of 41 GP finishes!
Nick was without doubt furious. Asked after the race if any action should be taken against Sutil, he said: "Maybe we try to find a brain for him!"
The safety car meant that Rosberg would fall to the back of the field after taking the penalty. So it could be understood that Rosberg ran as many laps as possible before taking the drive-through penalty. He re-joined the race in 14th place.
Sebastian Vettel inherited second place. But he was caught speeding in the pitlane and had to take a drive-through penalty himself. Red Bull found out after the race that Vettel's car hadn't actually exceeded the speed limit but he took a shorter route to enter the pit resulting in some calculation discrepancies.
Amazing. We are watching what is supposed to be a sport with the most advanced technology and they didn't even have a reliable way to measure speed!
Not much happened then as we saw Lewis Hamilton cruising to victory, except that we saw Mark Webber, suffering from a brake problem, span out in Turn 1. Mark Webber had passed Fernando Alonso on lap 1 to go P4, but it happened when both of them had gone wide to the escape road. Mark did not only have to give up P4 to go behind Alonso, he had to give up P5 as well because Timo Glock has (legally) overtaken Alonso, too.
The result of all these was that Glock finished second behind Hamilton, followed by Alonso. I was happy for Glock. It was a good drive and a deserved 2nd place. But, to be honest, I would rather go to Japan a week later to see Trulli qualify and finish 2nd in the other Toyota!