The 2013 Singapore Grand Prix is unlikely to be remembered by many as a classic, such was Sebastian Vettel’s absolute domination.
As per the last two races, Vettel was in a different league to everyone else all race long, and only a safety car prevented his winning margin being even greater than half a minute.
However, while he cruised to a serene victory, and most likely a fourth consecutive championship in the process, there was some good racing to be found elsewhere. The race came alive in the final laps, as differing tyre strategies played out in spectacular fashion.
It was a very impressive performance from one man in particular though, who claims The Checkered Flag’s driver of the day award.
Kimi Raikkonen has been in pain all weekend thanks to an ill-fitting seat on Friday that caused the Finn to suffer from a trapped nerve in his back. His discomfort was so bad in fact, that he came close to not qualifying at all.
Given his race performance, you have to say it probably wouldn’t have mattered much had he sat qualifying out; such was his meteoric rise from thirteenth to third place today. It wasn’t just the result, but the way he achieved it, with an around-the-outside move on Jenson Button at turn fourteen being a highlight.
Sure, Button was on considerably older tyres than the Lotus driver, but that should not take anything away from a move that will surely be considered as one of the overtakes of the race.
Credit should also be given to Fernando Alonso. Once again, the double champion was ruthless at the start of the race, putting the disappointment of qualifying firmly behind him as he rocketed off the line from seventh to third.
From then on, it was a typically strong performance which saw him take yet another second place – but his title hopes look to be over for another year.
Those who are bored by Vettel’s dominance will certainly be hoping that the two men stood either side of Vettel on the podium today will be able to provide the German with a bit more competition next year, when they are team mates at Ferrari.
But for the moment, Vettel won’t be even thinking about that. This may not have been a race fans will come to remember, but it will be one that the whole Red Bull team savour for a long time to come.