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Points crucial for top drivers in Singapore

Points crucial for top drivers in Singapore

The race to the Formula One drivers' title is on a knife-edge going into Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix and picking up points will be crucial for the five men in serious contention.
After 14 of this year's 19 races, Red Bull's Mark Webber leads the championship chase on 187 points, five ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton with Fernando Alonso of Ferrari third on 166.
Defending world champion Jenson Button is still in the hunt with 164 points while young German Sebastian Vettel is fifth, a point further adrift.
This means that the top five are separated by just 24 points - one point fewer than the 25 awarded for a single race win.
McLaren's Button said it was hugely important to do well on Sunday under the lights on the Singapore street circuit.
"The Singapore Grand Prix will be a very interesting weekend because I think it'll give us a clearer idea of the destiny of the world championship," said the Briton.
"The last time we were at a low-speed, high-downforce track was in Hungary back at the start of August.
"Our car wasn't particularly competitive there and maybe we haven't had a properly representative view of the top teams' relative pace because we've just visited two high-speed circuits.
"But equally, a lot has changed since that race in Budapest.
"Not least, some quite hefty revisions to the rulebook regarding bodywork flexibility and, additionally, a lot of work by the engineers to ensure our car is now better suited to slower circuits.
"Singapore will be interesting for all of us."
His British teammate Hamilton won in Singapore last year, but crashed out on the first lap in Monza this month and has now failed to score in two of his past three races.
He is desperate to make amends this weekend and stay in touch with Webber.
"It's difficult to say accurately how competitive we'll be in Singapore," he said.
"If Monza most closely resembled a track like Canada, then Singapore is far closer to places like Monaco and Hungary, where we've struggled relative to the competition.
"The race should give us a clearer indication of exactly where we stand as the championship closes down over the next five races, but I definitely want to score as many points as possible in this grand prix."
Like Hamilton, Alonso has form in Singapore, winning the inaugural race in 2008 before a third-place finish last year.
The Spaniard remains on a high from his victory on Ferrari's home turf at Monza and is expecting to maintain the momentum here.
"I am well aware that another top-three finish is very important for the classification and I am convinced that, if we do everything perfectly, then we can achieve that," he said.
"We proved it at the last race weekend in Monza and everything is in place for us to repeat that feat here in Singapore."
But it is Webber who remains the frontrunner with a five-point championship cushion. The Australian said he was confident of a strong result on the bumpy circuit to bolster his chances of a first drivers' title.


Updated : 2021-10-27 12:21 GMT+08:00