Your Daily Dose: 10 Singapore Grand Prix moments to relive

Just because the sports world has stopped doesn't mean your sports consumption has to. In this Daily Dose series, David Lee looks at memorable Singapore Grand Prix moments.

The start of the 2017 Singapore race which saw a crash involving Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen (right) and Max Verstappen (hidden),
The start of the 2017 Singapore race which saw a crash involving Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen (right) and Max Verstappen (hidden),PHOTOS: SINGAPORE GP, TWITTER/F1.COM, ST FILE

1. CRASHGATE, 2008

There was plenty of drama in the first Singapore Grand Prix, and the biggest controversy came in the 14th lap when Nelson Piquet Jr crashed his Renault at Turn 17.

The Brazilian would later reveal that his team had asked him to drive into the wall to trigger a safety car, so teammate Fernando Alonso - the eventual winner - would have an advantage.

Renault, who did not contest the ensuing charges, were slapped with a suspended two-year ban, while two top officials served suspensions which were later overturned.



Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel had reduced the deficit to just two-tenths of a second behind Ferrari's Alonso at the start of the final lap, and was sniffing for the steal.

But the Spaniard demonstrated his precision driving and held on for the win by just 0.293 seconds for the tightest Singapore Grand Prix finish ever, and one of the top 20 closest F1 races of all time. Alonso also achieved a rare Grand Slam of claiming pole, winning, clocking the fastest lap, and leading after every lap.



Ferrari's Felipe Massa had built a sizeable lead from pole position when he pitted to refuel - and tragedy struck. In their haste, a Ferrari mechanic prematurely released Massa with the fuel hose still attached to the side of his car.

This led to the bizarre sight of pit crew running behind the car to remove the appendix. But the damage was done, as the Brazilian finished 13th. McLaren-Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton finished third and ultimately won the world title over Massa by a single point.



Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus had a split fuel tank and the rear exploded in a blaze after making contact with Sebastien Buemi's Toro Rosso. The Finn parked his vehicle and instinctively grabbed an extinguisher to put out most of the fire. The dramatic incident was voted Moment of the Year by Autosport readers.

Kovalainen quipped: "I've told (team owner) Tony (Fernandes) and (chief technical officer) Mike (Gascoyne) that they maybe need to pay me more, as I'm now a fireman as well."



After finishing second to Vettel, Alonso was on his cool-down lap when he pulled over to offer a stranded Mark Webber, whose Red Bull broke down on the final lap, a lift back to the pits.

Both were reprimanded because Webber had ran across the track to Alonso's car, and Mercedes' Hamilton and Rosberg had to take evasive action. As it was the Australian's third reprimand of the year, Weber was docked 10 places in the next race.


6. IT'S THE PITS, 2014

During the parade lap, a steering problem caused Nico Rosberg's Mercedes to stall and forced him to start from the pit lane. The German lasted only 14 laps before he retired and handed the advantage to Hamilton.

The Briton, second behind Rosberg in the drivers' standings, won the race and turned a 22-point deficit into a three-point lead. He went on to win his second world championship while Rosberg finished a distant second, 67 points behind his teammate.



The start of the 2017 Singapore race which saw a crash involving Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen (right) and Max Verstappen (hidden),

Ferrari's Vettel was the Driver of the Day after improving 17 spots to claim fifth position, but the story was really about Rosberg making amends in his 200th race.

He led from pole to finish, reversing a two-point deficit against Hamilton into an eight-point championship lead - which he never relinquished en route to his maiden world title.

Days after winning his first championship, he announced his shock retirement from the sport.


8. CRASH, BOOM, BANG, 2017

In a dramatic start, pole-setter Vettel collided with teammate Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari and Max Verstappen's Red Bull at Turn 1 and knocked them out. Vettel also retired after spinning into the wall at Turn 3. It was only the fourth time in F1 history that the front row was wiped out.

The biggest beneficiary was Hamilton, starting in fifth and declaring earlier he needed a miracle to win because of overtaking difficulties. He won the race and eventually his fourth world title.


9. GODZILLA, 2016

During the final practice session, Red Bull's Verstappen exclaimed: "Whoa! There's a giant lizard on the track... Yeah, I'm not joking! Out of Turn 3."

His engineer replied on the radio: "You came face to face with Godzilla."

It was actually a monitor lizard, which luckily escaped unscathed.


10. F1 ROCKS, 2009

The inaugural F1 Rock concert was headlined by global acts like Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, No Doubt, Jacky Cheung and A-Mei over three nights at Fort Canning Park.

That set the tone for the next decade, with the likes of Mariah Carey, Linkin Park, Jay Chou, Big Bang, Rihanna, Mayday, Bon Jovi, Kylie Minogue, Ariana Grande, The Killers and Red Hot Chilli Peppers performing here.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2020, with the headline 'Your Daily Dose of... Thrilla in Marina'. Subscribe