Date posted on September 25, 2010 · Published by Mark Goddard
Singaporean resident, Richard Bradley won the first race of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend after an accomplished drive in difficult conditions. Team Mate, Kotaro Sakurai, started in third place but retired with accident damage whilst Duvashen Padayachee also failed to finish after contact with the wall. Nabil Jeffri, who had held the fastest race lap for several laps, was penalised for missing the chicane whilst battling for 4th place.
Bradley started second after an exciting damp qualifying session in which Kvyat grabbed pole on the final lap. Kotaro Sakurai was third on the grid with Nabil Jeffri 8th and Padayachee 11th, the latter two losing places at the end of the session due to traffic.
After a good start from the damp side of the grid, Bradley slotted behind Kvyat and drafted up to his rival on the back straight. Kvyat ran wide and this allowed Bradley to pull out a two second lead. “The conditions were very difficult as the track was still drying so I concentrated on making no mistakes over the first few laps”. The race came alive as Kvyat closed in with four laps to go, the drivers then swapping fastest laps in a close fought duel. On the last lap Kvyat made an ill-judged move at turn 12, ramming the back of Bradleys car, crushing his exhaust. An immediate loss of power for the local hero was the result and Kvyat was able to drive past with two corners to go. However Kvyat was penalised three seconds for ramming Bradley together with a five place grid penalty for Sunday’s race. The stewards decided Bradley had not left enough room when Kvyat took the lead and handed him a three place grid penalty.
Bradley increased his lead in the championship and hopes a good result on Sunday will make his lead all but unassailable.
Sakurai was hit by Carlos Sainz Jnr on the first lap at turn 5 and whilst he soldered on with resultant handling difficulties he was forced into eventual retirement when the driveshaft failed. Sakurai will start third again for Sunday’s race and is confident he will gain a podium finish.
Nabil Jeffri was flying for the first few laps and was embroiled in a fight with Oscar Tunjo and Afik Ikhwan when he was forced to miss the controversial chicane and was later adjudged to have gained an advantage and was given a 30 second penalty. He had been drawing away from his erstwhile rivals when he spun at Turn 5 dropping to 8th which became 15th after the penalty.
Duvashen Padayachee had been disappointed not to have qualified higher when his last three laps of qualifying had been thwarted by slower errant cars. He was soon up to 8th place and looking to progress further when a quick spin dropped him back to 11th. On the penultimate lap he swiped the wall at turn one, knocking off two corners and consigning himself to instant retirement.
Sunday’s race promises to be even more exciting and will be a great pre-F1 curtain raiser.