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GP Week : Issue 135
Schumacher’s smash brings out Safety Car FORCE India rookie Paul di Resta put on a stunning display at his first night race in Singapore. Di Resta, who qualified in P10, and was the only driver in the first five rows to start the race on Pirelli’s soft tyre, made the most of his differing strategy to deliver a commanding performance in which he made up four places for a P6 finish. As the men ahead began to pit around lap 10, di Resta moved up the grid and eventually spent six laps running in P3 before being overtaken by Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso, triggering his own stop for fresh rubber on lap 19. Speaking after the grand prix, the Scottish driver said it was probably his best race of the season. “My first Singapore Grand Prix was a lot of fun and I’m very happy with the outcome,” he said. “I don’t think the Safety Car really helped us because I still had a lot of life left in the supersoft tyres in the middle of the race, but it didn’t really hurt us either. After that it was a case of managing my pace to Rosberg, looking after the tyres and bringing the car home. I was in free air for the final part of the race, which helped, and the pace was strong. “It’s probably my best race of the season, but it’s the result of all the hard work behind the scenes. We came here with an upgrade package that has allowed us to gain performance in the race, gain tyre life, and we saw the benefits of that today.” Di Resta continues to impress MICHAEL Schumacher brought out the Safety Car on lap 30 of the Singapore Grand Prix when his car went aerial before hitting the barriers in an incident involving the Sauber of Sergio Perez. The crash – which was reminiscent of a ‘diet’ version of Mark Webber’s lift-off in Valencia during the 2010 European Grand Prix – c ame about when the faster Mercedes misjudged the speed of the slower car behind. “It was a very unfortunate ending to my race in Singapore tonight and obviously I am a bit disappointed,” Schumacher said after the race. “ What happened was what I would call a misunderstanding between Sergio Perez and myself. He was about to go inside and lifted, and I was not expecting him to do that so early, and therefore hit him. It’s probably one of those race incidents which look more impressive from outside than from inside, as I am totally okay and my impact in the end was not too heavy.” Perez had a slightly different perspective on the accident. “I think Michael was too optimistic with what he tried,” the Mexican racer said. Neither man was harmed in the collision, and Perez – who suffered a puncture and had to pit for fresh rubber – went on to finish the race in P10. Despite the incident being little more than a misunderstanding in Schumacher’s eyes, the Singapore stewards disagreed, and issued the German driver with a reprimand for unsafe driving. F1 SINGAPORE >> 34