Red Bull's Vettel wins F1 Singapore GP

Associated Press Modified: September 23, 2012 at 10:32 am •  Published: September 23, 2012

SINGAPORE (AP) — Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won the Singapore Grand Prix for the second straight year Sunday, jumping up to second place in the Formula One drivers' championship.

Vettel inherited the lead from pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton of McLaren, who led the race until a gearbox failure on lap 22 forced him to drop out. It was Vettel's second win of the season, the first coming at Bahrain.

"We benefited a little bit from Lewis' failure," Vettel said. "We had a very, very strong pace all weekend and a good start, which got us in the hunt."

Hamilton's gearbox was leaking fluid for several laps before he dropped out. As his car came to a halt, team officials told Hamilton over the radio that "we did everything we could yesterday" — suggesting they had gone in knowing there was an issue but were unwilling to take a five-grid-place penalty for changing the gearbox before the race.

Hamilton's teammate, Jenson Button, finished second at Marina Bay ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, whose championship lead was cut from 37 to 29 points with six races to go. The race was stopped when it reached the 2-hour time limit, two laps before its scheduled finish, after the safety car was brought out twice.

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