Kimi Räikkönen

Singapore. The commentators repeated the same old statements ; night race, facts about the lights, street race, sticking on European time, the glamour and glitz. They’re all exciting in the build-up, but, post Turn 1, the race itself was not that exciting to start with. Nico Rosberg got a brilliant start, but failed to capitalise on it and Sebastian Vettel held off the challenge, got out in front and ran a superb, completely in control race all the way to the flag.

Despite that dominance, he’s not our driver of the day. For that, you have to look a little further back, all the way past the half-way point of the grid to grid slot 13. Kimi Räikkönen had a very poor qualifying, having damaged his back on Friday, and wasn’t really working at his peak. There was some rumours that he would not compete on Sunday, but race he did.

It wasn’t the best of starts. There was no massive jump of positions – not like Paul Di Resta – and the Finn dropped down to 19th as he made the first pit stop of the race. From their it was a steady drive through the field back up to 10th. Nothing really noticeable at this point, but to be honest, the same thing could be said about the whole race up to then!

But on Lap 25 it got interesting when Daniel Ricciardo made a mistake and drove his car into the wall.

As the safety car came out, Raikkonen was one of the drivers that decided to make a quick tyre change, changing to the medium spec tyre. The challenge now was was to drive these all the way to the end, and Räikkönen managed that with aplomb.

When most cars made a further round of stops, Kimi picked them, keeping steady and driving through the field. At the end of that series of stops, he was up to 4th and working hard to keep the tyres usable. One final push right round the outside of Jenson Button, who was definitely not keeping the tyres alive, and he was 3rd, on the podium and managing it all the way home.

Helped by a perfect call from the pitwall for the strategic tyre change and then precise driving and some brilliant passes, Kimi earns himself the coveted title of Top Dog. He could at least smile!

Raikkonen was the Top Dog - Photo: Lotus F1/LAT
Photo: Lotus F1/LAT