Mike Stevens | Sep 27, 2010

Mark Webber extended his Championship lead to 11 points last night, despite finishing on the lowest step of the podium and a collision with Lewis Hamilton during a long and hot Singapore Grand Prix.

Webber finished behind pole sitter and winner Fernando Alonso, as well as his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel.

At the chequered flag just before the two hour time limit was up, Ferrari's Spaniard and German Vettel were separated by just three tenths of a second.

But Vettel's points gap to Webber, who was a further half minute behind the leading battle at the finish, is still more than 20 points.

Webber's closest challenger is now Alonso, who has won the last two races from pole position in the resurgent Ferrari.

He leapfrogs Hamilton in the drivers' standings, after the Briton retired for the second race in a row due to collisions.

This time his clash was with Webber, whose RB6 was sporting significant damage to its wheel and tyre in parc ferme after the race.

Hamilton's MP4-25 came off worse, and he came close to writing off his title chances after retiring at mid-distance.

"Let's just hope myself or Jenson can do it," said the 2008 World Champion, who remains five points ahead of teammate Jenson Button's sister car.

"20 points is massive and with four races to go that is a big gap," Hamilton told reporters.

Button confirmed: "There is everything to play for."

(GMM)

 

Ecclestone Admits Korea Situation 'Not Good'

Despite rubbishing the paddock rumours only hours earlier, Bernie Ecclestone has now admitted he is concerned the inaugural Korean Grand Prix might not take place next month.

Earlier in Singapore, the F1 Chief Executive said he and the FIA were "happy" with the Yeongam circuit, despite it not yet passing its final inspection that was originally due to take place weeks ago.

"It's not good. It should have been inspected maybe six weeks ago," he told BBC pundit Eddie Jordan during an interview on Sunday.

"It was inspected but it wasn't passed," Ecclestone added.

He conceded that delaying the inspection so late - with it now set to take place after the forthcoming Japanese Grand Prix - was unusual for a new circuit.

The post-Suzuka inspection means F1's freight will already be en route to Korea, while the travelling circus will have needed to book air fares and hotels.

"It's quite dangerous what we've done actually but it's a case of 'do we cancel the race or not?' They say it's all going to be OK, so we hope they are right," Ecclestone said.

In another interview on Sunday, Ecclestone told the Associated Press F1 will be "lucky" to avoid turning into a three-race dash to the Abu Dhabi finale.

"Until it's on there's always concerns, obviously," he said when asked about Korea.

"We have to get lucky and hope it will happen."

(GMM)

(Mark Webber photo by Mark Thompson / Getty Images)

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