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Red Bull’s Vettel Back in Contention

2012 Champion wins a gruelingly long race in Singapore while Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg battles the pack to become fourth German to pilot a Fastest Lap.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg races the night’s Fastest Lap on Singapore’s floodlit Marina Bay Street Circuit.

2012 Driver’s Champion Sebastian Vettel took advantage of a Lewis Hamilton retirement to win his second consecutive Singapore Grand Prix this past Sunday. The long and grueling race saw the safety car out on the track twice and the checkered flag waved early because the two-hour time limit had been reached.

McLaren’s Hamilton led the race for 22 laps before his gearbox gave up and he was forced to pull aside. After that Vettel held on to a comfortable lead ahead of McLaren’s other driver, Jenson Button, who fought balance issues all afternoon, and Ferrari’s Ferdinand Alonso, who struggled to keep pace with the German Wunderkind.

The cars head into turn one after the start of the 2012 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix.

Most of the action on Singapore’s floodlit streets was seen in the middle of the pack about midway through the race. The safety car was out in lap 33 after Team HRT’s Narian Karthikeyan hit the wall. Moments after the restart Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher rammed into Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne, taking both out of the race and bringing out the safety car once again.

Many drivers took advantage to pit and spectators were treated to some aggressive attacks on fresh tires in the ensuing laps.

The day’s DHL Fastest Lap went to Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg, who made a late charge to finish 14th after a hard fought midfield battle. He piloted the 5.073 km Marina Bay Street Circuit in 1min 51.033sec.

Headquartered in Germany, DHL doesn’t mind watching F1’s German drivers compete for fastest lap bragging rights. Not that we’re biased – we honor any driver who races with the speed and precision it takes to be the fastest man on the track. But it is pretty remarkable that four of the five German Formula 1 pilots have raced at least one Fastest Lap this year, with Vettel out in front with three notches on his belt. Fellow countrymen Nico Rosberg and Finnish driver Kimi Käikkönnen are right behind him with two. Hulkenberg now joins a pack of drivers with one fastest lap apiece: Jenson Button, Kamui Kobayashi, Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez, Bruno Senna and Michael Schumacher.

With only six Grand Prix races to go this season, the race for the 2012 DHL Fastest Lap remains a tight one. Stay tuned to DHL Brandworld as the action continues. And check us out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/f1backstageExternal Link / New Window

Sebastian Vettel receives the 2012 Fastest Lap Award from DHL Express Brazil’s Joakim Thrane and DHL Ambassador, Christian Danner.

The prestigious DHL Fastest Lap Award honors consistent high performance and speed. Red Bull’s number one driver and now three-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel personified these qualities this year like no other. They are what helped the young German and his team score yet another hat trick this season: the Driver’s Championship, the Constructor’s Championship and the DHL Fastest Lap Award.

DHL honored Sebastian Vettel with this year’s DHL Fastest Lap Award during a special ceremony at the final Grand Prix™ of 2012: the FORMULA 1 GRANDE PRÊMIO PETROBRAS DO BRASIL 2012 on November 25. Vettel set the fastest lap six times this season – scoring the most points and outclassing his opponents, especially in the later stages of the season – despite increasing pressure as competition within the Drivers’ Championship heated up.

Sebastian Vettel established an unassailable lead in the fastest lap ranking after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in early November and received his trophy prior to the last race of the season in Sao Paolo. The award was handed over by Joakim Thrane, Managing Director, DHL Express Brazil, and former Formula 1™ driver and DHL Ambassador, Christian Danner. Joakim Thrane noted, “This year’s DHL Fastest Lap Award winner Sebastian Vettel has clearly demonstrated that continually striving for excellence and working closely as a team can deliver performance at top speed. Red Bull Racing-Renault’s consecutive success in the past two years shows how important teamwork is to achieve success – a highly important ingredient for us also at DHL, as the international specialists in logistics.”

This year’s award winner is no stranger to the DHL Fastest Lap Award and its honors, having previously hoisted the trophy in 2009. He has now equaled the tally of Finnish Lotus-Renault driver Kimi Räikkönen, who took back-to-back Fastest Lap Awards in 2007 and 2008, and has matched Räikkönen’s feat in securing both the Drivers’ Championship and DHL Fastest Lap Award in the same season. Vettel was the fastest driver on the circuits in Bahrain, Canada, Hungary, Japan, Abu Dhabi and Austin, followed in the ranking by Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg and Kimi Räikkönen, each of whom set the fastest lap at two Grands Prix of this season.

The rules of the DHL Fastest Lap Award are very simple. One point is awarded to the driver who records the fastest lap in every Grand Prix™ race. The driver with the most points at the end of the season wins the award.