Australian F1 ace Mark Webber is on fire and snatched victory in Singapore - the world famous Marina Bay circuit. Webber's Aussie Grit was once again fueled by passion and massive fan and news media support, after a number of incidents - on field and off field drama and storylines WWE like this season. He's well and truly also lost the "Turkey" moniker, affectionately tagged by Media Man after the Turkey rear end smash that just seems like yesterday. Media Man and Gambling911 play Russian roulette and speed demon with this special revved up F1 report...
Red flag to a bull, the Aussie Grit bull responded with 3rd place taking calculated risks in the shadow of the local casino. Yep, perhaps Webber was backing himself - be it with money or just in spirit, we may never know, but the Aussie hero performed and is on track for the grand jackpot at this stage of the game.
What action - a steering wheel comes off Lewis Hamilton's cockpit like a guided missile ala The War Of The Worlds meets Mission: Impossible and Daytona 500 on steroids game fans and speed freaks. Can't you just feel the need for speed.
In the shadow of the new flashy casino complex that dwarfs over the Marina Bay circuit, he had gambled and lost to the house.
The 2008 Formula One world champion was booted disastrously out of the Singapore Grand Prix last night and left to his own devices - flinging the steering wheel down the track. Temper, Temper. It's the naughty corner for you.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso won this race with the steady hand of an expert poker player, a victory that shuffled the pack of a world championship that looks like it will come down to final hand - a historic World Series of Poker or World Poker Type type fight to the finish.
Hamilton was the loser but Mark 'Not A Turkey' (Media Man tag) Webber was handed the get-out-of-jail card, because it was his Red (flag to a) Bull that surged the McLaren driver off the circuit on lap 36 of a fantastic race, yet by God's guiding hand Webber escaped damage to his own car. The devil's Lucifer will have to wait, Webber of course cheating death a few months back with his spectacular flip.
The Englishman could have regained the lead in the championship here but thanks to the errors, now slips into 3rd place behind Alonso, while Webber left Singapore and its Asia Dragons breathing a sigh of relief.
The Australian remains in the lead after snatching 3rd place under the dazzling floodlights, but he is somewhat in the dark as to how he actually got away with it... like a thief in the night. Time is running out for the Brit challenge, with Jenson Button, Hamilton's McLaren team-mate, having to settle for a disappointing 4th.
Even as Hamilton was speaking of getting his "head down" to aim at the 4 remaining races, Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One's commercial rights-holder and king of the world, was raising serious doubts that the new grand prix in Korea will go ahead.
The race track is not even laid yet on a circuit that is not much more than building site. If Korea, scheduled for October 24, doesn't go ahead, that is a key for Hamilton being removed and this world championship could be reduced to a straight fight between Webber VS Alonso - which is why the former's lucky break was so important.
This had all the makings of a boring grand prix, but, then a miracle from the casino, gaming and sports betting gods, how close and how orgasmic it all turned out. The brilliant blood red of Alonso's Ferrari was separated from the dark blue of Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull by just under 3 tenths of a second at the chequered flag, the end of an awesome and exhausting pursuit over 61 laps of the longest grand prix of the season.
Behind them, the culling - dead meat rate was significant: 9 cars failed to finish, the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen lit up into flames 2 laps from the conclusion within sight of his garage on the pit straight. As the Finn fought alone to douse the flames with an extinguisher, the pace of the leaders remained as nutso extreme as it had from the start.
Webber seemed to know had to find a smart strategy to suit, starting from 5 place with the 2 McLarens on the 2nd row of the grid ahead of him and Vettel, his team-mate, alongside Alonso, the pole-sitter.
His opportunity came after 3 laps when the safety car was called out so that the wreckage of Tonio Liuzzi's Force India car could be removed. Webber darted to the pits for his single tyre change, deciding to stop first and then surge to the end - some whale gamble as his team revealed that he had only a half-mile of rubber left on his wheels at the finish. This is on the edge of your seats stuff hey punters.
The McLarens, line astern with Hamilton 3rd and Button 4th, faltered mid-race, their rear tyres shredding on the circuit's devil like asphalt. The like a magic jackpot game, Webber was in with a chance of a podium finish as the McLarens emerged from their pitstops on laps 28 and 29.
But his tyres were wearing fast, while theirs were fresh as daisy's. Another safety car period - allowing Bruno Senna's HRT, mangled into the sidepods of Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber, to be cleared...gave Hamilton the chance to regroup for the massive attack.
He rushed like a rocket down Raffles Boulevard, the wide street that takes its name from the hotel that is Singapore's most famous landmark, just ahead of Webber's Red Bull. But 2 would not go into the 1 space available at the tight, left-hand Turn 7.
Webber bashed the side of Hamilton's car like an Iron-Man - Max Mad blend damaged the McLaren's left rear wheel. That was race over and Hamilton's title ambitions on hold. Hamilton was now stunned mullet. He might have been better off in the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel sinking a stiff Singapore Sling or just playing Cleopatra slots than gazing ruefully at the TV in the corner of the McLaren motorhome endlessly replaying the cruel, crucial moment of impact that had screwed up his evening.
"I don't really understand the feelings I have right now," he said. "I'm not going to blame Mark. I guess I was just unlucky. I had to take that risk. I thought I'd got past him. I braked, turned in and tried to leave enough room for him on the inside - and the next thing I knew I'd got clipped, my tyre was blown, and that was it. As the saying goes, that's motor racing."
This was the 2nd time in successive races that Hamilton has crashed out and the 3rd time in 4 races that he has failed to finish. Contrast that with the professionalism of Alonso, who is timing his run to perfection.
The Spaniard has snatched more points in the past 5 races than any of the 5 drivers in contention for this world championship, winning 3 of them! Hell Yeah!
Alonso was the star of the weekend, driving like the champion rev head he is. There was not a hint of irony as the deadpan Spaniard described the Marina Bay circuit as "special".
Perhaps he has erased memories of being the villain of the 2008 race here when his former Renault team orchestrated his victory by ordering Nelson Piquet Jr to drive into a wall.
There was no such fun and games this time, just flawless skill and speed... a brilliant performance for a man who, unlike Hamilton, suddenly looks like a champion in waiting punters.
Red Bull's 'Number 2' driver Sebastian Vettel continues to not be a lucky as Aussie Webber, casinos downtown or not. Webber seems to have the casinos number, and by the end of the season the switched on punters and commentators say that number is 1. Yes, Webber to be champion of the world.
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*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming.
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