Singapore GP review: Vettel awesome again – but does Webber need to go?

Sebastian Vettel cruised to another easy victory at this afternoon’s Singapore Grand Prix, enjoying a drama-free night at the Marina Bay Circuit en route to his ninth race win of the season. He’ll have to hang on at least another two weeks to claim his second world championship, though, after Jenson Button continued his strong form to roll home in second. Mark Webber made up for yet another terrible start (remember, Marko, green = go) to stick it on the final step of the podium, with Fernando Alonso 15 seconds behind him. Lewis Hamilton should be happy with his sixth place finish after a botched move on Felipe Massa saw him lose his front wing and earn himself a drive-through penalty, while Paul Di Resta, Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil, Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez also snatched some points.

So, that massive bottle of champagne goes back on ice for a fortnight. But despite the anti-climax, the Vettel camp can at least rest assured that, with a 124 point lead at the top, a decent weekend at Suzuka will get that second successive title in the bag.

But what about the other Red Bull driver – the guy driving essentially the exact same car as the world championship leader? The guy who’s yet to win a single race this season? The guy who’s finished in a higher position than he’s qualified just four times so far this year? Should Red Bull sack Mark Webber?

Considering both Seb and Marko have got the same benefits at their disposal, we think it’s a fair enough question. Rather than being the deadly partnership they so often looked like last season, right now the two Red Bull drivers are reminiscent of an ’80s TV hotshot cop and his bumbling sidekick – all Marko needs is a moronic catchphrase and a rubbish suit.

We suppose it all boils down to whether or not you buy into the idea that Seb’s some sort of adrenaline-fuelled superhero – that the Red Bull is only just as good as the McLaren and the Ferrari and that, without Vettel, it’d be a much more even season. We’re convinced up to a point – the lad’s clearly been in a class of his own this year.

But in scoring four fastest laps so far in 2011 (more than anyone else), Marko has sort of shot himself in the foot. He’s shown that he knows how to get the best out of that RB7 in terms of raw pace, but, now sitting fourth in the championship, there’s clearly a lot lacking from his game at the moment. He’s established that he’s one of the worst starters on the grid, he’s lost some cheap places to McLarens and Ferraris recently and, aside from that scythe-like performance in China (when he started 18th and finished 3rd), he’s not done a lot in the way of passing.

He’s already confirmed as a Red Bull driver for 2012, but if we were Christian Horner, we’d be taking a panicky look at that contract’s small print…

What’s your view? Has Webber lost it or is he simply paling in comparison to a man who’s at the absolute top of his game?

Here’s how they finished in Singapore:

1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Jenson Button
3. Mark Webber
4. Fernando Alonso
5. Lewis Hamilton
6. Paul Di Resta
7. Nico Rosberg
8. Adrian Sutil
9. Felipe Massa
10. Sergio Perez
11. Pastor Maldonado
12. Sebastien Buemi
13. Rubens Barrichello
14. Kamui Kobayashi
15. Bruno Senna
16. Heikki Kovalainen
17. Vitaly Petrov
18. Jerome d’Ambrosio
19. Daniel Ricciardo
20. Vitantonio Liuzzi
21. Jaime Alguersuari DNF
22. Jarno Trulli DNF
23. Michael Schumacher DNF
24. Timo Glock DNF

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