McLaren's Lewis Hamilton took his second win of the season at the Singapore Grand Prix as Brawn GP's Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, despite finishing outside of the podium, gained enough points to firm up their chances at the driver's championship.
Sitting on pole, Hamilton was in perfect position as he dominated the field almost right to the finish line, briefly losing the lead to Renault's Fernando Alonso during a pit stop. Hamilton's rapid pace throughout the race belied a brief scare with his Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), prompting him to switch it off early in the race only to turn it back on later.
"It was a very, very tough race. I think I can speak for all of us. The conditions made it very tough, but generally the race was pretty straightforward for me," Hamilton said in the televised post-race press conference. "I felt myself that I nicely controlled the race."
Toyota's Timo Glock took second place, giving the Japanese team its best finish for the season.
Fresh out of the so-called "crashgate" controversy, Alonso went about his business quietly and proved his worth as two-time world champion when he finished third ahead of the hard charging Sebastial Vettel of Red Bull Racing.
"It (the race) was fantastic obviously and the result is great for us to be in the first podium of the season," Alonso said.
Vettel was running for a chance at the podium but a penalty for speeding in the pit lane cost him precious time. Compounding Vettel's trouble was the track's infamous kerbs damaging his car's diffuser. Vettel is now 25 points behind Button with 30 more still to be made in the next three races.
"I wasn't in a rush and can't really explain why I got caught--it was maybe an electronics issue," Vettel told BBC Sport. "With that penalty and the damage to my car by the end--it was falling apart!--fourth place was the best we could do."
Button and Barrichello started the race in the middle of the pack but the safety car period after a crash between Force India's Adrian Sutil and BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld on lap 21 allowed them to climb their way up..
Wrapping up the points finishers were McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen, and BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica.
Button now stands a real chance of winning the driver's championship at next weekend's race in Japan if he finishes at least five points ahead of Barrichello, who is now 15 points behind the Briton.