Ted Kravitz - the Singapore Grand Prix from the pit lane
The Mole welcomes back BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz to the blog to give his inside line on the Singapore Grand Prix.
The last few laps of the Singapore Grand Prix were agony for Ross Brawn and his engineers on the pit wall. As Lewis Hamilton crossed the finish line, they sat, expressionless, for a full 30 seconds until Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello crossed the line fifth and sixth, with next-to-no brakes. Only then did anyone say a word.
Strangely enough, telemetry sensors were reporting that the wear was acceptable, but the amount of carbon dust coming out of the front wheel spinners told a different story.
The Brawn team knew from first practice that their Brembo brakes were an issue. They were running very hot, so much so that the rear wheel fairings had to be removed to aid cooling.
It was a mark of how seldom Brawn feels the need to talk to Button during the race that he had to identify himself on the radio before telling his driver to bring the car home.
Button would have understood the subtext of that soothing voice: Brawn would be issuing the same instruction to Barrichello behind him, so Button knew he could back off and would not be challenged by his team-mate.
Barrichello may look back on Singapore as the race where his championship challenge ended. When he came in for his second stop, he couldn't engage neutral on the gearbox.
So Barrichello kept it in first while on the clutch in the pit box, and tried to exit without over-torquing the gearbox. Possibly too cautious, he stalled, and lost just under five seconds while the mechanics restarted the engine.
Button beat him out of the pits by a little more than that five seconds, so while it might not turn out to be crucial in the championship, the stalled pit stop did hand back one place (and crucially some momentum) to Button as they go to Suzuka.
Observing Ross Brawn through the second half of the season, one gets the impression there is much more pressure on him now it is his name above the door.
During his time at Ferrari he always spoke about how he felt protected by the organisation headed by Jean Todt and Luca di Montezemolo, which left him to get on with his job of technically directing the team. Now he has to do both jobs, and while you'll never be able to tell it from our interviews, Brawn is feeling just as much pressure as his drivers.
We wrote about the idea of Kimi Raikkonen moving back to McLaren on this website at the European Grand Prix, and I examined the likelihood in this column back after Belgium a week later. So remember where you read it first!
The rumour was Ferrari lawyer Henry Peter was in Singapore to hammer out a contract settlement with Raikkonen's management team, but I didn't see him in the paddock, so I can't confirm that. Not that he'd be so obvious as to do that deal in the paddock, of course.
There are a couple of things that I'd expect might be problematic if Raikkonen does 'go home' to McLaren.
First, he would be back under the command of their massive marketing company, and will be obliged to do all the appearances expected of a McLaren driver. The same ones he couldn't wait to get away from when he joined Ferrari.
And second, I wouldn't expect Lewis Hamilton would like having Raikkonen as a team-mate one bit.
Since Raikkonen left, McLaren has become Hamilton's team. But McLaren still hold Kimi in such high regard, that there could be a natural re-focusing on Raikkonen.
The problem comes if both win races. If this year's impressive development is anything to go by, McLaren should have the fastest car in F1 next year.
Could we see a repeat of 2007 with both McLaren drivers going for the title, both winning races but then losing the championship to someone else? To Fernando Alonso in a Ferrari, perhaps?
Mark Webber has a point when he argues that the rules about driving off the track and gaining an advantage are not being applied consistently.
Webber was forced wide by Alonso, so the Australian drove over the kerb and outside the circuit white line to avoid a collision.
I understand race director Charlie Whiting tells the drivers that if they put all four wheels off the circuit to gain or maintain a position, they have to give that place back or expect a penalty.
Webber highlighted Kimi Raikkonen's trip off the circuit on the first lap of the Belgian Grand Prix, which undoubtedly maintained him second place, but went unpunished.
Whiting will doubtless listen to Webber's viewpoint, but it's largely academic for Mark, whose race - and championship challenge - was ended by a brake disc failure.
I asked BMW team boss Mario Theissen if his engineers had run Nick Heidfeld underweight in qualifying deliberately to gain an advantage. His reply was: "If we'd done it deliberately, we wouldn't have told anyone about it."
To explain what happened: When Heidfeld's car came back from post qualifying scrutineering, BMW engineers weighed it and found it lighter than they expected.
Kubica can claim one of Singapore's stellar drives for his battle to eighth place
They knew how much fuel they had put in and how much Nick had consumed, so BMW worked out that their zero fuel weight was less than the regulation 605kg.
On closer examination, they found that mechanics had mistakenly fitted ballast blocks that were too light.
What BMW could have done was to knowingly do the race with a car that was capable of being underweight at a certain time - namely at the end of a stint when the fuel was low.
At the final pit stop they would then put more fuel in than was necessary to do the last stint, but was enough to keep them over the weight limit.
Or Heidfeld could have drunk a few kilos of water, or worn heavy boots, that sort of thing.
Instead they very honestly pulled the car out of parc fermé, replaced the ballast to make the zero fuel weight and took the opportunity to use a ninth engine, becoming first team to do so this season.
In the other car, Robert Kubica drove his socks off for, as he described it, the most difficult point he has ever earned in his life. It was a massively impressive drive, right up there with Alonso's run to the podium.
Renault's new ING-free team clothes and race suits arrive in Japan this week. The only benefit of the orange title sponsor pulling out is that the car should end up looking much more colour-co-ordinated.
From the intense shockwaves that ran through the team all weekend, Alonso emerged to drive a fantastic race to score Renault's first podium of the season.
I got the feeling Alonso actually fed off the negativity that was directed Renault's way and he responded by picking up the team, putting it on his shoulders and driving the wheels off the car all weekend.
It now looks all but certain that Kubica will replace Alonso, which is a massive result for the beleaguered company. In Kubica, Renault have someone of Alonso's quality who is capable of winning races and scoring consistent points right from the start. He is someone around whom they can re-build their team.