Coulthard scoops seventh in Singapore

A DECENT result awaited David Coulthard at the first ever night race in Singapore which saw him take seventh place after another action-packed 61 laps.

The new, flood-lit track provided the perfect setting for the sport's first race in the dark - an attempt at experimenting with track temperature and evening humidity - which saw one-time champion Fernando Alonso take the winner's trophy ahead of Nico Rosberg for Williams and Hamilton for McLaren.

The city-centre track, which took 18 months to build from scratch, had been frowned upon by many in the sport who felt it would be seen as nothing more than a gimmick but following the overtaking, crashes, pit-lane drama and safety car laps, the cynics were silenced.

Countless penalties were imposed on drivers for refuelling under the safety car, unsafe release in the pit lane and unfair overtaking.

Coulthard provided a few hair-raising moments when he did battle with championship leader Lewis Hamilton for position, managing to keep up with the speed of the McLaren car until pit stops drew the pair in for refuelling.

He looked set to scoop a podium position at one point, racing at the front of the field with Hamilton and Alonso but fell back during pit stops and finally managed to walk off with a respectable seventh - having made up seven places from his starting point of 14th on the grid.

Felippe Massa, championship contender and potential race winner, had spectators on the edge of their seats when he pulled away from his pit stop with his fuel hose still attached, injuring one of his crew.

Having made it to the end of the pit lane, he pulled in to let his mechanics wrangle to hose out of the car and sent him on his way - rejoining in 17th place and kissing goodbye to any points.

Coulthard then became involved in a similar incident when his pit crew released him early from his stop before the refuelling was complete but the team managed to send him on his way in seconds.

A technician who was knocked over during the incident damaged his ankle ligaments and burned his thumb.

Coulthard said afterwards: "That was my second points finish this year, so I've got to be happy with today's result. As far as the second pit stop went, the guys have been great this year and the work that they did on Saturday morning to get my car out so I could do a run was quite remarkable, so I'm not going to point any fingers at them. It's just one of those things. There was a misunderstanding between some of the guys and I go when the lollipop comes up, but these things happen. Thankfully we got some points today. It was incredibly bumpy out there, you can't see the braking down into Turn Seven and it was as hot as hell."

Hamilton is now seven points ahead of Massa in the championship and only needs to finish second in the final three races in order to lift the title.