Lewis Hamilton streets ahead in title race after victory in Singapore

16 September, 2018, 23:28 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • Formula One World Championship

Going into the meeting this was supposed to be Ferrari's race.

Laying down the laps under the lights at the Marina Bay circuit, Hamilton caught Vettel on the approach to Turn 14.

Working in the Ferrari driver's favor was that Bottas in fourth place was struggling badly to wade through lapped traffic, providing him a buffer with which to manage his pace.

This is Vettel's best chance.

In the first session of the day, Red Bull enjoyed a welcome return to the top of the timesheets after a few quiet races with Ricciardo and Verstappen securing a one-two for the team in the baking afternoon heat. Yet given Ferrari's form in Singapore it was still a win against the odds.

"For us it was a bit of a messy qualifying", he said.

"It was really special, I don't think there was a bad moment in the lap, it was just flawless", he added. "So it was really quite a monumental moment for us as a team".

Considering Vettel makes more mistakes than Hamilton, a 40-point gap looks a huge advantage with only six races left. I mean taking the lap times out, we were more comfortable this morning with a hotter track, which is a bit weird. "There has been a slow improvement of our performance", he said. "It was a tough race, we got to the end but there's no celebrations today".


Asked what Mercedes is doing better than his Ferrari team, Sebastian Vettel chose not to go into detail. They still have the quicker vehicle yet are failing to exploit it and the German is becoming frustrated as the title looks to be slipping away.

Pole in 2017 was set by Sebastian Vettel - he took third place this time around - with a 1:39.491 but such is the improvement between years that this time would have seen him qualify P15 in 2018. He emerged behind a Force India and had fitted the ultrasoft tyres.

"It was a great qualifying", said Verstappen, the youngest driver to win an F1 race when he was 18.

"With the way we raced we didn't have a chance". It's largely due to how we made a decision to race and which tyres for how many laps. We are again too late.

If he can pit before Hamilton he can try and undercut the Briton by doing a fast outlap on fresh tyres which could allow him to get ahead when Mercedes do eventually pit his title rival.

"I think it's very close". "Just disappointing we didn't get the maximum out of our package. So that's the goal".

Vettel got past Verstappen before the safety auto emerged and slotted in behind Hamilton, but his race unravelled when the German pitted first on the 14th lap but got stuck in traffic and overtaken by the Dutchman when he made his stop for fresh tyres.

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