Scuderia Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel saw the points gap between himself and title rival Lewis Hamilton grow over the weekend after a disappointing showing at the Singapore Grand Prix. Hamilton drove his Mercedes-AMG F1 car to an easy win at Singapore after securing pole position with a blistering Qualifying lap leading up to the race, while Vettel finished third, behind Red Bull F1 driver Max Verstappen.
Every driver in the top six at the Singapore Grand Prix finished in the same position in which they qualified. Vettel made a daring pass on Verstappen shortly after the green flag dropped to assume second place on lap one, but he was the first of the race’s frontrunners to pit for fresh tires, and when Verstappen stopped for new rubber several laps later, he got back out on track just ahead of the German Ferrari driver. Later in the race, it looked for awhile as though Vettel might make a play to get around Verstappen once more, but his second set of tires ran short on grip before he could mount a successful offense.
Likewise, Sebastian Vettel’s teammate Kimi Räikkönen, who started and finished the race in fifth place, closed the gap with Valtteri Bottas in the late stages of the race and appeared poised to strike, but the right opportunity never presented itself. He finished just ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in sixth.
As Lewis Hamilton is now 40 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the Formula One World Championship standings, with just six races left in the series, it’s looking increasingly less likely that Vettel will be able to make an effective play for the drivers’ title. Were Vettel to win each of the remaining races, Hamilton could place as high as second at each event and Vettel would just edge him out for the championship. Unfortunately for Ferrari, Hamilton has had a relatively faultless race streak, winning four of the last five races and finishing second in the other.
“I think overall we were not fast enough,” Vettel said during the post-race press conference at Singapore. “We didn’t have the pace in the race. But also I think we tried to be aggressive in the beginning and obviously it didn’t work out. After that I think I had a different race from the other guys, on a different tire, and I wasn’t very convinced that we could make it to the end, but pitting wasn’t an option because you lose too much time in the pit stop. So we just focused on making it home.”