Spellbinding. Brilliant. Fantastic. Outstanding. Exquisite. I could go on all day with superlatives for Sebastian Vettel’s Singapore weekend. He stormed to pole position on Saturday by nearly half a second from 2nd placed Daniel Ricciardo and was a whopping 0.8 tenths ahead of his own team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Vettel came into Singapore off the back of a strong run to second place in front of the Tifosi in Italy, and expectations were high since Ferrari believed the Singapore track would play to the car’s strengths. They weren’t wrong. What they couldn’t have predicted though was the poor pace the long dominant Mercedes team had all weekend long. Seeing Hamilton and Rosberg struggle in free practice simply must have spurred Vettel on.
Come Sunday afternoon Vettel led the race from start to finish, never once headed, and he only just missed out on fastest lap and a grand chelem to friendly nemesis Ricciardo. Each time the Honey Badger looked to creep closer four-time champ, Vettel would simply put his foot down and hammer in a lap that would tame the Red Bull. At one point Vettel set a lap time two seconds faster than anything Ricciardo could throw at him, perhaps proving just how fast he could have gone pedal to the metal. He paced himself and his car to sheer perfection despite two safety car periods interrupting the flow of the race. Raikkonen finished over 17 seconds down the road and never once looked capable of matching Vettel’s pace. The result means the German has now won half of all the Singapore Grand Prix to have ever taken place.
Vettel was rewarded for such a brilliant drive with a place in the history books ahead of the late Ayrton Senna; he now sits on 42 career wins to Senna’s 41. The cherry on Vettel’s cake was matching idol Michael Schumacher. Both Germans have scored three wins in their maiden Ferrari seasons, but you can bet Vettel will be looking to go one better than the seven time world champion before the end of 2015.
While Vettel was the clear choice for Top Dog, we couldn’t ignore the excellent drives from both Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. Ricciardo kept Vettel within arms reach all weekend and grabbed his best result of the season so far. Verstappen proved once again why he’s a future world champion, perhaps in the very near future, with another fighting performance after stalling on the grid. At one point the young Dutchman was a lap down on the entire field but he stormed through the pack to grab 8th place and four more world championship points. We aren’t sure Carlos Sainz Jr will agree with us though!