F1: Vettel is back!
While Mercedes and Red Bull were the top contenders in Singapore hopeful of fighting for the spoils, it was the Prancing Horse that drove home the trophy.
The four-time world champion ended his more than a year drought by winning at the Marina Bay. Sebastian Vettel is the man of the moment, and he’s enjoying this limelight to the fullest. And Ferrari couldn’t have been happier.
It was Vettel’s 53rd career victory and first since last summer’s Belgian Grand Prix. It was also his 52nd podium for Ferrari, which ties him with Kimi Raikkonen’s career total, and he now trails only Rubens Barrichello (55) and Michael Schumacher (116).
A fifth win in Singapore is the first time he’s ever won at a single venue five times in his career. Only four different drivers have won this race since it was first held in 2008.
Ferrari became the first team ever to score a one-two finish in Singapore. But perhaps more importantly for the team, it’s the first time in more than a decade they’ve won three races in a row.
Vettel’s victory followed Charles Leclerc’s successes at Spa and Monza. The last time Ferrari won three or more races in a row was in 2008, when Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa shared wins in Malaysia, Bahrain, Spain and Turkey.
Max Verstappen joined Vettel and Leclerc on the rostrum, resulting in only the second Mercedes-free podium of the season, the other having occurred in Hockenheim.
The slow pace in the opening laps of the race allowed the midfield runners to stay in touch with the leaders. As a result, for the first time in over four years a lap was led by a driver in a car other than a Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull.
According to Motorsports.com, the average F1 crew takes about 3.0 seconds to change the tires. The fastest tire-change record was broken in 2016 when Massa's pit crew changed the tires in a record 1.92 seconds. They beat Red Bull who had held the record at 2.05 seconds.