SINGAPORE - It was a good race for Sebastien Vettel and Ferrari. After winning the top grid position, Vettel led the race from pole to podium. The Mercedes teams were not quite on their optimum pace with some signs of struggle with tires on the multi-corner track that did not benefit from the high-speed silver arrows. In fact, the ever-reliable Benz of Nico Rosberg wasn’t causing his first DNF of the season. The day also proved good for Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull who turned in their finest performance of the season.
Vettel charged from the pole and showed the prowess of the Ferrari as he was 3 seconds ahead of Ricciardo’s Red Bull after the first lap, increasing it to 5.3 sec in the opening laps. Ricciardo appeared to be gaining on Vettel until contact between Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenburg brought out the safety car allowing all the leaders to pit for tires and fuel. Any possible tire advantage that Red Bull had was lost. Vettel appeared to take the stint after the restart easy, possibly realizing the tire advantage of the Red Bulls. However, after the safety car again came out due to a spectator on the track, Vettel had a clear 21-lap run to the checkered flag. Kimi Raikkonen took the final spot on the podium for Ferrari.
After the race, Vettel commented “I think Daniel had a very good race, looking after his tires very well, which made it a bit tactical towards the end with the stints. Second stint I was dictating the pace. Obviously around here it's not so easy to overtake, so I was using that. And from then, at some point, chipping away, trying to control the gap. Fortunately that worked. It's obviously a great day; we had a really great weekend, thanks to the team.”
The race results have moved Vettel within 51 points of Lewis Hamilton and 7 points off number 2, Nico Rosberg. "If we have more weekends like this, then yes," said 28-year-old German Vettel when asked if Ferrari can take the fight to Mercedes in the remaining six races. "All we have to do is look after ourselves, maximum attack and then what they do is not in our hands. “We have a small chance, maybe we can make the impossible possible, and we will definitely go for it."
In other F1 news, it is rumored that Jensen Button will announce his retirement at the next race in Suzuka. After 16 years, a F1 Championship, 15 race wins and 50 podium finishes, Button will reportedly drive in the World Endurance Championship and host the revamped Top Gear.