Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff says that Lewis Hamilton's Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix victory "feels significant" with his team finally understanding their 2018 vehicle.
This race had represented a chance for Vettel to eat into a championship lead that has widened due to on-track errors in Hungary, Germany and Italy, but the German said there was collective fault for this misstep.
"For me and I'm not saying this lightly, it was the best lap I've ever seen in a Formula 1 vehicle".
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Vettel is also seeking a fifth world title and while he remains a huge threat in a very competitive auto, the German was disappointed not to have been able to capitalise on the dominance Ferrari had over their rivals in practise.
The next round is in Sochi, Russia on September 30, where Hamilton has won twice before and Mercedes all four races since it was added to the Formula One calendar in 2014. They calmed him down by reiterating, "It's a long race", - that is, there would be plenty of time to make a push for that P2. That felt like the longest race of my life, so I am glad it is over. I'm glad it's over. "I feel super blessed". Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull finished sixth after starting from the same position while Fernando Alonso improved to seventh in the McLaren after starting 11th.
In qualifying yesterday. Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were wary of Ferrari's straight-line speed going into this race weekend, and that brilliant lap that secured him pole position was just a touch unexpected, particularly after last year's P5 start.
"I think it was a chess game today". "These guys were moving around. Once I got clear of them I was able to put the pedal down and pull away".
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But the four-time world champion should not give up hope and here are the ways he can prevail at the Marina Bay Circuit.
Charles Leclerc had a disappointing weekend up as far as race day, and then managed to impress in his Sauber. I couldn't really slow down. "Definitely didn't expect to come to Singapore with 10 points more", he said.
"I don't think there was a moment in the lap that was wide or any problems". "As you go through the year, learn more and more about the vehicle". "I think today, with the way we raced, we didn't have a chance. So I'll be staying the same".
It would nearly certainly give up hope of gaining track position at the time, but it would allow him a run at Hamilton on fresher tyres at the end of the race.
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Time is running out for Vettel, who realistically has to win in Russian Federation in two weeks' time if he is to get back into title contention.