Vettel Finally Did It! Wins Singapore GP After 22 Race
Sebastian Vettel finally claimed the victory in the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix, his first win in more than a year and after 22 races. His epic win came after the German driver denied the top spot to his teammate Charles Leclerc, who had to settle for the 2nd spot. Max Verstappen took the final spot on the podium for the Red Bull.
During the early stages of the race, we saw the front-runners in desperation to save tyres. This saw Williams setting the times during that phase. It was down because the top teams wanted a gap so that they could make a pit stop and drop out in clean air. Vettel, who was running third at that time behind Hamilton and Leclerc, was the first to pit.
Leclerc pitted a lap later and came out behind his teammate. He was clearly not pleased with how the strategy had worked out but followed the team-orders and followed his teammate to secure Ferrari a one-two finish – something that was absolutely not expected from Ferrari in Singapore.
But Vettel didn’t have it all easy as it may seem. When he came into the pits, Vettel was a shy over 3 seconds behind Leclerc. He made up that entire gap in a single lap before Leclerc pitted. For Ferrari, the idea to pit Vettel first was to lure Mercedes into pitting earlier than they would have wanted.
The midfield was a treat to look at and Antonio Giovinazzi was at the centre of the spotlight. With the top-order pitted, Antonio was actually leading for a number of laps ahead of Pierre Gasly and Daniel Ricciardo and that was an interesting phase of the race to watch.
With Ferraris at the front, Verstappen, both Mercedes’, Alex Albon, Lando Norris topped the midfield with some exceptional drive, followed by Gasly, Nico Hulkenberg and Giovinazzi.
The Safety Cars made a number of appearances during this race, called for crashes of George Russell and Kimi Raikkonen, and for a DNF for Sergio Perez. This helped Vettel to manage his tyres and cross the line to win his fifth Singapore Grand Prix. Leclerc followed him up by a 2.6 seconds gap, with Verstappen completing the podium.
Hamilton was undercut during the pit stop by Verstappen and thus, could only manage a fourth. His teammate, Valtteri Bottas finished fifth, after he was told to back off the pace so Hamilton could pit and rejoin ahead. Red Bull’s Alexander Albon came sixth and Lando Norris took seventh for McLaren.
Pierre Gasly ended up eighth, as Hulkenberg and Giovinazzi, completing the top 10.
But at the end, it was Ferrari who scored their first one-two of the season – and the first one-two ever in Singapore and that too so convincingly at a track which nobody expected them to be so competitive at. The SF90 has been heavily upgraded, it takes on corners and look after its tyres and go down the straights. Does this mean we’ll be watching out for a closer Ferrari-Mercedes-Red Bull battle and is it the return of Vettel as a regular winner?