Ferrari driver wins eventful race to go past legendary Brazilian's tally of 41 Grand Prix wins
Singapore: Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel put in a controlled drive yesterday to win an eventful Singapore Grand Prix. The German crossed the line 1.4 seconds ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo with teammate Kimi Raikkonen completing the podium a further 15.6 seconds behind.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel celebrates on the podium after winning the Singapore GP at the Marina Bay Street Circuit yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
World championship leader Lewis Hamilton failed to finish, his first retirement since last year's Belgian Grand Prix. Hamilton's teammate Nico Rosberg trailed home a mammoth 24.7 seconds behind Vettel, capping a weekend of struggle for Mercedes.
Yesterday's win was Vettel's third this season and 42nd of his career, moving him past the late, great Ayrton Senna's tally of 41 wins. He is now third in the list of drivers with the most Grand Prix wins, behind Frenchman Alain Prost and boyhood hero Michael Schumacher.
“It was pretty intense, lots of pressure from behind,” Vettel, who now has four wins around Singapore, said on the podium. “Around here it's not so easy to overtake, so I was using that and from then at some point chipping away and trying to control the gap. Fortunately that worked. It's obviously a great day, we had a really great weekend.”
Following yesterday's win, Vettel now trails Rosberg by just eight points in the championship standings in third. Hamilton, who went into the weekend with a massive 53-point cushion over Rosberg, still leads his teammate by a narrower, albeit still comfortable, margin of 41 points.
Vettel had broken Mercedes' stranglehold on qualifying by storming to pole position on Saturday and the German kept his lead ahead of Ricciardo and Raikkonen at the start. He straight away opened a gap to his pursuers, his drive reminiscent of the controlled way in which he won so many races for Red Bull.
Ricciardo closed in on him later in the race but Vettel had enough in hand to resist the Australian. In the end, he survived two safety car periods, one sparked by a spectator walking on the track, and led every lap to the finish.
Meanwhile, Force India's Sergio Perez was seventh while teammate Nico Hulkenberg's race ended in the barriers after the German collided with Felipe Massa. Hulkenberg was deemed responsible for the accident by stewards and will drop three places on the grid at the next race in Japan.