Updated: Feb 28
Written by Thomas Bergamo, Edited by Harshi Vashee
The last time Formula One visited Marina Bay, we likely witnessed one of the most beautiful races of the 2019 season: from a super Charles Leclerc in qualifying, to Sebastian Vettel’s race masterclass. But let’s start from the beginning.
Vettel came out of Monza with a poor 13th place while his teammate had won. Ferrari also had relegated him to the role of second driver due to his poor performance compared to Leclerc. After Italy, however, F1 arrived at one of the German’s favourite tracks: Singapore. Throughout his career, Sebastian Vettel has claimed four victories and four poles at the famous night race.
Vettel immediately showed his potential and his confidence with the track. In qualifying, Vettel brought his car to the third position, just behind Charles Leclerc (who took pole position) and Lewis Hamilton. At the start of the GP, Vettel tried to take second position, but Lewis immediately closed the door.
Behind Seb, a strong Max Verstappen was closing in on him. So Ferrari decided to take an important decision: stop Seb before Max and try to take Lewis’ position through the undercut. This payed of beautifully for the German who, once Hamilton had stopped one lap later, emerged ahead of the Brit. However, he was now also ahead of his teammate – much to the dismay of the young Monegasque – due to the effectiveness of the undercut.
Seb showed his real potential and his experience on his vital outlap, gaining around three seconds. Both Leclerc and Hamilton exited behind Vettel with Leclerc being furious with the team. He also asked to give him the position back, but his teammate was far from him. A fantastic overtake from Vettel on Gasly showed how much he wanted to win that race.
While he was escaping from Charles, the safety car was deployed. For Seb that event meant restarting all. Despite this, after some laps, when the safety car entered into the pits, Seb gained from Charles around two seconds, and he was able to manage the gap until the end.
Every lap, every kilometer, he was closer to his redemption, to close his pain circle, beginning with the non-victory in Canada. Seb crossed the line for the last time, then he let himself go with joy.
“You’ve won the Singapore Grand Prix – says his engineer, Riccardo Adami – you’re the lion of Singapore, These are five for the car number five”. After a bit of time, Seb answered with his typical grazie ragazzi.