Vettel takes Singapore Grand Prix in famous Ferrari one-two!

22-09-2019 15:12 | Updated: 22-09-2019 15:22
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
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Vettel takes Singapore Grand Prix in famous Ferrari one-two!

Sebastian Vettel has won his first Grand Prix of the season in Singapore, as the German spear-headed a Ferrari one-two as pole-sitter Charles Leclerc finished just behind at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, with Lewis Hamilton dropping to fourth place.

It was Ferrari's first one-two since Hungary 2017, the first time Ferrari have won three races on the spin since 2008 and Vettel's first win since the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, as Mercedes couldn't make it onto the podium with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing star Max Verstappen completing the podium.

Vettel took the lead via an undercut that put him ahead of Leclerc, with Mercedes' call to leave Hamilton out longer ultimately costing the five-time champion the second place he was in before the stop.

In the midfield, Lando Norris took P7, with Nico Hülkenberg impressively finishing ninth despite suffering damage and pitting on the first lap as three cars retired in the duration of the Grand Prix, forcing as many Safety Cars.

How it happened

Leclerc got away very well as the top six stayed unshuffled coming out of T1. In midfield, however, there was plenty of contact. in the first two corners. George Russell got away well but got tagged by the charging Daniel Ricciardo as Romain Grosjean got forced wide of the opening chicane. Heading into turn three, Carlos Sainz took the racing line but didn't see the Renault of Nico Hülkenberg on the apex. Double punctures and promising positions compromised for both drivers

After 21 laps, Leclerc came in for his sole pitstop, with Hamilton staying out for longer. Much to his disappointment, Leclerc came out behind Vettel, with the German having come in a few laps before, completing an undercut on his teammate. Hamilton stayed out for much longer, meaning when he did come in, he dropped all the way down to fourth, pushing Verstappen into the podium places behind the Ferrari one-two.

Safety Car galore

Just over halfway through the race, the seemingly inevitable Safety Car was deployed, as it has always done in Singapore. George Russell passed Grosjean but the Frenchman didn't yield, running out of room and taking out the rookie as his Williams rammed the wall. It was Williams' first DNF of the season, with them being the only team yet to have a car retire in 2019.

The Safety Car came back in on lap 40, meaning Vettel had 21 laps to hang on to the lead from Leclerc and Verstappen behind. His job was made a bit easier when Sergio Pérez' Racing Point came to a halt with mechanical problems, causing another Safety Car as he stopped on the back straight.

We barely got racing again before the third Safety Car was deployed, this time for a collision between Kimi Raikkonen and Daniil Kvyat. The Russian sent it down the inside in a late move down the main straight, with Raikkonen turning into the corner without seeing him. They clashed and Kimi had to retire as his suspension broke.

Vettel cleverly starting going to corners before the finish line when the Safety Car was called back in, catching Leclerc napping a bit as he created some daylight. He got out of DRS and finally took his first win of the season.

A few places back, Verstappen had to defend for his life to keep Hamilton off the third step of the podium but successfully did so, driving defensive lines for three full laps as the W10 was right up his gearbox. Another podium for Verstappen and no podium for Mercedes, which is a rarity these days.

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