Singapore GP: Sebastian Vettel beats angry Charles Leclerc to end F1 win drought
Vettel celebrates first win in 392 days; But Leclerc unhappy with Ferrari after pit strategy; Hamilton fourth as Verstappen completes podium; Three Safety Cars and plenty of collisions at Marina Bay
Sebastian Vettel won his first F1 race in over a year for Ferrari after beating an unhappy Charles Leclerc at the Singapore GP, with Lewis Hamilton only fourth.
Vettel started third under the lights but jumped ahead of his team-mate and Hamilton after Ferrari pitted him first – a decision which Leclerc questioned as the pole-sitter was denied a third straight victory.
Vettel then held Leclerc at bay and controlled a race which included three Safety Cars, and got to celebrate a first victory since August 2018’s Belgian GP.
Ferrari, meanwhile, backed up their surprise qualifying performance with an impressive one-two to inflict another defeat on Mercedes – who have never previously had three races without a win in the hybrid era.
Like Leclerc, Hamilton also fell back because of pit-stop strategy.
The championship leader appeared primed to attack Leclerc in the early stages but Mercedes kept Hamilton out while his rivals pitted, and after a lengthy stint he emerged behind Max Verstappen and the Ferraris.
Hamilton couldn’t make up places around the narrow streets and finished fourth – but he was a place ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas so extends his title lead to 65 points with six races remaining.
Red Bull celebrated a podium through Verstappen although never looked to have the pace to challenge for the victory, while Alex Albon was sixth ahead of the impressive Lando Norris in the McLaren.
Singapore GP Result
1) Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
2) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
3) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
4) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
5) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
6) Alex Albon, Red Bull
7) Lando Norris, McLaren
8) Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso
9) Nico Hulkenberg, Renault
10) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo