Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vettel aims at Lewis with Singapore sling



Vettel aims at Lewis with Singapore sling

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Vettel aims at Lewis with Singapore sling

Sebastian Vettel is under growing pressure to slash Lewis Hamilton’s championship lead at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix – and erase Ferrari’s painful memories from last year in the process.

Mercedes normally struggle at the steamy Marina Bay Circuit, but in 2017 Hamilton won from fifth on a rain-soaked grid after a first-lap shunt scuppered both Ferraris and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

Ferrari and Vettel are still smarting after Hamilton won at Italy’s Monza 10 days ago, despite the Marinello team locking out the front row at their home grand prix.

Vettel’s first-lap spin after contact with Hamilton enabled the Englishman to extend his lead in the drivers’ standings to 30 points and the German vowed to bounce straight back in Singapore, where he has won a record four times.

“For sure it’s a disappointment right now,” Vettel said after the race. “But I am turning the page and focusing on Singapore – I like the place and I am happy to go there.”

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff warned this week that Ferrari and Red Bull would have the edge on Mercedes on the tight, twisting street circuit. But with rain forecast again this week, anything could happen.

“Singapore has features that we’ve struggled with in the past,” Wolff said.

“The short straights, the slow, tight corners and the bumpy surface all make the Marina Bay Street Circuit one of the trickiest for us.

“On paper, the track should favour the Ferraris, but the championship fight is so close that predictions are almost meaningless.”

Vettel (pictured, AFP) said he was not worried about the gap to Hamilton growing to 30 points with seven races remaining, and is relishing the chance to pounce on one of his favourite tracks.

“I think we have the pace,” the four-time world champion said. “The points sound a lot, but actually it doesn’t take a long time to get them down.”

Red Bull have suffered a lean season but will fancy their chances of picking up a second 2018 win to follow Daniel Ricciardo’s triumph at Monaco’s similarly twisty street circuit.

‘Win the damn thing’

The Austrian team have not won in hot, humid Singapore since 2013, when Vettel was behind the wheel, but Ricciardo has remarkably finished second in each of the past three years.

“It’s a place where I have good races and finish pretty strong,” said Ricciardo. “I’ve had four podiums and three second places in a row there, so it’s about time I win the damn thing.”

Verstappen echoed his team-mate’s optimism. “I think the whole team is looking forward to Singapore because we know we have a real chance to have a good result there,” said the Dutchman.

“The race has been a strong one for us in the past and I think we should be able to challenge for a podium.”

Off the track, much attention will focus on Kimi Raikkonen after Ferrari announced that the former world champion would be replaced by Monaco’s Charles Leclerc, 20, next year.

More than 20,000 fans had signed an online petition urging Ferrari to stick with the veteran Finn, who will now join Sauber, for one more season at least.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the