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

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Oz lauds Kingdom’s passage of money laundering laws

    In a press release published by the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh on Monday, the country applauded Cambodia’s stance on transnational crimes as well as its promulgation of an anti-money laundering law and a law on combating proliferation financing. The praise came after King

  • Lotus face masks designed to cover globe

    A French designer in Cambodia has produced ecological face masks from lotus fibre to supply local and international markets with an eye on preserving ancestral techniques and supporting Cambodian women in rural communities. During a trip to Asia, Awen Delaval, an eco-friendly fashion designer, was

  • Accused not treated equally, says CCHR

    The Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has urged the Court of Appeal to do more to ensure that an accused’s right to a fair trial is fully respected. In a bulletin released on Monday, the CCHR said it had monitored 273 cases at the

  • Planning ministry hands out cash to 420,000 poor families in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Planning has identified 20,000 more poor families in the country, bringing the total to over 580,000, while over 420,000 of them have received the government’s cash assistance. In the meantime, many social security cards from families not deemed to be poor have been revoked.

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting