Vettel flawless in Singapore GP
Singapore (Sports Network) - Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull took another big step towards claiming his fourth consecutive Formula One world championship by winning Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix in dominating fashion.
Vettel started on the pole and led all 61 laps around the 3.259-mile, 23-turn Marina Bay Street Circuit. Nico Rosberg from Mercedes got a jump on Vettel in turn 1 of the opening lap, but Rosberg ran slightly wide coming out of the turn, allowing Vettel to come back and reclaim the top spot. He was untouchable from there.
The safety car was deployed one time in this race on lap 25 when Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo slammed into the barrier. After the restart on lap 31, Vettel quickly pulled away from the field. He crossed the finish line 32.6 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Fernando Alonso from Ferrari.
Vettel captured his seventh win of the season, including his third in a row. He won in Belgium and Italy prior to Singapore. The 26-year-old German also earned his 33rd career victory, which put him in sole possession of fourth on F1's all-time race winners list. Michael Schumacher (91), Alain Prost (51) and Ayrton Senna (41) have more victories than Vettel.
"The start was quite hairy," Vettel said. "Nico had a better start than me since I didn't get going at first. I had to keep the inside clear to him, but fortunately, he went in too deep, and I was able to get back. Then we had some very good pace. The car was just incredible. It was a pleasure to drive around this crazy track."
It's the third straight year that Vettel has won in Singapore. He scored the victory in last year's race here after starting from the pole.
"This is a long race, and it seems to go on forever," he said. "There are a lot things that can go wrong. You can't really afford to lean back."
With the win, Vettel has accumulated 247 points, which is 60 more than Alonso, who remained second in the championship standings after his second-place run. Alonso charged from seventh to third on the first lap.
"It was a fantastic start," Alonso said. "We knew that we didn't have the pace today, so we had to invent something. We had a different strategy compared to the others. I think it paid off at the end with a fantastic second-place finish."
Kimi Raikkonen from Lotus finished third after he qualified a season-worst 13th on Saturday. Raikkonen drove the two-hour race with a back injury. The Finn is leaving Lotus at the end of the season and joining Ferrari for 2014.
Rosberg placed fourth, while his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, took the fifth spot. Felipe Massa from Ferrari was sixth.
McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Nico Hulkenberg from Sauber and Force India's Adrian Sutil completed the top-10.
Vettel's teammate, Mark Webber, lost power and came to a stop during the final lap, resulting in a 15th-place finish. Webber had been running among the top- five before his incident.
Hamilton is now 96 points behind Vettel, while Raikkonen trails by 98 points. There are six races left, with the next grand prix on October 6 in South Korea.
09/22 11:43:06 ET