Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has ended his Formula One losing streak by winning his first race in more than a year. A brilliant piece of strategy on lap 19 of Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix saw the four-time world champion pass teammate Charles Leclerc to move into the lead spot and hold it from there.
Leclerc finished second approximately 2.6 seconds back while Aston Martin Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen finished third approximately 3.8 seconds behind the winner.
Leclerc started the race on pole and was comfortably in the lead going into the first sequence of corners, with Mercedes-AMG's Lewis Hamilton and Vettel trailing. Then Ferrari made the call to pit Vettel at the end of lap 19 to avoid an undercut from Verstappen who was in fourth at the time and about to pit.
2019 Formula One Singapore Grand Prix
Vettel came out of pit lane to find an empty track ahead of him which meant he was able to push hard immediately, without having to deal with traffic. When Leclerc pitted on the next lap, he came out behind Vettel. Hamilton made his own pit stop several laps later and returned behind Vettel, Leclerc and Verstappen. The order was now set, with each driver doing their best to maintain the tires so they would last the remainder of the race.
On lap 35, the safety car came out for the first time following an incident between Williams' George Russell and Haas' Romain Grosjean, with Russell forced to retire. There were two more safety car periods, one when Racing Point's Sergio Perez stopped on track and another when Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen had to do the same. The slower laps allowed the lead drivers to save their tires so that they were able to comfortably make it to the finish, with the chequered flag being waved almost on the regulation two hour mark.
Following Sunday's race, Hamilton still leads the 2019 Drivers’ Championship with 296 points. Fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is second with 231 points and Leclerc and Verstappen are tied for third with 200 points each. In the Constructors' Championship, Mercedes leads with 527 points versus the 394 of Ferrari and 289 of Red Bull. The next race on the calendar is the Russian Grand Prix on this coming weekend.
Ferrari at the 2019 Formula One Singapore Grand Prix
Below are the full results from the 2019 Formula One Singapore Grand Prix:
1) Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
2) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +2.641 seconds
3) Max Verstappen, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing +3.821 seconds
4) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG +4.608 seconds
5) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG +6.119 seconds
6) Alexander Albon, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing +11.663 seconds
7) Lando Norris, McLaren +14.769 seconds
8) Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso +15.547 seconds
9) Nico Hulkenberg, Renault +16.718 seconds
10) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo +27.855 seconds
11) Romain Grosjean, Haas +35.436 seconds
12) Carlos Sainz, McLaren +35.974 seconds
13) Lance Stroll, Racing Point +36.419 seconds
14) Daniel Ricciardo, Renault +37.660 seconds
15) Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso +38.178 seconds
16) Robert Kubica, Williams +47.024 seconds
17) Kevin Magnussen, Haas +86.522 seconds
Ret) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo
Ret) Sergio Perez, Racing Point
Ret) George Russell, Williams