19 Sep 2013

Advantage Vettel in Singapore

8:44 am on 19 September 2013

Sebastian Vettel will be confident of extending his healthy lead at the top of the Formula One drivers' standings in Singapore this week on a circuit that kick-started his march to a third consecutive title a year ago.

In 2012, the German arrived in Southeast Asia 39 points adrift of championship leader Fernando Alonso, but drove a perfect race to capture the first of four straight wins as he sped past the Spaniard in the second half of the season.

A year on and the tables have been turned with the Red Bull driver boasting a 53-point advantage over his Ferrari rival.

Alonso can take heart, however, from the fact that he too has won twice under the floodlights in Singapore since the race was added to the Formula One calendar in 2008.

With just seven rounds of the 19-race season remaining, Alonso needs to add to his two wins this campaign or a third world title will again slip from his grasp and leave the 32-year-old second in the standings for a third time since 2010.

There'll also be interest in Kimi Raikkonen's performance after the Lotus driver was confirmed as Felipe Massa's replacement at Ferrari next season, the Finn returning to the team where he won a world title in 2007.