Sebastian Vettel was left ruing his tyre strategy after failing to challenge Lewis Hamilton for victory at the Marina Bay Circuit.
Following a disappointing qualifying session, the Ferrari man try and recover the lost ground during the race. He managed to pass Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for second place on the opening lap.
However, the decision to be the first to pit and dispose of the hypersoft tyre backfired when. He lost a time behinf Force India’s Sergio Perez, he lost the place to Verstappen, who stopped two laps later.
Both Verstappen and race-leader Hamilton elected for soft-compound tyres, whilst Vettel was with the ultrasoft tyres.
Vettel was quick to tell the team over the radio that he believed the tyres would not make it to the end of the race, and he duly lost time over the remainder of the Grand Prix in a bid to save the tyres. Speaking after the race, Vettel believed that the aggressive tyre strategy backfired.
“I think overall we were not fast enough,” Vettel said. “We did not have pace in the race, we tried to be aggressive in the beginning but it didn’t work out.
“I had a different race to the other guys and I wasn’t convinced we could make it to the end. But pitting was no option because you lose too much time so you just focus on making it home.”
This race had represented a chance for Vettel to eat into a championship lead that has widened due to on-track errors in Hungary, Germany and Italy, but the German said there was collective fault for this misstep.
“It doesn’t help obviously. I’m mostly thinking about today’s race and today with the way we raced we didn’t have a chance.
There might be something extra in the way we weren’t quick. I said before the weekend we could only beat ourselves. And I think today we didn’t get everything out of our package.”