The Sebastian Vettel victory tour motors into Singapore for the latest F1 race.
On the poll is none other than the three-time defending series champion, Vettel. That, of course, is no surprise. The 26-year-old has won three poles this season, and that includes the last stop on the F1 schedule: the Italian Grand Prix.
Pic of the Day:A relieved Sebastian Vettel celebrates pole in the garage after opting not to go for a final run in Q3 pic.twitter.com/ul5BGmgG11— Fans of Seb Vettel (@FansOfSebVettel) September 21, 2013
Vettel went on to win the Italian Grand Prix, picking up his sixth checkered of the year. This has all led to the Red Bull star owning a commanding 53-point lead over second-place Fernando Alonso in the race for the championship.
Meanwhile, Alonso is going to have hard time closing the gap in that points race in Singapore. This challenging and popular stop is a tight track that doesn't offer a lot of opportunity for passing, and the Ferrari driver qualified in seventh. That is one spot lower than his teammate, Felipe Massa.
Check out the vitals for this race, and then I'll highlight three drivers worth paying extra attention to.
When: Sunday, Sept. 22, at 8 a.m. ET; 1 p.m. BST
Where: Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore
Watch: Sky Sports
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Renault||1||113.768 mph|
|2||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes-Benz||9||113.667 mph|
|3||Romain Grosjean||Renault||8||113.528 mph|
|4||Mark Webber||Renault||2||113.425 mph|
|5||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-Benz||10||113.313 mph|
|6||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||4||112.619 mph|
|7||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||3||112.567 mph|
|8||Jenson Button||Mercedes-Benz||5||112.196 mph|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Ferrari||19||112.027 mph|
|10||Esteban Gutierrez||Cosworth||12||112.027 mph|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Cosworth||11||111.903 mph|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||Ferrari||18||111.868 mph|
|13||Kimi Raikkonen||Renault||7||111.793 mph|
|14||Sergio Perez||Mercedes||6||111.692 mph|
|15||Adrian Sutil||Mercedes||15||111.233 mph|
|16||Valtteri Bottas||Renault||17||111.018 mph|
|17||Paul di Resta||Mercedes||14||110.252 mph|
|18||Pastor Maldonado||Renault||16||109.737 mph|
|19||Charles Pic||Cosworth||20||108.222 mph|
|20||Giedo van der Garde||Renault||21||108.013 mph|
|21||Jules Bianchi||Cosworth||22||107.507 mph|
|22||Max Chilton||Cosworth||23||107.408 mph|
All signs point to Vettel picking up another victory this week. Besides the fact that Vettel seems to be winning everything this year, recent history is on his side.
He is, after all, this event's two-time defending champion. He is also in a better position heading into this race than he was last year. He's improved upon the third-place starting position from a year ago, and he is entering off a victory, whereas last year, he was 22nd in the Italian Grand Prix.
Vettel is going to be very difficult to pass on this course come race day.
The man in the best position to chase down Vettel in the points race is having a frustrating week. As the BBC's Andrew Benson points out, Ferrari has been doing everything possible to produce a strong car for Alonso and "brought a number of upgrades for this race."
It isn't helping yet. Alonso qualified way back in seventh.
Alonso is going to have his work cut out for him making the podium...let alone trying to close the gap on Vettel.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was leading qualifying until Vettel knocked him into second. Rosberg still has to be thrilled with his starting position. After a string of pole position's came to an end in early June, Rosberg had qualified in the top three just once since.
Now, Rosberg will try to turn that speed into a strong performance. The 28-year-old has enjoyed a strong season, but he has been slumping as of late.
Rosberg has finished ninth, 19th, fourth and sixth in his last four starts. He is in a great position to improve on that poor trend.