Before the race at Monza, you probably would have backed Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to go on and win the F1 Drivers’ Championship this season. He was at the top of the pile and had an advantage over Lewis Hamilton who sat in second, waiting for an opportunity to mount a challenge. Two races later and disaster has well and truly struck for Ferrari but is all hope lost as they head to Malaysia or can the German turn it around?
Vettel’s F1 Drivers’ Championship Aspirations
Vettel had managed to fend off Hamilton, his rival for the championship, all year ‘til the Italian Grand pPrix came around. On a track that has become famous for Ferrari winners in the past, Hamilton managed to dig out victory and hand a crushing blow to Vettel. It was the first time the Brit had sat at the top of the table and although the lead heading into Singapore was only that of a slender three points, it sent out the message that the title race was far from over.
Many expected Hamilton’s reign at the top to be short-lived with Sebastien Vettel expected to reclaim 1st position with victory in Singapore. It pretty much looked a certainty too as Vettel started on pole with Hamilton back in 5th on the grid. Both Ferraris, as well as the two Red Bulls, were far too quick for Hamilton and Mercedes in qualifying and this was the ideal opportunity for Vettel to take back top spot and to also open up a decent points advantage.
The only way Hamilton would win the race and hold onto the first position in the standings is if disaster struck for Vettel and Ferrari and it did, at the first turn. Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen had both got off to great starts and Vettel quickly looked to halt Verstappen’s progress with a defensive move that saw him pull left to block him. In doing so, he sandwiched the Red Bull with in between his Ferrari and that of teammate Raikkonen’s, which saw all three collide and exit the race.
Hamilton’s victory has seen him open up a 28 point advantage at the top of the driver standings and all hope certainly seems lost for Vettel and Ferrari. The last two races have been a blow, the most recent one catastrophic. As a result, bookmakers like Sportingbet have Hamilton 1/6 odds-on favourite to win the Drivers’ Championship. As we all look forward to Malaysia in a few days’ time, both Vettel and Ferrari know that they have to get back on track with victory or Hamilton could further extend his advantage, which would all but seal Vettels’ fate.
It’s not over ‘til it’s over. There are 6 races left of the season and you’d expect more twists and turns along the way. The problem is that Vettel has let Hamilton in and he’s now thriving. If the Brit does go on to beat him to lift the drivers’ championship, he will only have himself to blame as it is his mistakes which have cost him dearly so far.