Sebastian Vettel surprised by aggression of Lewis Hamilton's move for Singapore win
World Champion passed with seven laps remaining as Hamilton takes over the lead of the Drivers' Championship from Nico Rosberg
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 21/09/14 6:33pm
Sebastian Vettel has admitted he was surprised by the aggression of Lewis Hamilton’s overtake for victory in the Singapore GP.
After his third and final pit-stop, Hamilton passed Vettel with seven laps remaining into Turn Six-Seven with scarcely the width of a tyre between the wall and the Englishman’s Mercedes as he surged through. The move was surprisingly risky given that Hamilton, on a fresh set of tyres, had such a vast speed advantage over a Red Bull running on worn-out rubber.
“I wasn’t quite sure what he was doing,” admitted Vettel afterwards. "It seemed like he couldn’t wait to get back into the lead! But here was no point fighting because I didn’t have the tyres to fight him.”
Hamilton himself admitted afterwards that he could have chosen a more judicious opportunity to claim back the lead.
"I came out alongside Ricciardo but I knew that those guys' tyres were going to be destroyed and the car had been feeling great all day, so if I couldn't get past on fresh tyres I'd be pretty useless!" Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.
"But the thing is they [the team] said don't take any risks. So that was on my mind but I thought Sebastian was going to defend or race me. I got a good exit out of Turn Five and I was going for it. It was close - I came through and I was like 'whoa, that was close!"
The Briton more bluntly added in later interviews: “I didn’t pick the perfect time to do it.”
With the move nonetheless completed with the minimum of fuss, Hamilton swiftly re-opened a 13-second lead over the closing six laps to win a race which could prove a key turning point in the Briton's title battle with team-mate Nico Rosberg.