F1: Vettel loves to win here

F1: Vettel loves to win here

Sebastian Vettel has had 32 wins and 55 podium finishes from 113 Formula 1 starts so far.

But the German three-time defending world champion rates his wins at the Sing- Tel Singapore Grand Prix over the last two years as the favourite victories of his career. Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit this weekend, the 26-year-old said in an interview on the official F1 website: “My wins in 2011 and 2012 were the best because I think it’s one of the toughest races of the year, to be honest.

“So to win is an amazing moment and you feel you deserve the champagne!” The race here is the only Grand Prix held at night, but the heat and humidity, and the bumpy, twisty circuit around downtown Singapore once drew loud criticism from the German.

But Vettel has clearly exorcised his demons and will be the favourite to take the chequered flag on Sunday, after storming to victories in the past two Grands Prix in Belgium and Italy.

The drivers’ championship leader dominated the field at Spa-Francorchamps, with second-placed Fernando Alonso of Ferrari almost 17 seconds behind.

After Vettel’s win in Italy earlier this month, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton – third in the standings with 141 points – all but conceded the title.

The German is on 222 points, with Alonso in second place with 169. The Spaniard will be Vettel’s biggest challenger this weekend, after winning here in 2008 and 2010. Hamilton is the other pilot to have won in Singapore in 2009.

Hot and humid

Despite the comfortable lead, Vettel is wary of taking it easy in the notoriously hot and humid street circuit.

This will be the sixth edition of the race, and Vettel said: “It’s a very long race; the full two hours so the race just seems to go on forever. The circuit itself is a killer because there are so many bumps, there’s no room for mistakes.”

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