Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel wins Singapore Grand Prix for record 5th title at Marina Bay

SINGAPORE - Sebastian Vettel emerged as the surprise winner of the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday night (Sept 22), after he pipped Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc to the chequered flag for his first win this season.

Max Verstappen of Red Bull finished third in the 12th edition of the night race at the Marina Bay Circuit.

Vettel, 32, had started the race from third but benefited after a Ferrari strategy that called for him to pit slightly earlier than his teammate.

This move saw 21-year-old Leclerc - who had started on pole and was gunning to be the youngest winner in Singapore - re-join the race in second place.

A furious Leclerc, who was gunning for his third Grand Prix win in a row after wins in Belgium and Italy, made his displeasure of losing the lead in Lap 21 known to his team. After all, eight of the 11 winners in Singapore started from pole.

The experienced four-time world champion Vettel, however, kept his cool to see out the rest of the race and secure a record fifth Singapore GP title.

The win in Singapore is also his first for Ferrari since the Belgian Grand Prix in August last year.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.