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GP Week : Issue 228
somehow on the journey to singapore the red cars were painted silver and the silver cars painted red. That was the reversal in fortunes for Mercedes, which comparatively languished down the order as sebastian Vettel romped to a victory reminiscent of his glory years at Red Bull. The German opened a staggering three second advantage on the opening lap alone, sounding alarm bells for the chasing pack. His pace was jaw dropping, as it had been in qualifying, with the German clearly comfortable and getting the most out of his car. In truth he'd probably gone too hard too soon, and his face was only prevented from turning a similar shade to his car courtesy of two safety car interruptions. Towards the end of the opening stint Daniel Ricciardo, who also enjoyed a positive weekend, had begun to reel the Ferrari back in. The Red Bull was better on its tyres, and Ricciardo had played a waiting game in the early laps to reap the rewards later. In the opening stint that failed to come off when Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Massa found the same piece of tarmac and drew the safety car. It cut the opening stint short, and forced Red Bull to follow Ferrari's strategy else risk losing track position. Vettel showed he'd learned from the opening stint by taking a more conservative approach to the middle part of the race. He managed the gap to Ricciardo, who was never close enough to attack, all the while managing the degradation on his tyres. Then, when the time was right, he planted it and drove off the front once again. And that was important because, without the second safety car, Ricciardo still had strategy options available. Vettel needed to defend against the undercut and so needed 20 GPWEEK.com // 20 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> SINGAPORE PARTNERS: