Vettel bags Singapore GP, one more race to glory
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel held off a charging Jenson Button to win the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday and stand one point away from becoming Formula One's youngest double world champion. Champwatch| Results - top 10| Follow the Indian| Standings - top 10 (after round 14 of 19)india Updated: Oct 14, 2011 15:52 IST
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel held off a charging Jenson Button to win the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday and stand one point away from becoming Formula One's youngest double world champion.
The 24-year-old German led from pole to flag and despite a spirited challenge over the final five laps from Button in his McLaren, held on to move 124 points clear of the Briton with just 125 available from the five races remaining.
"You are one point away from achieving the title, brilliant drive," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Vettel over the radio after the reigning champion took the chequered flag under the floodlights.
"Yes, yes, Singapore. We did it," an emotional Vettel replied, whooping in delight.
The title is now set to be decided in Japan on Oct. 9, unless Vettel fails to score and Button wins that race at Suzuka.
Vettel, who had opened a 22.7-second advantage before a safety car period halfway through the 61 lap race, crossed the line 1.7 seconds ahead of Button with Red Bull team mate Mark Webber a further 27.5 seconds back in third.
"The car was fantastic and we were in a comfortable position for most of the race, which is pretty handy around here because it's quite a big challenge to put the sectors together in qualifying and in the race," Vettel told reporters.
"I'm very pleased and it looks like we have another chance to seal the championship at the next race."
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finished a distant fourth. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton collided with Ferrari's Felipe Massa and collected a drive-through penalty before fighting back to fifth place ahead of Force India's British rookie Paul Di Resta in a career best sixth.
Vettel's victory was his ninth of the season, 19th of his career and he only looked threatened when Team Lotus released Heikki Kovalainen into his path as they left the pits from their final stop.