Lewis Hamilton of Britain (R) leads the start of Formula One's Singapore Grand Prix. AFP Photo
Thankfully for world champion Sebastian Vettel, the Singapore Grand Prix is a marathon and not a sprint as the German overcame a self-perceived lack of pace in his Red Bull to claim the two-hour night race.
A poor final qualifying session meant Vettel started Sunday's race in third place, but he slipped past Pastor Maldonado's Williams by Turn 2 before benefiting from the gearbox failure of Lewis Hamilton's McLaren to stride to victory in Singapore for the second consecutive year.
"It was great to win last year but to repeat is even greater this year so I'm very happy especially with this year's championship being very tight," the 25-year-old told reporters after his 23rd career victory.
"We didn't have the fastest package this weekend but still we won the race so I'm very happy."
The victory helped Vettel cut the deficit on championship leader Fernando Alonso to 29 points after the Spaniard steered his Ferrari around the street circuit for third.
Podium for Alonso
Alonso was delighted with the podium finish as he once again demonstrated his ability to score points with an inferior car - something Vettel was keen to replicate over the final six races of the season.
"It looks better than before, Fernando finished third I'm not a genius but it is looking 10 points better than it did before, so there are a lot of races left," the German said.
"We have to make sure we finish the races first of all. I think the pace is there, even if we are not quick enough to win, it is good enough to collect a lot of points and we have to make sure we do that.
"It is a tough championship so far but we are still in it and still looking forward to the next couple of races and obviously the target is to beat Fernando."