With six races left of the 2017 Formula 1 season, Ferrari’s hopes of a first drivers’ world title in a decade are fading fast after a dramatic Singapore Grand Prix.
The Scuderia needed to claim a victory under the lights at the Marina Bay circuit – a track suited to their car – to keep themselves in contention, but instead neither Kimi Raikkonen nor, more importantly, Sebastian Vettel managed to finish the race.
Even worse was the sight of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes crossing the line first, with Red Bull having been unable to do Ferrari a favour in at least prevent the Brit taking the chequered flag.
Hamilton now has a firm grip on the 2017 World Championship, having opened up a 28-point lead over Vettel, and is 2/13 to claim a fourth world crown.
Three wins on the spin have given Hamilton a cushion over his title rival for the first time this year and he will be confident of extending it in Malaysia next time out, with Mobilebet making him the 1/1 favourite.
The Sepang circuit has not been kind to the Mercedes driver in recent years, with his engine failure last year proving decisive as Nico Rosberg won the race and ultimately the title.
The 2015 edition saw Vettel come out on top and Ferrari will need a repeat performance. Vettel is now 33/10 to win his fifth world title and does appeal at that price. However, Hamilton’s knack of ending seasons strongly must be taken in to consideration.
Hamilton drove out of his skin to win the final four races of last year as he desperately tried to chase down Rosberg while in 2015 he did not finish outside the top two in the final six races.
Granted, Ferrari have an improved car this year but there are question marks over how Vettel will cope when trying to overhaul Hamilton.
Vettel’s aggressive style was called into question following his race-ending collision in Singapore and he will need to make sure his desperation does not get the better of him.
The heat is firmly on the German and there are plenty expecting him to falter in the closing stages, unlike Hamilton, who, despite his dress sense, appears cool as ice right now.
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