It’s been a bruising summer for Sebastian Vettel. The young German driver has suffered a combination of bad luck, self-induced mistakes and what can only be described as psychological overload as he’s battled to come to terms with the fact that the biggest challenge to his potential dominance has come from his own Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber.
But on Sunday in the Singapore GP, Vettel harnessed the expert genius which marks him out as the sport’s most exciting rising star to deliver a brilliantly measured second place behind Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.
Touching a barrier during qualifying – and being held up by Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes – resulted in Vettel having to settle for second place on the starting grid, but Alonso clearly knew that the Red Bull probably had the speed to get away from his Ferrari if he got a break in the sprint away from the starting grid, hence Fernando’s very deliberate, but totally legitimate, squeeze as the two rivals raced for the first corner.
From then on Seb’s chances would be dictated by whether or not he could hustle Alonso into a mistake. But there was not a chance.