|© Robert Cianflone/Getty Images/Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel may have kept up with the “cruising” Lewis Hamilton at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday but the German was losing an enormous amount of time in the second sector behind the McLaren before the Briton retired.
The Red Bull driver had raised concerns about Turn 10, known as the Singapore Sling, shortly after qualifying stating that the section of the track was potentially dangerous, but that was not the reason that slowed the defending champion in the said sector.
“I saw that I was gaining a little bit in the first sector, not sure in the second sector but I could see that I probably lost a bit but I think Lewis has been very quick in sector two all weekend,” Vettel told F1Pulse.com.
“Also, I think I was fairly close to him, so obviously the closer you get, it's a bit of a disadvantage but I try to keep the gap fairly much the same, lap by lap,” he explained.
Vettel lost as much as four-tenths on each of several laps in that sector alone, although he clawed back most of the time in the other sections of the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
“I didn't really mean to close the gap, because I know that the closer I get, the more grip I lose, and obviously I will lose tyres just by running close to him and losing downforce so I think it was a tactical race in the beginning, especially the beginning of the second stint after the first pit stop,” he explained.
“If you go all out in one lap you probably go a second faster but then you do this exercise for three laps and Jenson (Button) is coming,” he smiled. “It's the races that we have these days but I think, as I said, Lewis was already quick in sector two so it was probably not a surprise to lose a little bit against him.”