Ex-Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer believes Sebastian Vettel was the racer Ferrari needed to win the Singapore GP to boost his confidence.
Vettel ended a year-plus run without a victory when he saw off team-mate Charles Leclerc to take the chequered flag at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. He will now bid to follow up in the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi this weekend.
Leclerc was left frustrated afterwards because Vettel had been given the better strategy as he used the undercut to get ahead of his younger team-mate, but Palmer believes that looking to the future, Vettel was the right winner for Ferrari to give them two drivers on form and full of confidence.
“The race yielded the perfect result for Ferrari – a one-two – and probably the perfect order for them as well, whether that was intentional or not,” he wrote in his BBC column.
“The pressure has been mounting on Vettel all year, but it has become intense since Formula 1 returned from its summer break, as team-mate Charles Leclerc took victories in Belgium and Italy and Vettel made the latest in a series of errors at Monza.
“For Ferrari, the upside of this could be huge.
“Finally, in Singapore, Vettel was smiling again after the race. He drove perfectly once out front and looked back to his best in terms of race performance.
“The confidence he can take from ending his year-long drought of victories and hushing some critics should give him a boost heading to Russia this weekend.
“And if Vettel can now respond and raise the bar within the team even higher, the whole Ferrari team can find performance in it.
“With the latest one-two finish continuing their clean sweep of races since the summer break, they are marking themselves out as serious contenders and a threat to the Mercedes dominance, if not for 2019, then for next year.”