After yet another disappointing weekend for Nico Rosberg, his team-mate Lewis Hamilton extended his advantage at the top of the Drivers’ Championship to 53 points with just seven races remaining. That being said, Rosberg now faces a battle to finish second after Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel narrowed the gap behind the two Mercedes drivers. Vettel is now just 21 points behind Rosberg and, with seven races remaining, there is still plenty of opportunity to pile the pressure on Mercedes’ number two driver.
Ferrari endured a torrid time last season and really struggled against the likes of Williams, Red Bull and Mercedes. In fact, for the majority of the year they were forced to compete for fifth position at times while their competitors were challenging for the title. This season, Ferrari have improved significantly and clearly rank as the second best team in Formula One. While Mercedes still hold a clear advantage over the Italian team, Ferrari are now better than both Williams and Red Bull.
Vettel has been the main beneficiary of Ferrari’s improvement and his decision to leave Red Bull at the end of the 2014 season has paid off as the Italian team have soared above his former employer in the Constructors’ Championship. Ferrari have racked up 270 points so far while Red Bull have scored just 113 between Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat. In fact, four-time World Champion Vettel has earned 178 points on his own, 65 more than the Red Bull duo.
While Vettel’s hopes of becoming world champion at Ferrari have been all but dashed for this season, he will be eager to finish second in the standings and split the two Mercedes drivers at the top of the leaderboard. At the time of writing, Vettel is priced at 13/2 with Betway to win the Singapore Grand Prix – a result that would pile the pressure further onto Nico Rosberg’s shoulders.
With seven races left, it’s still all to play for in the hunt for second place in the Drivers’ Championship. Rosberg remains in the lead but Vettel is closing in quick. Rosberg has suffered from reliability problems in recent races while Ferrari have rarely been stronger in the past few years. It’s going to be an interesting finish to the season and, although the title is more or less Lewis Hamilton’s, they will be fighting all the way until the final race of the campaign for that second spot.