Vettel ends 13-month winless run; Ferrari 1-2 at Singapore

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands steers his car during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, at the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Lim Yong Teck)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, at the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car on the way to win the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, at the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Lim Yong Teck)
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car on the way to win the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, at the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Lim Yong Teck)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, at the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco leads the field at the start of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, at the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Lim Yong Teck)
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland steers his car during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, at the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, at the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco leads the field at the start of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, at the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Lim Yong Teck)

SINGAPORE — Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel took advantage of an early pit stop to win the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday and end a 13-month winless streak in Formula One.

Vettel, who started third on the grid, crossed the finish line 2.641 seconds ahead of Charles Leclerc — who was unhappy with team pit strategy — in a Ferrari 1-2.

It was four-time F1 champion Vettel's first win since the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix.

"Obviously the start of the season has been difficult for us but in recent weeks we started to come alive," Vettel said. "It's been incredible to get so much support from the fans and I tried to put it all into the track today and into the car and I'm glad it paid off."

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was third while championship leader Lewis Hamilton was fourth.

With six races remaining, Hamilton holds a 65-point lead over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who finished fifth. The winner of each race gets 25 points.

It was Vettel's fifth victory under the lights in Singapore and ended a 22-race winless streak.

Leclerc started from pole and held the lead at the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) Marina Bay street circuit until he pitted on the 21st lap of the night race. When Leclerc rejoined, he was behind Vettel, who had pitted a lap earlier.

Leclerc made it clear over the team radio that he was not happy that Vettel pitted first and got the lead.

Vettel said he received the call from his team to pit and it wasn't his decision.

"It was a very late call," Vettel said. "I thought it was a bit early because I wasn't sure we can make the tires last in the second stint but, yeah, then I just gave it everything in the outlap because I saw the two cars in front of me not pitting, especially Lewis. I was then very surprised a lap later to come out ahead."

Leclerc, who won the previous two races and appeared set for a third straight victory, was diplomatic later when asked about the pit strategy of Ferrari.

"It's always difficult to lose a win like that but in the end it's a 1-2 for the team," Leclerc said. "We arrived here hoping for a podium and come back with a 1-2 so are extremely happy."

During the race, Leclerc had a different take when he was told to save his engine 15 laps from the finish. His response to Ferrari included: "I just don't think it's fair, but I won't do anything stupid."

Red Bull's Alexander Albon was in sixth place and Lando Norris finished seventh for McLaren, ahead of Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly.

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg was ninth and Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinnazi rounded out the Top 10.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Must Read

10 Things to Know for Thursday

Aug 11, 2016

Among 10 Things to Know: Criticism may be slowing Trump train; 'Grim Sleeper' sent to death row; versatile ESPN sportscaster dies at 61

Criticism of lavish funeral for Anne of Romania

Aug 10, 2016

The presidents of Romania and Moldova pay their last respects to Anne of Romania at a 19th-century royal castle amid some criticism about the grand royal funeral

Police: Woman killed by Florida officer in academy exercise

Aug 10, 2016

A police "shoot/ don't shoot" demonstration went shockingly awry when an officer shot and killed a 73-year-old former librarian with what police said was real ammunition used by mistake at an event designed to bring police and the public together

People also read these

10 Things to Know for Thursday

Aug 11, 2016

Among 10 Things to Know: Criticism may be slowing Trump train; 'Grim Sleeper' sent to death row; versatile ESPN sportscaster dies at 61

House Speaker Paul Ryan wins GOP nomination to run again

Aug 10, 2016

House Speaker Paul Ryan has defeated a longshot Republican primary challenger who had been praised by Donald Trump

RNC hires strategists to help woo African-American voters

Aug 9, 2016

The Republican National Committee has hired three new strategists to help increase its outreach to black voters, including Ashley D. Bell as its new senior strategist and national director of African-American engagement

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH