Mercedes were dominant in Italy and Ferrari somewhat embarrassed by their lack of pace, Vettel was even under pressure near the end from the Red Bull of Danny Ric who had started well down the grid after his engine penalty.
It was lucky for him that both Red Bulls decided to take their penalties at this race as otherwise it is quite likely he would have only finished 5th and the deficit to Hamilton would have been greater.
As things stand however, Hamilton leads by just 3 points as we head to a track that is likely to favour Ferrari.
Singapore is generally a low speed track with plenty of slow and mid speed corners and almost no flat out flowing sections that have favoured Mercedes. It is almost inconceivable that Mercedes can beat Ferrari around here but have they made a step forward in performance?
What may be crucial here is the Red Bulls, if they too can beat Mercedes then that could well see Vettel take a fairly big lead into the next race in Malaysia, a track that is probably going to favour neither team with its mix of fast and slow sections.
It looked like both Red Bull and Mercedes made a step forward at Monza, or Ferrari simply got their setup badly wrong.
Rain would help Mercedes but we’ve never had a wet race at Singapore so that is very unlikely.
McLaren could also feature more heavily at Singapore as they are rumoured to have one of the best chassis on the grid and power is less important here, although Honda’s reliability means you would be surprised if both drivers finished.
I’m predicting a Ferrari 1-2 here (the order of the drivers is pretty obvious) with Red Bull getting 3rd and 4th and Hamilton having to settle for 5th. Mercedes will have to start employing team orders if they want the driver’s title. Qualifying is going to be critical and very close!
After that I don’t see any track favouring either team very much as Red Bull join the fight for race wins, going to be a very exciting end to the season, just hope it isn’t decided by reliabilty or something else outside the drivers control.