Formula 1

Jacques Villeneuve refuses to rule out Sebastian Vettel just yet

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Singapore was expected to be a massive race in terms of the destination of the 2017 World Drivers' Championship.

It was, but not quite for the reasons most would have been expecting.

In a spectacular first corner crash, Sebastian Vettel, his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, and Red Bull's Max Verstappen, all collided and saw their races end before they had properly started.

Starting in fifth, world champion Lewis Hamilton couldn't believe his luck as he swept through to take first place, where he stayed until the chequered flag to take maximum points.

Many saw Singapore as being a Ferrari suited track, with Red Bull and themselves having the speed advantage over Mercedes in qualifying.

This piece of luck from Hamilton's point of view, however, saw the Brit move 28 points in front of the German with six races left in the season.

Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve has had his say on the subject, believing that Vettel is very much still in the running, and it would be foolish to write him off at this point.

Villeneuve said: “This was a circuit where Ferrari should have won a lot of points so it’s a tough setback, but there are still six races to go. Lewis will also lose points so stay relaxed.”

Having his say on the subject, former driver Jarno Trulli was of a similar mindset.

The Italian said: "A wrong step from Mercedes, and Vettel is back."

Clearly Trulli believes the championship to be balanced at this stage.

Whilst the team failed to capitalise on an advantageous track on paper, no one in the Ferrari garage will be believing that the season ended at the first corner on the Marina Bay Circuit.

Vettel is very used to coming back from a disadvantage, catching Hamilton before in 2010 and Fernando Alonso in 2012, despite being a similar distance behind as he is at the moment.

In 2010, he trailed his British rival by 31 points with six races remaining, a bigger deficit than he has this season, and he won the title by four points.

Two years on from that, with nine races left in the season, he was 41 points behind Fernando Alonso, yet he still went on to win the title by a mere three points.

Vettel will be aware that he must now jump on any Mercedes retirement or mistake from this point.

Hamilton will know this history all too well, and even if those around him may start getting carried away, it is not in his nature to lose focus before the job is done.

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