Vettel hopes his secret nasi goreng can still work its magic in S'pore, Latest Others News - The New Paper

Vettel hopes his secret nasi goreng can still work its magic in S'pore

The handmade signs from fans around the Marina Bay Street Circuit describe him as the "Lion of Singapore" and in many ways, it is an apt description of Sebastian Vettel.

Gone is the clean shaven look and these days, the German needs a hair band to keep his flowing blond mane in place while his beard gets more scraggly with each passing grand prix.

Vettel's reputation and record at the Singapore Grand Prix meanwhile, remains imposing. His five wins (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2019) are the most by any driver and aside from a first-lap retirement in 2017, Vettel has never finished outside the top-five in six other starts.

"I like the track, it's a very good challenge," he said. "Very difficult to get everything right, to put everything into one lap but then also over the race, to manage.

"So a lot of things you need to be aware of, but ultimately you need to have the confidence, the trust in your car, and then you're able to pull off a little bit more."

That proud run is in serious danger of ending on Sunday though, as Vettel and Aston Martin's struggles in 2022 have left them ninth in the constructors' standings, with 25 points, only ahead of Williams who are last.

In fact, Vettel's last podium finish was 33 races ago at the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix in June.

The four-time world champion is 13th in the drivers' championship with 20 points and will retire at the end of 2022.

It seems an inglorious way to end for one of Formula One's all-time great racers but Vettel, 35, has no regrets.

"I have many fantastic memories of racing at Singapore - I have always loved the challenge that the track provides," he said. "It's a proper street circuit - totally relentless, with corner after corner, and some incredibly fast sections.

"Getting on top of that challenge is incredibly satisfying - especially in qualifying. We should perform better here this weekend due to our car's strengths in slower-speed corners."

His AMR22 will get some added upgrades to reduce the car's weight and improve the aerodynamic performance for the weekend.

Aston Martin technical director Dan Fallows added: "The response from the drivers about the changes we have made this season has been good and we've seen improvements in the performance of the car too, so it shows we're on the right trajectory."

Vettel himself has a fallback option. He said: "My secret recipe, also in 2019 and 2015 and in most years I have won here, is eating nasi goreng on Saturday night.

"I know a place that sells it late at night, we must look for it on Saturday."