Vettel plays down Ferrari advantage at Singapore

McLaren-Honda partnership nears an end (1:13)

Laurence Edmondson brings you the latest talk from Singapore as the teams gear up for this weekend's race. (1:13)

Sebastian Vettel does not buy into theories that the Singapore street circuit will suit Ferrari over Mercedes this weekend.

For the first time this year, Vettel comes into a race weekend trailing Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' championship after back-to-back wins in Belgium and Italy for the Mercedes driver. However, the return to a high-downforce street circuit is expected to suit Ferrari, which had the edge over Mercedes on tracks with similar demands in Monaco and Hungary.

Asked how important it was to win in Singapore on Sunday in order to regain the championship lead, Vettel said: "I think it's more important to have the lead on Sunday night after Abu Dhabi [the final race], so whatever happens along the way happens, the target is clear. We have a lot of races, a lot of time to get points, and then we will count them at the end.

"In theory it should be a better here [in Singapore] than in Monza, but I think it will be close and it's been close no matter where we go, also on the tracks that are supposed to definitely suit Mercedes or definitely suit Ferrari.

"If you look at the qualifying result in Monaco it was black and white in terms of the result, yes, but the gaps were small and Valtteri [Bottas] was very close to being on pole. Then if you look at Spa, which you could argue was a strong one for Mercedes, we were very strong in the race and also in qualifying.

"I don't know, I don't go with that, I go with what we have and what I will feel tomorrow at the track and the car that I then have under me. Around here it is important that you trust the car, it makes a big difference at street circuits and I like that. There is no reason to believe that the car shouldn't be any good, but how good it will be we will find out."

Vettel has won four of the nine Singapore Grands Prix since the first race at Marina Bay in 2008 and says he finds it one of the most rewarding races on the calendar.

"Maybe I am good with artificial lighting, I don't know. I like the track, it's a big challenge, it's the longest race of the season in terms of duration and the toughest one in my opinion for focus and stress. It's the sort of race you look forward to the whole season but you don't want to start because you know how difficult it is.

"But it is definitely a nice one and I think we have come here 10 times and it is a real classic race already even though we haven't come here for decades. It belongs to the calendar, it looks cool from the outside to see the cars at night - it's a cool place and a big city. It's fun to drive."