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Sebastian Vettel: Singapore clash won't change my mindset

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Maurice's Memories: Malaysian Grand Prix (2:31)

Maurice Hamilton recalls a special day for Fernando Alonso back in 2003. (2:31)

Sebastian Vettel will not be adopting a more conservative approach to race starts despite the dramatic Singapore Grand Prix clash which shifted the championship momentum towards title rival Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel's hopes of reclaiming the title lead he lost at Monza ended in the opening moments of the Marina Bay race when he collided with Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen, forcing his retirement. Hamilton capitalised and went on to win from fifth on the grid, opening up a 28-point lead -- enough to retire from the next race and still be top of the standings.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, Vettel stressed the need to move on from the incident.

"I don't think it's necessary to discuss," Vettel said in Thursday press conference, the first time since the Singapore TV pen interviews that he had faced the media since. "With things like this happening, what can you do?

"I mean obviously if we have a major problem with the car or I'd done a major mistake then it's a different story. If there is something that you need to change to react quickly and make sure it doesn't happen again then maybe it is a different story, but looking at it now there has been one race where we didn't finish, and certainly it didn't help that it was the one race where Lewis scored a lot of points, but that's the way it goes.

"Certainly all three of us would have loved to have a different race -- championship yes or no -- but first we want to race and that's what we set out to do in Singapore, unfortunately all three of us didn't get very far."

Vettel, Verstappen and Raikkonen all escaped punishment by the stewards after the Marina Bay crash, which was declared a racing incident. Though some, including Verstappen, questioned why Vettel moved so aggressively to defend his lead when neither driver involved is a title rival, the German says the clash will not change his mindset.

"Every start is different. You can look at Singapore again and again and it doesn't matter. First of all it's done and second I think it was unfortunate for all three of us. Having said that, I'm pretty sure I can't say to you now what will be in my mind when I leave the grid - I never thought about the last race and I'm pretty sure I will be focused on seeing what I can do from that start on Sunday."

Despite the sizeable deficit he needs to overcome, Vettel has no doubts he can still claim a fifth F1 crown this year.

When asked if Ferrari now had to rely on Hamilton encountering car trouble to have a chance of winning the drivers' title, he replied: "I don't think we do because we have a lot of races left, I think we have a strong car.

"We will see, I have a lot of races left and I'm not too fussed about the amount of points. Obviously it's never good to be behind and we would like to be in front, but we are not so we have got to take it from there."

"Looking at it now there has been one race where we didn't finish, and certainly it didn't help that it was the one race where Lewis scored a lot of points, but that's the way it goes. Certainly all three of us would have loved to have a different race -- championship yes or no -- but first we want to race and that's what we set out to do in Singapore, unfortunately all three of us didn't get very far."