Singapore: Thankfully for world champion Sebastian Vettel the Singapore Grand Prix is a marathon and not a sprint as the German overcame a self-perceived lack of pace in his Red Bull to claim the two-hour night race.
A poor final qualifying session meant Vettel started Sunday's race in third place, but he slipped past Pastor Maldonado's Williams by Turn 2 before benefiting from the gearbox failure of Lewis Hamilton's McLaren to stride to victory in Singapore for the second consecutive year.
"It was great to win last year but to repeat is even greater this year so I'm very happy especially with this year's championship being very tight," the 25-year-old told reporters after the 23rd victory of his Formula One career.
The victory helped Sebastian Vettel cut the deficit on championship leader Fernando Alonso to 29 points.
"We didn't have the fastest package this weekend but still we won the race so I'm very happy."
The victory helped Vettel cut the deficit on championship leader Fernando Alonso to 29 points after the Spaniard steered his Ferrari around the street circuit for third.
Alonso was delighted with the podium finish as he once again demonstrated his ability to score points with an inferior car - something Vettel was keen to replicate over the final six races of the season. "It looks better than before, Fernando finished third I'm not a genius but it is looking 10 points better than it did before, so there are a lot of races left," the German said.
"We have to make sure we finish the races first of all. I think the pace is there, even if we are not quick enough to win, it is good enough to collect a lot of points and we have to make sure we do that.
"It is a tough championship so far but we are still in it and still looking forward to the next couple of races and obviously the target is to beat Fernando."
Having dominated the three practice sessions, Vettel was unable to match the blistering qualifying pace of Hamilton, who took pole with a time more than half-a-second quicker.
But Vettel managed to stick with Hamilton in the opening stages of Sunday's 59-lap race, reduced from 61 when the two-hour time limit was reached, before slipping past the Briton on lap 23 when the McLaren's gearbox failed.
The German then had to contend with his lead over Hamilton's McLaren team mate Jenson Button being eaten away twice when the safety car was deployed following two crashes.
Button looked set to challenge Vettel in the closing stages but the German responded on with his fastest lap of the race to ensure a comfortable victory as the Briton's tyres degraded.
"It is a bit of a different race, very tactical," Vettel said of the challenging Singapore night race.
"Obviously it was a long race, a lot of laps, we done the full two hours again, but it is fun in a way.
"You are excited, a bit nervous before the race starts and knowing there is a little bit of a marathon coming but that is what makes this race so special.
"Not only racing at night, it is also the circuit, a lot of corners, a lot of bumps, making it extremely difficult and making it a great challenge for us. Very happy with the result."