Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel has six races to close to the 40 point gap to Hamilton and won his fifth F1 world title. In this picture, Vettel of Germany and Ferrari prepares to drive in the garage before the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on Sept. 16, 2018. Charles Coates/Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel admitted it was a shock for Ferrari to come away from Singapore as the third best team behind Mercedes and Red Bull, but believes it was a fair result after the Italian team got their strategy wrong, while also not having the pace to match the Silver Arrows team.

The German driver started third and finished the race in the same position as Lewis Hamilton recorded his fourth win in five races to extend his lead at the top of the championship by 40 points.

It was not according to script, as per Vettel, as it was Ferrari who were the favorite ahead of the race in Singapore and it was seen as a good chance for them to reduce the deficit in both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ championship.

However, it was not to be as they had no answer to Hamilton’s pace in qualifying and never came close to troubling during the race. The Ferrari driver admitted the team had only themselves to blame after they again squandered points by choosing the wrong strategy.

"Lewis said he didn't expect to come here gaining 10 points, we probably didn't come here expecting to lose 10 points," Vettel said, as per Sky Sports. "But, having had the race that we had, I think there's a full justification for losing those 10 points and we take it."

Vettel was not willing to give up despite now being an outsider to beat Hamilton for the title. The German has come from behind in the past — in 2010 and 2012 — to win the title and admitted there was a lot of points to score, but he will require at least one DNF from Hamilton to have a chance of usurping the British racer before the end of the season.

The biggest gripe against Ferrari has been their inability to take advantage of a superior car during the course of the season. It was widely accepted the Italian team have the faster car, but Vettel believes the margins are very small between Ferrari and Mercedes.

The German, a four-time world champion like his rival Hamilton, called on Ferrari to continue pushing and not fear the next six races. He is confident the car will work well in all the upcoming tracks with the next assignment being the Russia-Japan double header.

“Obviously, there is still a long way to go and a lot of points to score. I never believed that we had the fastest car by a big margin, as people said. I know that we have a very good car,” the German added. “Overall I think the speed is there but I think it's a match in qualifying as much as in the race.”

“Russia, I think, has been getting better the last years for us, so it should suit our car as well,” Vettel explained. "I don't think we have any tracks to fear that are coming. I think our car is working pretty much everywhere and that's a strength of our car, so no need to be afraid of what's coming.”