Vettel needs to find a way to hit back at Singapore GP

Sebastian Vettel needs a return to form at the Singapore Grand Prix, the night race where his Formula One championship challenge started crumbling last year.

Vettel was perfectly poised to regain the overall lead from Lewis Hamilton at the Marina Bay street circuit last year, but caused a multi-car crash from pole position and spiraled out of the race. Hamilton avoided the first-lap chaos and, despite starting fifth, went on to win.

The crash affected Vettel's momentum badly. Hamilton won two of the next three races and sealed the title by a comfortable 46 points.

It could be deja vu for the German driver as he already trails Hamilton by 30 points heading into Sunday's race. Hamilton has won three of the past four races and outscored Vettel 93-55 during that span.

Still, Vettel is confident he can turn the situation around — providing he keeps his composure.

"The biggest enemy is me. We have a great car," Vettel said on Thursday. "Obviously, (Hamilton) is ahead at the moment, the one to beat, but we have all the chances. We need to look after ourselves and if we do that we have a good chance to do well."

The sweltering heat and humidity makes for grueling driving on Singapore's sinewy street track — even late at night.

"I think it's the toughest race we have all year, mentally and physically," Vettel said. "You have a feeling you can never be prepared enough."

He will need to be on Sunday, given how many points he's thrown away this season.

Considering Hamilton has won six races to Vettel's five, the margin between them should be much closer. But, just like in 2017, Vettel has been throwing away points and his composure is again being called into question .

The slump started when the Ferrari driver crashed in the rain while leading the German GP in July, then botched qualifying — again in the rain — at Hungary despite being faster than Hamilton's Mercedes.

"For sure, the worst one was Germany," Vettel said. "(But) there's not much point trying to dig into the race again."