Jenson Button has predicted that the F1 title fight will now come down to the two drivers who joined him on the podium in Singapore with six races left to run in 2012.
Sebastian Vettel's victory saw him move ahead of Button's McLaren
team-mate Lewis Hamilton
into second place in the championship, while points leader Fernando Alonso
ensured he kept a 29 point advantage over the German by coming home in third spot.
Hamilton's retirement means he is 52 points behind while Button himself is 75 off top spot, with Kimi Raikkonen
and Mark Webber
seen as the other drivers who are still in contention.
However, Button said he thought it was now going to be difficult for those drivers outside the top two placings to realistically challenge for the title and that it was now more of a less a two-horse race.
"It's hard for anyone [to catch Alonso] except Seb at the moment," was quoted by the BBC
. "It's between those two but there's still a lot of people with a long shot. That's what we're all going to go for.”
Button did concede however that the 2012 season had shown that things can quickly change, with all of the leading drivers having hit a problem at one stage.
“One bad race makes a massive difference," he said. "Fernando had his in Spa, Lewis had his in Spa and here, Seb had his at the last race.
"I had mine in the last race. When no-one has the consistency you can't close a big gap on someone. Seb is only 29 points behind, that's a gap that's shrinking."