Singapore - Lewis
Hamilton won the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday in dominant fashion to
increase his Formula One championship lead over Sebastian Vettel to 40
points with just six races remaining.
The Mercedes driver led from pole to chequered flag, with Red Bull's
Max Verstappen more than eight seconds behind and Ferrari's Vettel a
"Great job everyone, what a weekend," said Hamilton on team radio
immediately after winning at the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the
second year running. "Keep pushing - we've got this guys."
A unique set of challenges makes the steamy track in the heat and
humidity of Singapore's tropical climate the toughest physical test of
The duration of the race, with each of the 61 laps of the 5.063km track having 23 bends and 80 gear changes - more than any
other on the Formula One calendar - means that drivers and machinery
are worked to breaking point.
"I'm spent. It felt like the longest race of my life so I'm glad it's
over," said Hamilton when interviewed on track after hugging his crew
in celebration. "Max put up a great fight as well - but what a day,
what a weekend."
Hamilton got the perfect start from pole position as Verstappen was
slower away from second on the dirty side of the grid and saw his Red
Bull come immediately under pressure from Vettel.
The German four-time world champion used his superior Ferrari power
to outdrag Verstappen down Raffles Boulevard and just managed to nip
past the Dutchman before the safety car brought a temporary halt to
hostilities on the first lap for the third year in succession in
It was prompted by a collision between the Force Indias that put
Esteban Ocon into the wall and out of the race after a sideswipe from
teammate Sergio Perez.
Hamilton controlled the restart four laps later to sprint away more than a second clear of Vettel.
leader had stretched his lead to around three seconds when, on lap 14,
Vettel was first to pit for ultrasoft tyres, but it soon looked an
ill-judged move as he rejoined behind the slower Force India of Perez.
Hamilton responded immediately and pitted on the next lap, but he
crucially opted for the soft compound that had been predicted to last
until the end.
Vettel's frustration increased as Hamilton rejoined in front and then
boiled over as Verstappen jumped him when he too pitted for softs with a
cry of "Yes!" on team radio.
There's "no chance" of winning, Vettel moaned. "We were too late again," he bawled. "These tyres will not make it to the end."
When the last of the front-runners, Daniel Ricciardo, took on
ultrasofts on lap 27, it left the top six back in grid order: Hamilton
leading, Verstappen second and Vettel third.
"I think the team had a great strategy so we could get back into second place," said Verstappen.
Hamilton remained in control but was getting twitchy up front. "I
feel we have stopped too early," he said, as a few spots of rain began
to tumble around the circuit.
"No we are looking good compared to those around us," assured his race engineer Peter Bonnington.
Hamilton withstood a challenge from Verstappen as the pair threaded their way through some backmarkers.
"Basically we did our own race. We tried to follow Lewis a little
bit, but in the end we knew that second was going to be the result,"
Hamilton conceded that Verstappen had worried him as they both got caught in the traffic.
"Max, you had an opportunity," Hamilton told the young Dutchman after
the race. "I had to go on massive defensive while still racing the
Valtteri Bottas guided his Mercedes to fourth place, Kimi Raikkonen's
Ferrari came home fifth and Ricciardo was sixth in the second Red Bull.
Results from Singapore Formula One Grand Prix after 61 laps of the 5.063km Marina Bay Street Circuit:
1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes-AMG) 309 km in 1hr 51min 11.611sec (average speed 167kph/103mph)
2. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) at 8.961 sec
3. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari) at 39.945
4. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes-AMG) at 51.930
5. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Ferrari) at 53.001
6. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Red Bull) at 53.982
7. Fernando Alonso (ESP/McLaren-Renault) at 1min 43.011sec
8. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Renault) at 1 lap
9. Charles Leclerc (MON/Sauber) at 1 lap
10. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Renault) at 1 lap
11. Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Sauber) at 1 lap
12. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL/McLaren-Renault) at 1 lap
13. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas) at 1 lap
14. Pierre Gasly (FRA/Toro Rosso-Honda) at 1 lap
15. Lance Stroll (CAN/Williams) at 1 lap
16. Sergio Perez (MEX/Force India) at 1 lap
17. Brendon Hartley (NZL/Toro Rosso-Honda) at 1 lap
18. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas) at 2 laps
19. Sergey Sirotkin (RUS/Williams) at 2 laps
Esteban Ocon (FRA/Force India) lap 1.
Drivers' championship standings:
1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) 281 pts, 2. Sebastian Vettel (GER) 241, 3.
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) 174, 4. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) 171, 5. Max
Verstappen (NED) 148, 6. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) 126, 7. Nico Hulkenberg
(GER) 53, 8. Fernando Alonso (ESP) 50, 9. Kevin Magnussen (DEN) 49, 10.
Sergio Perez (MEX) 46, 11. Esteban Ocon (FRA) 45, 12. Carlos Sainz Jr
(ESP) 38, 13. Pierre Gasly (FRA) 28, 14. Romain Grosjean (FRA) 27, 15.
Charles Leclerc (MON) 15, 16. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) 8, 17. Lance
Stroll (CAN) 6, 18. Marcus Ericsson (SWE) 6, 19. Brendon Hartley (NZL)
2, 20. Sergey Sirotkin (RUS) 1
1. Mercedes 452 pts, 2. Ferrari 415, 3. Red Bull 274, 4. Renault 91,
5. Haas 76, 6. McLaren-Renault 58, 7. Force India 32, 8. Toro
Rosso-Honda 30, 9. Sauber 21, 10. Williams 7