March 19, 2018

Lewis Hamilton wins Singapore Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel crashes out

17 September 2017, 07:35 | Sandy Nunez

I didn't see that much - Vettel blindsided by early Singapore crash

Confident Vettel leaves Hamilton needing 'miracle'

Here's our predictions for what drivers will come away with the win.

"I think there was damage on the auto already", he said of his second incident. "Who could have known that would happen?"

But Hamilton kept his cool to not only remain in charge of the championship - a scenario which appeared nearly impossible here on Saturday night - but extended his lead to more than a single victory.

"It couldn't be a more ideal scenario", Hamilton said. Qualifying also is just constant improvement, even though the whole weekend we were a bit down on power, I don't know why we couldn't really solve it.

Ricciardo maintained that winning the race would be the only acceptable result for him. "Seb turned it on in qualifying, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow".

Carlos Sainz Jr. secured a career-best fourth place for Toro Rosso, with Force India's Sergio Perez in fifth. Lewis is leading the race and the three of us are out. F1's marquee night race starts on Sunday at 1pm. "Hopefully the next races are more in our direction".

Vettel then said: 'You sure?' With the engineer confirming their intention: 'Yes, stop the vehicle now'.

He said: "I didn't see that much".

Stewards summoned Vettel, Raikkonen and Verstappen to a meeting after the race.

Verstappen blamed Vettel, but none of the drivers will face further action.

Hamilton stayed left, picking his spot, avoiding any danger as he moved into the lead. "I don't want to catch any of that stuff", he said. "Then it was all about managing the tires".

Daniil Kvyat, Marcus Ericsson (both accidents), Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen (both mechanical) joined the big names on the DNF list before the end of the race - which was shortened from the scheduled 61 laps to just 58 inside the two-hour time limit by the various safety vehicle interventions - but there was little drama out front, with the biggest question marks surrounding the point at which it was judicious to move from grooved rubber to slicks.

Confident Vettel leaves Hamilton needing 'miracle'

"It's not ideal is it", Vettel said.

"I could see Kimi had a great start so I tried not to defend that as it's a long race but after 200 metres everything was done". "I'm sure there will be more opportunities".

"If you are fighting for the world championship you shouldn't take those risks squeezing someone that much". "It was not very clever".

"The vehicle was completely destroyed on the left side", the Spaniard said.

Alonso lasted just a few laps before the damage sustained at the first corner forced him to retire, and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat became the fifth man out when he ploughed nose-first into a barrier - prompting a second safety vehicle.

Hamilton soon got into the groove and opened up a handsome five second advantage to Ricciardo in second.

Hamilton was 0.635 seconds off Vettel's time in fifth place, and the Briton was a similar margin ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas in sixth.

The safety auto came out again, after Marcus Ericsson's Sauber stalled on lap 39.

Mercedes declined to pit Hamilton under the safety auto but after the restart, he reeled off a string of fastest laps on the slowly drying track, extending his lead over Ricciardo.

The safety auto cuts the leader's momentum and enables others to close the gap.

It left Hamilton to breeze through all the chaos and dictate proceedings for the rest of the race which reached the two-hour limit before the full race distance was completed.

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