Lewis Hamilton profited from chaos to win the Singapore Grand Prix and extend his championship lead to 28 points on Sunday as title rival Sebastian Vettel lost huge ground after crashing out on the first lap. They also managed to take out Fernando Alonso, who was bitterly disappointed retiring from what could have been a really strong race for McLaren.
The race started with Vettel at the pole, but it was teammate Kimi Raikkonen making a fantastic start from fourth and was alongside Vettel and Verstappen just before Turn 1.
The crash ended all their evenings.
Asked if Vettel’s misfortune was somehow payback for June’s controversial Azerbaijan GP, when the German still finished one place ahead despite receiving a time penalty for driving into the Englishman’s Mercedes, Hamilton replied: “I don’t know if it’s Karma but whatever it is I will definitely take it”.
Eastern promise When is the Singapore Grand Prix, what TV channel is the F1 race on and how many laps will there be? I’ve been in the situation of losing both cars, and you can relate how terrible that thing could be.
As the rain fell on the Marina Bay Street Circuit ahead of the 8pm race start on Sunday evening (Sept 17), there were plenty of anxious frowns as the Formula 1 drivers gazed skywards.
After the race Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed Ricciardo also had a gearbox issue.
But he is now in a great position to claim his fifth win in Singapore, while Hamilton will be up against it when he starts from the third row of the grid.
Not knowing his teammate was there, Vettel veered aggressively across the track to defend from Verstappen, leaving the Dutchman nowhere to go.
“I was just focused on winning and trying to get to the front”.
But arriving in Perth yesterday the Red Bull driver was his customary smiling self, posing for selfies with fans at the airport.
“I don’t know why he would risk so much at this important stage of the world championship”.
“The stewards consider that no driver was found to have been wholly or predominantly to blame for the incident and will therefore take no further action”.
Lewis Hamilton capitalised to win – opening up a 28-point lead over Vettel in the title fight – while Valtteri Bottas’ third place helped Mercedes move 102 points clear in the constructors’ standings.
“You don’t change line like this”, Villeneuve said.
“In the morning we were talking about damage limitation, and we go our away from Singapore with a P1 and P3”, Wolff said. “So, to come out the complete other direction, for sure it’s a shock”.