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Lewis Hamilton cruises to victory at the Singapore Grand Prix

17 September 2018 - Autoblog

Lewis Hamilton cruises to victory at the Singapore Grand Prix

Another disappointing weekend for Vettel and Ferrari

Britain's Lewis Hamilton eased to victory from pole position at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday as the Mercedes driver extended his championship lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to 40 points with six rounds remaining. Hamilton held off a mid-race challenge from Red Bull's Max Verstappen to register a record-equaling fourth triumph at the floodlit Marina Bay Street Circuit track, while Vettel finished third to slip further behind in the title race.

"Great job everyone, what a weekend... keep pushing, keep pushing, we've got this," Hamilton told his team over the radio soon after crossing the line at the end of the 61st lap.

Hamilton's 69th overall victory was his seventh of the season and it was built on the foundations of a stunning qualifying lap on Saturday, when he stormed to pole in a car deemed inferior to the Ferraris and Red Bulls on this circuit. For Vettel and Ferrari it was another disappointing weekend after the car showed plenty of pace through all three practice sessions, the German's cause not helped by a questionable strategy and a poor pitstop.

Hamilton won this race from the third row a year ago when Vettel, Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen collided before Turn One but there was no repeat of such drama this time after the drivers got off to a clean start at the head of the field. There has, however, been a safety car period in every race in Singapore since it joined Formula One in 2008 and it was deployed on the opening lap after Sergio Perez pushed his Force India team mate Esteban Ocon into a wall after Turn Three.

"Sorry guys there was no room," Perez told his team over the radio.

Vettel got past Verstappen before the safety car emerged and slotted in behind Hamilton, but his race unraveled when the German pitted first on the 14th lap but got stuck in traffic and overtaken by the Dutchman when he made his stop for fresh tires.

BACK MARKERS

Hamilton was cruising up front but suffered a mini-crisis on the 38th lap when he got stuck in a queue of tail-enders, which allowed Verstappen to get right up behind him. The Dutchman had a look up the inside as Hamilton struggled to pass the back markers but the Briton just stayed ahead and was able to pull clear all the way to the checkered flag once he had a clear track ahead of him.

"It definitely got a little bit interesting toward the end with the back markers as you could already feel the draft from the cars when you were five and six seconds behind," Hamilton added. "And you can't really see the blue flags (telling back markers to move aside), they are quite dark."

Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas held off a prolonged late challenge from Raikkonen in the other Ferrari to claim fourth place, the pair finishing just ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who was closing on them in the final laps. McLaren's Fernando Alonso came home in seventh, with Renault's Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg claiming eighth and 10th respectively, either side of Sauber's Charles Leclerc.

"Overall we had a very strong package, both Kimi and myself looked very competitive throughout practice, but in the end, the race result, we finished third and fifth," Vettel said. "Like yesterday, not where the speed of our car belongs." 

FORMULA 1 2018 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX - RACE RESULT

14-16 Sep 2018 Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore

144Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES611:51:11.61125
233Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER61+8.961s18
35Sebastian VettelFERRARI61+39.945s15
477Valtteri BottasMERCEDES61+51.930s12
57Kimi RäikkönenFERRARI61+53.001s10
63Daniel RicciardoRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER61+53.982s8
714Fernando AlonsoMCLAREN RENAULT61+103.011s6
855Carlos SainzRENAULT60+1 lap4
916Charles LeclercSAUBER FERRARI60+1 lap2
1027Nico HulkenbergRENAULT60+1 lap1
119Marcus EricssonSAUBER FERRARI60+1 lap0
122Stoffel VandoorneMCLAREN RENAULT60+1 lap0
1310Pierre GaslySCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA60+1 lap0
1418Lance StrollWILLIAMS MERCEDES60+1 lap0
158Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI60+1 lap0
1611Sergio PerezFORCE INDIA MERCEDES60+1 lap0
1728Brendon HartleySCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA60+1 lap0
1820Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI59+2 laps0
1935Sergey SirotkinWILLIAMS MERCEDES59+2 laps0
NC31Esteban OconFORCE INDIA MERCEDES0DNF0

Note - Grosjean received a 5-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags.

2018 Driver Standings

1Lewis HamiltonGBRMERCEDES281
2Sebastian VettelGERFERRARI241
3Kimi RäikkönenFINFERRARI174
4Valtteri BottasFINMERCEDES171
5Max VerstappenNEDRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER148
6Daniel RicciardoAUSRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER126
7Nico HulkenbergGERRENAULT53
8Fernando AlonsoESPMCLAREN RENAULT50
9Kevin MagnussenDENHAAS FERRARI49
10Sergio PerezMEXFORCE INDIA MERCEDES46
11Esteban OconFRAFORCE INDIA MERCEDES45
12Carlos SainzESPRENAULT38
13Pierre GaslyFRASCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA28
14Romain GrosjeanFRAHAAS FERRARI27
15Charles LeclercMONSAUBER FERRARI15
16Stoffel VandoorneBELMCLAREN RENAULT8
17Lance StrollCANWILLIAMS MERCEDES6
18Marcus EricssonSWESAUBER FERRARI6
19Brendon HartleyNZLSCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA2
20Sergey SirotkinRUSWILLIAMS MERCEDES1

2018 Constructor Standings

1MERCEDES452
2FERRARI415
3RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER274
4RENAULT91
5HAAS FERRARI76
6MCLAREN RENAULT58
7FORCE INDIA MERCEDES32
8SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA30
9SAUBER FERRARI21
10WILLIAMS MERCEDES7

 

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