Hamilton wins shocking Singapore Grand Prix as rain causes chaos

Autosport

Lewis Hamilton took victory in a dramatic Singapore Grand Prix as Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel crashed out at the start.

Hamilton crossed the line 4.5 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, with Valtteri Bottas completing the podium.

Hamilton extended his championship lead to 28 points over Vettel, with Bottas 23 points further back in third.

Rain was falling ahead of the start, with the top six drivers – Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Bottas – starting on the intermediates while others, including Nico Hulkenberg and the McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne opted for the full wets.

Kimi Raikkonen made a strong getaway from fourth to go three abreast with polesitter Vettel and Verstappen on the approach to Turn 1.

Vettel moved across to cover the inside line, squeezing Verstappen who then made contact with Raikkonen, spearing the Finn across the track into Vettel.

Raikkonen’s out of control car then collected Verstappen and Alonso at Turn 1, putting Raikkonen and Verstappen out of the race immediately.

The stewards said they would investigate the incident after the race.

Vettel continued in the lead with his damaged car, but then lost control out of Turn 3 and after he’d hit the barriers hard, his Ferrari team instructed him to retire.

Alonso managed to continue but his McLaren team lost telemetry and though it came back, it ultimately called him in to retire as well.

Hamilton inherited the lead, but the race was neutralised when the safety car was sent out so the debris could be cleared.

At the restart, Hamilton bolted away at the front, pulling out a lead of 3.5s over Ricciardo after just one lap with Hulkenberg running third.

The rain stopped on lap six with conditions rapidly favouring those running intermediates.

The safety car was called out again when Daniil Kvyat crashed after locking up at the end of the back straight and understeering into the wall.

Several drivers, including Ricciardo, took the opportunity to pit for fresh intermediates but Mercedes kept Hamilton and Bottas out.

By the time the safety car came back in at the end of lap 14, everyone was on intermediates apart from Felipe Massa and Pascal Wehrlein.

As the track began to dry, Kevin Magnussen was the first driver to switch to slicks, taking the ultra-softs, while Massa followed suit.

It quickly became clear that was the tyre to be on, sparking a flurry of pitstops, with Ricciardo pitting on lap 29 in a bid to undercut Hamilton.

Mercedes responded the next lap and Hamilton rejoined in the lead.

He set about pulling away from the Red Bull, building an 18.7s lead over Ricciardo before the safety car came out for third time when Marcus Ericsson crashed on the Anderson Bridge.

Several drivers pitted for fresh tyres, including Hulkenberg who also needed an air line plugged into his car which delayed the stop and dropped him from fourth to 10th before he retired in the closing stages.

Hamilton pulled clear at the restart with the Mercedes driver quickly building a lead of four seconds.

Mercedes told him to hold that gap to keep the field compressed and avoid giving anyone else a free stop but after a discussion, it told Hamilton he could dictate the pace and ultimately secure his seventh win of the season.

Carlos Sainz Jr finished a career-best fourth for Toro Rosso, ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez, with Jolyon Palmer scoring his first points of the season in sixth.

Stoffel Vandoorne was seventh with Lance Stroll eighth as Romain Grosjean and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.

The race became time-limited due to the safety car interruptions meaning only 58 of the 61 laps could be completed within the two-hour limit.

Race result

POSDRIVERCARLAPSGAP
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes582h03m23.544s
2Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault584.507s
3Valtteri BottasMercedes588.800s
4Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Renault5822.822s
5Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes5825.359s
6Jolyon PalmerRenault5827.259s
7Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren/Honda5830.388s
8Lance StrollWilliams/Mercedes5841.696s
9Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari5843.282s
10Esteban OconForce India/Mercedes5844.795s
11Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes5846.536s
12Pascal WehrleinSauber/Ferrari562 Laps
Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari50Power Unit
Nico HulkenbergRenault48Oil leak
Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari35Spun off
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Renault10Spun off
Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda8Collision
Sebastian VettelFerrari0Collision
Kimi RaikkonenFerrari0Collision
Max VerstappenRed Bull/Renault0Collision

Drivers’ standings

POSDRIVERPOINTS
1Lewis Hamilton263
2Sebastian Vettel235
3Valtteri Bottas212
4Daniel Ricciardo162
5Kimi Raikkonen138
6Max Verstappen68
7Sergio Perez68
8Esteban Ocon56
9Carlos Sainz48
10Nico Hulkenberg34
11Felipe Massa31
12Lance Stroll28
13Romain Grosjean26
14Kevin Magnussen11
15Fernando Alonso10
16Jolyon Palmer8
17Stoffel Vandoorne7
18Pascal Wehrlein5
19Daniil Kvyat4
20Marcus Ericsson0
21Antonio Giovinazzi0

Constructors’ standings

POSCONSTRUCTORPOINTS
1Mercedes475
2Ferrari373
3Red Bull/Renault230
4Force India/Mercedes124
5Williams/Mercedes59
6Toro Rosso/Renault52
7Renault42
8Haas/Ferrari37
9McLaren/Honda17
10Sauber/Ferrari5

Hamilton wins shocking Singapore Grand Prix as rain causes chaos

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