Hamilton wins dramatic Singapore GPposted in F117 | 09 | 2017

    LEWIS HAMILTON WON a dramatic Singapore Grand Prix dominated by a start-line incident which accounted for the two Ferraris Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. (Related: Hamilton dominates at Monza)

    While Hamilton’s 60th win of his F1 career means he heads to the next round in Malaysia having extended his lead to 28 points with six races remaining, Vettel was left reflecting on his actions which triggered the incident.

    Stewards investigated the collisions after the race and deemed it a racing incident, deciding that “no driver was wholly or predominantly to blame”. Others though had their own interpretations of the crash.

    Ferrari-Crash-1.jpg

    Vettel stuttered slightly as he started the race from pole position, while his team-mate Raikkonen made a blistering start from fourth. As the Finn accelerated alongside Verstappen, who had started from second, Vettel veered across the front of the Red Bull.

    Having held a straight line from his grid slot, Verstappen then instinctively moved slightly to the left in a bid to to avoid making contact with Vettel. In the process he made contact with Raikkonen.

    Ferrari-Crash-2.jpg

    The Finn’s Ferrari then speared across the track and hit Vettel, before continuing down towards Turn 1 and collecting Verstappen. The impact also badly damaged Fernando Alonso’s McLaren.

    As the rain which had started as the cars sat on the grid continued to fall, Vettel managed to keep his car in the lead, followed now by Hamilton who had managed to avoid the carnage.

    Vettel’s race though ended a few yards later when he inexplicably spun — most likely on the liquid which was spewing from the rear of his car — and ripped the nose off his Ferrari. The team instructed him to immediately retire the car.

    The safety car was immediately deployed so the debris could be cleared.

    Singapore-GP-Podium.jpg

    Alonso, somehow, managed to continue with his McLaren, but the team eventually told him to retire.

    On the restart, Hamilton bolted away at the front, and pulled out a lead of 3.5s over the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo after just one lap, with Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault third.

    By lap six, the rain had stopped and conditions favoured the drivers running intermediates. The safety car made another appearance when Daniil Kvyat understeered into the wall after locking up at the end of the back straight.

    Singapore-GP-Bottas-Champagne.jpg

    A number of drivers, including Ricciardo, took advantage of the situation and pitted for fresh intermediates. Mercedes opted to keep both Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas out.

    When the safety car released the field at the end of lap 14, everyone was on intermediates apart from Felipe Massa and Pascal Wehrlein.

    Kevin Magnussen was the first to switch to slicks, opting for the ultra-softs, as the track dried. The Haas driver was followed quickly my the Williams of Felipe Massa.

    Singapore-GP-Chequered.jpg

    As others saw their increase in performance, a flurry of pitstops saw the field dash for the pits to fit slicks.  Ricciardo pitted on lap 29 in a bid to undercut Hamilton, but Mercedes responded the next lap and the world championship leader rejoined in the lead.

    Hamilton rapidly, and effortlessly, built an 18.7s lead over Ricciardo. But he was frustrated when the safety car came out for third time following Marcus Ericsson crashing on the Anderson Bridge.

    Singapore-GP-Crouch.jpg

    Several drivers, including Hulkenberg, pitted for fresh tyres. The German was delayed when the team was forced to top-up his car’s hydraulic fluid. That dropped him from fourth to 10th, and he was eventually forced to retire in the closing stages.

    On the restart, Hamilton again cruised away from Riccardo, and eventually crossed the line to finish 4.5secs ahead of the Red Bull, with Bottas third. The Finn is now just 23 points behind second-placed Vettel.

    Behind the podium finishers, Carlos Sainz Jr finished a career-best fourth for Toro Rosso, ahead of Force India's Sergio Perez. England’s Jolyon Palmer scoried his first points of the season for Renault in sixth.

    McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne finished seventh, ahead of the Williams of Lance Stroll. The Haas of Romain Grosjean and Force India’s Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.

    F1 Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit. Result:

    1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport 58 laps

    2. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer +4.507s

    3. Valtteri Bottas FIN Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport +8.800s

    4. Carlos Sainz SPA Scuderia Toro Rosso-Renault +22.822s

    5. Sergio Perez MEX Sahara Force India-Mercedes +25.359s

    6. Jolyon Palmer GBR Renault Sport F1 +27.259s

    7. Stoffel Vandoorne BEL McLaren-Honda +30.388s

    8. Lance Stroll CAN Williams Martini Racing-Mercedes +41.696s

    9. Romain Grosjean FRA Haas-Ferrari +43.282s

    10. Esteban Ocon FRA Sahara Force India-Mercedes +44.795s

    11. Felipe Massa BRA Williams Martini Racing-Mercedes +46.536s

    12. Pascal Wehrlein GER Sauber-Ferrari +2 laps

    Retired

    Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas-Ferrari

    Nico Hulkenberg GER Renault Sport F1

    Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari

    Daniil Kvyat RUS Scuderia Toro Rosso-Renault

    Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren-Honda

    Sebastian Vettel GER Scuderia Ferrari

    Max Verstappen NED Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer

    Kimi Raikkonen FIN Scuderia Ferrari

    Related: Mitchell bags LMP3 podium on debut

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    Jim McGill

     

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