Lewis Hamilton has won his third Singapore Grand Prix after taking the lead on the first lap and never relinquishing it.
Prior to the race Rainfall had hit the street track, meaning that for the first time in history Formula 1 was hosting a night race with wet weather.
Some people believed that the Grand Prix should have started under safety car conditions but the race start was unchanged from it’s usual procedure. The start was certainly eventful, Raikkonen got off to a good start at found himself closing up Max Verstappen’s inside, meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel’s line from the start had him coming towards Verstappen’s side of the track. This meant that the Ferrari drivers squeezed Verstappen and left the Red Bull nowhere to go.
The three collided with Kimi and Max not getting past the first corner and having to retire. Fernando Alonso had a blistering start off the line and found himself very briefly in third place, before being collected by Verstappen’s Red Bull. Alonso was gutted and had been quoted saying a podium was ‘guaranteed’ had he not have been hit in the first corner. Alonso valiantly tried to continue limping his McLaren Honda around with severe damage to his side pod area.
Vettel did not make it much further than his teammate , sustaining a lot of damage to his car he span out of control after turn 3 seemingly spinning up his rear tyres on his own coolant that was leaking from the car and hitting the wall losing his front wing entirely.
The safety car was deployed whilst all the chaos was cleaned up. Whilst this was in progress the cars were diverted through the pit lane. This meant Alonso and his poorly McLaren actually couldn’t stop to retire from the race. Alonso retired shortly after the safety car came in.
Hamilton got off to a good start and found himself in the lead after Vettel Span off and Aussie Daniel Ricciardo Moved into 2nd place after all the lap 1 antics. Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top three as of the safety and temporarily was avoiding holding a sole record of the most F1 starts without a podium finish, previously held by former Force India driver Adrian Sutil the two drivers shared the record at 128 starts but Nico couldn’t sustain his position later retiring with mechanical difficulties and extended his run to 129 starts without a podium.
Hamilton seemed to be able to cope with any offense Ricciardo posed and soon pulled away only to have the field closed right back up on lap 11 after Daniil Kvyat collided with the barrier at turn 7 and the safety car was deployed once more. The same thing happened again on lap 38 when Marcus Ericsson found himself facing the wrong way on the Anderson Bridge section. Hamilton began voicing his frustration over the team radio saying the safety car periods are ‘ridiculous’ and that a VSC (Virtual Safety Car) would have sufficed.
After the final restart it was apparent that the race would not reach the 61 lap total and would time out, going past the 2 hour time limit for all F1 races. The race in fact finished after lap 58 with Hamilton winning by 4.5 seconds over Ricciardo with Hamilton’s teammate Valtarri Bottas taking the last step on the podium.
Sainz and Palmer gained their season best finishes with 4th and 6th respectively and Stoffel Vandorne brought home some much needed points for McLaren Honda in 7th.
This certainly was a race to forget for Sebastian Vettel who sees his championship challenge become a whole lot harder after giving up 25 points to his Rival with what was very much an overaggressive and unnecessarily defensive start tactic, Hamilton now leads by 28 points with 6 races to go. Next stop Malaysia.
Top 10 Classification
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Daniel Ricciardo
3 Valtarri Bottas
4 Carlos Sainz
5 Sergio Perez
6 Jolyon Palmer
7 Stoffel Vandorne
8 Roman Grosjean
9 Lance Stroll
10 Estoban Ocon