Singapore Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton extends championship lead under lights

Toby Graves
September 17, 2018

Good grid position is essential in Singpaore, where seven of the last 10 races have been won by the driver on pole position, a great sign for Hamilton who has already built up a 30-point lead on Vettel having won three of the last four races.

His win at the Singapore Grand Prix was the culmination of a weekend when he put together moments of nearly transcendent skill and a ruthless execution when it mattered that was untouchable. "It's one of the best laps I can remember".

Great performance though Hamilton's was to secure the pole in a Mercedes that, like past year, was generally unsuited to the track's characteristics, in reality Ferrari had presented him with an open goal.

"The only thing I can say is it was a great qualifying, I think the best I have ever done and also the vehicle was working really well".

But Hamilton followed him in next time around, fitting the more durable soft tyre, and rejoined ahead of Vettel, who had soon found himself held up behind Perez when he came out of the pits.

Lewis Hamilton was unimpressed, and complained about his rear tyres vociferously as the chequered flag waved. I think other people did a better job.

The British driver's biggest rival Sebastian Vettel could only finish third, which means the lead between them was stretched to 40 points in the drivers' standings. Both Sirotkin and Grosjean were handed five-second time penalties for the incident, which also included two penalty points. We are again too late. "I said before the weekend we could only beat ourselves and I think today we didn't get everything out of our package". However, he crashed heading into the first turn, taking out Verstappen, Raikkonen, and Fernando Alonso with him.

Hamilton has signed a contract until the end of 2020 and last week suggested he was encouraged by the look of the proposed cars for 2021 to continue racing on after then.

Vettel's championship bid crumbled when he crashed from pole here previous year and then went on to lose the title by 46 points to Hamilton.

Hamilton was not expecting to start from first place this time, either.

"If it was going to be enough to pole I am not so sure", he said, "but at least it was going to be closer than three-tenths".

The incident meant it was for the third year in a row that the safety vehicle was deployed on lap one.

"It definitely got a little bit interesting towards the end with some of the backmarkers, which was extremely hard", he said.

"I´m spent. It felt like the longest race of my life so I´m glad it´s over", said Hamilton when interviewed on track after hugging his crew in celebration.

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