Hamilton wins a dramatic Singapore Grand Prix as Vettel crashes out

Lewis Hamilton scored an important victory in a dramatic Singapore Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel crashed out at the start.

Hamilton took the chequered flag 4.5 seconds ahead of Red Bull Racing’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 pole sitter 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 Iceman 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.

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 3.5 seconds 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 18.7 seconds 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 tenth  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 ten.

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.

So congratulations to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in winning. This was an important result for the championship. As for Ferrari, this self-destruction was unacceptable but that’s racing. Hopefully the Scuderia can fight back, for the sake of the championship.

Singapore Grand Prix race results:
1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    58    2h03m23.543s
2    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    58    4.507s
3    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    58    8.800s
4    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    58    22.822s
5    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    58    25.359s
6    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    58    27.259s
7    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    58    30.388s
8    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    58    41.696s
9    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    58    43.282s
10    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    58    44.795s
11    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    58    46.536s
12    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    56    2 Laps
–    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    50    Retirement
–    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    48    Retirement
–    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    35    Spun off
–    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    10    Spun off
–    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    8    Collision
–    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    0    Collision
–    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    0    Collision
–    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    0    Collision

Drivers’ standings:
1    Lewis Hamilton    263
2    Sebastian Vettel    235
3    Valtteri Bottas    212
4    Daniel Ricciardo    162
5    Kimi Raikkonen    138
6    Max Verstappen    68
7    Sergio Perez    68
8    Esteban Ocon    56
9    Carlos Sainz    48
10    Nico Hulkenberg    34
11    Felipe Massa    31
12    Lance Stroll    28
13    Romain Grosjean    26
14    Kevin Magnussen    11
15    Fernando Alonso    10
16    Jolyon Palmer    8
17    Stoffel Vandoorne    7
18    Pascal Wehrlein    5
19    Daniil Kvyat    4
20    Marcus Ericsson    0
21    Antonio Giovinazzi    0

Constructors’ standings:
1    Mercedes    475
2    Ferrari    373
3    Red Bull-Renault    230
4    Force India-Mercedes    124
5    Williams-Mercedes    59
6    Toro Rosso-Renault    52
7    Renault    42
8    Haas-Ferrari    37
9    McLaren-Honda    17
10    Sauber-Ferrari    5

8 thoughts to “Hamilton wins a dramatic Singapore Grand Prix as Vettel crashes out”

  1. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was left feeling baffled by the first lap Singapore accident. Motorsport.com has the news story.

    Sebastian Vettel says he does not know what happened in the Singapore Grand Prix Formula 1 start crash involving both Ferraris, Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso.

    Vettel, Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen came together on the run away from the grid, with Raikkonen’s car then collecting Verstappen and Alonso’s McLaren at Turn 1.

    While the three leaders were out on the spot, Alonso tried to continue after the resulting safety car, but his McLaren was too damaged and he had to retire.

    Vettel, who was on the outside and moved over to cover the inside line as Verstappen and Raikkonen approached on his left, said it was not clear what had happened.

    “I don’t know, I didn’t see that much,” Vettel told TV crews when asked to describe the accident. “I had an average start and then went to the left trying to fend off Max and the next thing I get a bump on the side and see Kimi’s car.

    “That’s how this business is, and we’ll move on. It doesn’t change much.”

    Vettel made it through the first corner without getting collected by the other cars involved, but he then crashed out of the lead when he spun on the run out of Turn 3.

    “I think there was damage on the car already,” he said of his second incident. The cooler was broken and massively bent so we lost all water pressure.

    “Not ideal, is it. We’re not in the race and that’s a pity, we can’t show the pace we have. It’s a long race but we are on the wrong side of the track so that doesn’t help.

    “There’s nothing we can do now. But I’m sure there’ll be more opportunities.”

    The FIA has said the incident will be investigated after the race.

  2. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was not impressed with Sebastian Vettel on the lap one crash and admitted it was “not clever” from the Ferrari driver. Motorsport.com has the story.

    Max Verstappen says Sebastian Vettel was the main driver at fault for the Singapore Grand Prix Formula 1 start crash.

    Verstappen was pinched between the Ferraris of Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen on the run to the first corner, causing all three cars to collide and resulting in a secondary incident that also collected Fernando Alonso.

    While Vettel avoided that second impact at Turn 1, his car was damaged and he crashed out moments later from the lead of the race.

    Vettel said he didn’t know what happened to cause the accident, but Verstappen felt the German was at fault.

    When asked by TV crews who was to blame for the crash, Verstappen said: “Mainly Sebastian. He started squeezing me, maybe he didn’t see Kimi on the left.

    “That’s not an excuse – if you’re fighting for the world championship, you shouldn’t take those risks to squeeze someone that much.

    “What does he expect? When you’re fighting for a world championship, you shouldn’t do that. It was not very clever.

    “I don’t think it was a racing incident. At the end of the day, they take, in total, three cars out.”

    Verstappen said he tried to back off and feels there was nothing he could have done differently to avoid the crash.

    “I tried to back out of it because I could see it coming, but the rear tyres are wider than the front so I couldn’t back out of it anymore,” he added.

    “I was in the middle without doing anything wrong, I was just trying to have a clean start.

    “I’m happy that not only I retired, but all three of us, so we all have a bit of pain. If I make a mistake myself and go off, that’s a different story.

    “I could see Kimi had a great start so I tried not to defend that as it’s a long race but after 200 metres everything was done.”

    Raikkonen added: “I don’t think I could have done anything to change the end result apart from doing a bad start and not being there.

    “That’s not really my fault. Whatever the cause of the accident is, it doesn’t change the end result. There are always different views, but I don’t think I could have done anything different.”

    The FIA said it will investigate the accident after the race.

  3. Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel will face a post-race investigation at the Singapore Grand Prix to judge if any of them were to blame for a start-line crash.

    With the race starting in wet conditions, Vettel had got away cleanly from pole position, but behind him Verstappen and Raikkonen were coming through on the inside down into Turn 1.

    As Vettel moved across to cover the line before braking for Turn 1, Verstappen and Raikkonen clashed wheels on the left hand side of the track.

    After the collision, Raikkonen’s car was spun across the front of Verstappen and swiped into the side of Vettel’s car.

    While Vettel was briefly able to continue, Raikkonen’s car then careered out of control and collided with Verstappen at Turn 1 – with the incident also involving Fernando Alonso.

    Raikkonen and Verstappen were out on the spot, although Alonso was able to continue with a damaged car before retiring on lap 9.

    Despite clear damage to Vettel’s sidepod and radiator, the German was briefly able to keep going before losing control on the run down to Turn 4.

    The FIA stewards announced that the startline incident was under investigation, and it was decided that the matter will be looked at following the grand prix.

    Source: Motorsport.com

  4. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso says Singapore podium was guaranteed after making a strong start. Unfortunately, he was caught in the opening lap mayhem. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Fernando Alonso believes he could have been in the fight for victory in the Singapore Grand Prix if not for the first-corner accident, and reckons a podium finish was “guaranteed”.

    The McLaren driver made a good start from eighth on the grid, but was a a victim of the crash between Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen, the Red Bull car hitting Alonso and launching him into the air.

    Although Alonso managed to continue for several laps, he eventually retired as his car was too damaged to keep going.

    The Spanish driver believes that, given the quality of his start and the retirements in front, a podium finish was at least secure.

    “The car was completely destroyed on the left side, and it was almost a miracle we could continue after that hit,” Alonso said after retiring. “In the end we had to retire which is shame because we had high hopes for this race.

    “I think we would even be leading now because Hamilton was behind me in Turn 1, so if Hamilton is leading now it means we would be leading.”

    He added: “Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t. When we start last because of penalties or we change the engine, usually 20 cars finish.

    “Now we are good here and with the rain – I think the podium was guaranteed or maybe we would be even fighting for victory – everything happened.”

    Alonso, whose best result this season was a fifth-place finish in Hungary, admitted the retirement hurt given how strong McLaren had been this weekend in Singapore.

    “It hurts because a podium is always a podium but when we all arrive in the first corner at the start and you are on the outside, if one driver goes wide he hits you,” he said.

    “As I said, when starts are so close, things usually happen so we’ll try to find another chance in Malaysia.”

  5. Singapore Grand Prix race review as reported by Formula1.com.

    It was action from the off in Sunday evening’s Singapore Grand Prix – the first night race in F1 history to be run in wet conditions. With both Ferraris and a Red Bull eliminated in a coming-together at the start, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton stormed to his 60th F1 victory, extending his championship lead over Sebastian Vettel from three to 28 points with just six races to go.

    In a race that ran to the full two-hour limit thanks to three safety-car periods, Daniel Ricciardo made the Marina Bay podium for the fourth year in a row, as he took second place for Red Bull ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.

    Carlos Sainz scored his best-ever result with fourth for Toro Rosso; Jolyon Palmer did the same as he finished sixth for Renault; and likewise Stoffel Vandoorne with seventh place for McLaren. The remaining points places went to Force India’s Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon in fifth and tenth respectively, Williams’ Lance Stroll in eighth and Haas’s Romain Grosjean in ninth.

    With the forecast rain having started to fall just prior to the start, Vettel led off the line from his hard-won pole position, but as Max Verstappen lagged alongside him, Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen came creeping down the inside of the Red Bull heading to Turn 1. That was where the Dutchman found himself getting pinched in a Scuderia sandwich, and the three collided.

    Verstappen and Raikkonen were done for the night, sliding off on the outside of the corner and collecting an innocent Fernando Alonso, who had rocketed his McLaren off the line in typical fashion to briefly nose as high as third.

    Vettel clung to the lead as Hamilton jumped to second place round the outside, but then the German’s car damaged spun in a straight line, ripping off its nose and prompting his retirement.

    Hamilton thus led Ricciardo as the debris was cleared under the first of the three safety-car deployments.

    When the race resumed on the fifth lap, Hamilton began opening a gap to Ricciardo that was wiped out in the 11th lap when Daniil Kvyat crashed his Toro Rosso into the Turn 7 wall.

    Once again Hamilton rebuilt his advantage with another series of fastest laps, and by the 24th lap conditions were dry enough for slick tyres.

    Ricciardo took ultrasofts on the 28th lap, Hamilton a lap later, and yet again the Mercedes pilot opened up a lead, only to see it eradicated once more when Marcus Ericsson crashed his Sauber on the 37th lap after spinning on the Anderson Bridge.

    By then Ricciardo had been trading fastest lap with Hamilton, but when the track went green for the last time the Englishman was still able to draw away as he wished and eventually won by 4.5s.

    It was a great evening for Mercedes, with Valtteri Bottas bringing his car home third, albeit a long way behind the Red Bull.

    Carlos Sainz drove an excellent race for Toro Rosso and resisted race-long pressure from Force India’s Sergio Perez to take fourth place, 14s behind Bottas.

    And it was a good day at last for Jolyon Palmer who, after Renault team mate Nico Hulkenberg had fallen back from an excellent fourth place with mechanical problems, resisted attacks from Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren to finish sixth.

    Vandoorne was comfortably ahead of Lance Stroll’s Williams which benefited when the team split their early strategy and put him on intermediate tyres and kept Felipe Massa on full wets. The Canadian was chased home by Romain Grosjean’s Haas, as Esteban Ocon took the final point for Force India. Massa, in 11th, and Pascal Wehrlein in 12th, were the final finishers.

    Besides Verstappen, Raikkonen, Vettel, Kvyat, Ericsson and Hulkenberg, Alonso recovered from his first corner delay but retired his damaged McLaren with mechanical problems which led to loss of power, while Kevin Magnussen, whose Haas had a problem with its MGU-K, was the final DNF.

  6. Red Bull Racing feared Daniel Ricciardo would suffer gearbox failure. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Red Bull principal Christian Horner has revealed the team was seriously concerned that Daniel Ricciardo’s gearbox could have expired midway through the Singapore Grand Prix.

    Ricciardo avoided the first corner carnage that claimed teammate Max Verstappen and both Ferrari drivers to slot into second behind Lewis Hamilton.

    While the Red Bull RB13 had looked considerably the quicker car compared to the Mercedes W08 for most of the Singapore weekend, Ricciardo couldn’t mount a victory challenge.

    Horner revealed after the race that the Australian driver was held back by having to manage a gearbox issue the team had discovered early on.

    “Even before the first safety car, we could see were losing an awful lot of oil pressure in the gearbox,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “So we were thinking, ‘crikey, this is only going to go to half-distance’.

    “So Daniel had instructions to start managing that, and he had to sacrifice laptime from doing that. He did that incredibly well, and managed to nurse the car home for almost another hour and a half.”

    Asked whether Ricciardo could have won the race if not for the gearbox problem, Horner said: “We certainly could have been closer and put a bit more pressure on, but I think it’s very different conditions today – with the rain, the rubber being gone, it’s cooler than Friday, they were all factors.

    “Mercedes, particularly Lewis – we had Valtteri [Bottas] covered, but Lewis had a really strong day.”

    For his part, Ricciardo insisted having to manage the gearbox did not play a major role in the outcome.

    “Ultimately it didn’t change shape of race,” he said. “That wasn’t reason we were second and not first.”

    Having targeted a “dominant weekend” after sweeping both Friday practice sessions, Ricciardo remained optimistic about his chances of a race win despite missing out on pole.

    Instead, he had to settle for a third consecutive runner-up finish in Singapore, a result he admitted was hard to take given the RB13’s earlier pace.

    “That was the most frustrating thing, frustrating not to get that first win here,” Ricciardo said.

    “But more, we didn’t have the pace we showed on Friday, we struggled to look after the tyres – when able to punch out a good laptime, I couldn’t maintain it, whereas Lewis could answer and answer again.”

    Ricciardo felt his car was not set up perfectly for the wet-dry race, saying: “If we were to do race again and set up the car differently, something we did on car would have helped us if we went the other way to what the conditions were.”

    While his driver was frustrated by the outcome, the threat of a mechanical failure, paired with an early retirement for Verstappen, meant team boss Horner was satisfied with Ricciardo’s second place.

    Asked if this was a win that got away from Red Bull, Horner answered: “You could say that, but on lap 15 we were staring down the barrel of both cars being eliminated.

    “We came away with a second place here, so we’ll take that.”

  7. Carlos Sainz admits career-best fourth was “unthinkable” after a dramatic Singapore Grand Prix. Motorsport.com has the news story.

    Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz labelled his career-best fourth place finish in the Singapore Grand Prix as “unthinkable”.

    The Spaniard, starting from 10th on the grid, made a poor getaway when his anti-stall kicked in, and spent a significant part of the race defending from his rivals as he opted for supersoft tyres when nearly everybody else switched to ultrasofts once the track dried up.

    After the slow start, Sainz managed to slowly climb up the field and moved to fourth when Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg hit trouble.

    “It was a result we really earned, doing the right thing every time,” said Sainz, who will drive for Renault next year. “There were complicated moments, especially when I had people with new inters behind me and mine were used.

    “Then when everybody was on ultras I was on the supersofts and I had to defend very hard from people who were a second quicker than us because of the tyres.

    “Then things started to happen, we passed some people and we finished fourth, which is incredible, unthinkable.”

    Sainz, ninth in the standings with 48 points – two more than he scored in all of 2016 – said the race had been one of the most important days of his career.

    “It was a very important day. One of the most important of my sporting career and I can be very, very happy.

    “It was a much harder race than you can imagine, because I had Checo [Perez] behind me with ultrasofts and Hulkenberg with fresher tyres and I spent all the race looking in the mirrors, trying not to make mistakes.

    “I knew they had better pace and even so we finished ahead of them. It was much harder than it looked from the outside.”

    He said Toro Rosso will need to investigate the cause of the problem he had at the start.

    “I don’t know what happened. I’ll have to analyse it because as soon as I released the clutch, the anti-stall kicked in. I don’t know if it’s a human error or whatever, but we’ll have to analyse it.

    “I stayed calm. I knew the race was very long. Once I knew I had chosen the right tyre – when they told me [Lewis] Hamilton was on it too – I had the confidence knowing that I wasn’t the only one on inters.”

  8. The Singapore stewards have decided to take no further action over the collision which saw both Ferraris plus the Red Bull of Max Verstappen eliminated at the start of Sunday’s race at Marina Bay.

    Kimi Raikkonen made a strong getaway from fourth on the grid and was drawing alongside Verstappen on the inside as they approached Turn 1. But as polesitter Sebastian Vettel edged left, the Dutchman’s Red Bull became the meat in a Ferrari sandwich and all three made contact.

    Raikkonen and Verstappen were out on the spot, while Vettel briefly continued to lead the race until spinning his heavily damaged car into retirement before the first lap was complete.

    All three men were summoned by the stewards, who having reviewed all the evidence declared it a racing incident, finding no one driver wholly or predominantly to blame.

    Source: Formula1.com

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