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
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
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