Sebastian Vettel achieved one of his most dominant performances of the season with victory in the Singapore Grand Prix.
The championship leader left the rest of the field to entertain themselves, as differing pit tactics following a mid-race safety car shuffled the distant chasing pack.
In the end it was Fernando Alonso who came through yet again to give Ferrari second place, while Kimi Raikkonen shrugged off his back problem to turn P13 on the grid into an impressive third position.
Mercedes gained fourth and fifth for Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton respectively. As for Mark Webber, his Red Bull grounded to a halt on the final lap in flames.
Rosberg did his best to make a race of it at the start as he edged ahead of pole sitter Vettel and outbraked him into Turn 1.
But the Mercedes ran slightly wide and Vettel was able to get back his lost lead, with Rosberg’s retaliation attempt on the outside of Turn 3 failing to come off.
Vettel was not going to take any more chances and began pulling away from Rosberg and the rest, leading by six seconds after as many laps.
Alonso made another amazing start, but it was his late-braking move down the outside into the Turn 1, which gained him the most ground, as he surged into third position.
Up front, Vettel was not only able to outpace the pack with ease, but could also make his tyres last longer.
Rosberg’s second place became a little more secure when Alonso emerged from his first pitstop behind Paul di Resta’s yet-to-stop Force India, which would stay in front for six laps.
That delay would have halted Alonso’s chances of making further progress had Daniel Ricciardo not crashed his Toro Rosso and prompted a long safety car period just before half-distance.
Most of the frontrunners, led by Alonso, came in for tyres, while Vettel, Rosberg, Webber and Hamilton stayed out.
As it turned out, most of those who had stopped could make their tyres last the rest of the race.
While this was no problem for Vettel, who pulled away at such a ferocious rate he could easily pit again and stay ahead, the other three tumbled into the midfield traffic when they had to come in again in the final part of the race.
That promoted Alonso to second, ahead of Jenson Button and Raikkonen.
The Ferrari pulled well clear of the McLaren and Lotus, which engaged in an increasingly spectacular battle as Button’s tyres faded.
With seven laps to go, Raikkonen pulled off a brilliant move around the outside of Button to deny McLaren a podium and get himself into third from P13 on the grid.
Webber had jumped Rosberg in the final stops. The Australian then led the two Mercedes as they hacked back through the field, overtaking the Saubers and McLarens and setting their sights on the podium.
Alonso and Raikkonen were always likely to be out of reach though, and then Red Bull ordered Webber to back off following a growing technical problem in the final laps.
He was powerless to prevent the Silver Arrows powering pass and his car then came to a stand with an apparent engine failure with half a lap of the race to go.
Felipe Massa had to make three pitstops and finished sixth, ahead of a train of tyre-troubled cars in Button, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, chased by three-stopper Adrian Sutil.
Di Resta crashed out late on, while qualifying star Esteban Gutierrez fell back to P12 behind Pastor Maldonado as his tyres faded.
So, a superb performance by the world champion. His third consecutive win at Marina Bay and now 60 points clear of his rival. Just six races left and Vettel is looking the favourite to scored his fourth title.
Singapore Race results after 61 laps:
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:59:13.132
2. Alonso Ferrari +32.627
3. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault +43.920
4. Rosberg Mercedes +51.155
5. Hamilton Mercedes +53.159
6. Massa Ferrari +1:03.677
7. Button McLaren-Mercedes +1:23.354
8. Perez McLaren-Mercedes +1:23.820
9. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari +1:24.261
10. Sutil Force India-Mercedes +1:24.668
11. Maldonado Williams-Renault +1:28.479
12. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1:37.894
13. Bottas Williams-Renault +1:45.161
14. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1:53.512
15. Webber Red Bull-Renault +1 lap
16. van der Garde Caterham-Renault +1 lap
17. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
18. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
19. Pic Caterham-Renault +1 lap
Di Resta Force India-Mercedes 54 laps
Grosjean Lotus-Renault 37 laps
Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 23 laps
Fastest lap: Vettel 1:48.574 on lap 46
World Championship standings, round 13:
1. Vettel 247
2. Alonso 187
3. Hamilton 151
4. Raikkonen 149
5. Webber 130
6. Rosberg 116
7. Massa 87
8. Grosjean 57
9. Button 54
10. Di Resta 36
11. Sutil 26
12. Perez 22
13. Hulkenberg 19
14. Ricciardo 18
15. Vergne 13
16. Maldonado 1
1. Red Bull-Renault 377
2. Ferrari 274
3. Mercedes 267
4. Lotus-Renault 206
5. McLaren-Mercedes 76
6. Force India-Mercedes 62
7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 31
8. Sauber-Ferrari 19
9. Williams-Renault 1
Next race: Korean Grand Prix, Yeongam. October 4-6.