Hamilton wins Singapore GP as title rival Vettel crashes

Hamilton wins Singapore GP as title rival Vettel crashes

Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen will face no further punishment after Singapore Grand Prix stewards deemed their first-corner collision to be a racing incident.

Hamilton, who started only fifth and had claimed that he needed a miracle to win, led every lap of a chaotic race which saw the safety auto deployed on three occasions.

Having begun on Sunday from a supremely confident P1, clocking an impressive pole position, the 49th of his career, Vettel was expected to dominate.

As Raikkonen and Verstappen came to a sudden halt at turn one - colliding with an unfortunate Fernando Alonso in the process - Vettel managed to keep his Ferrari on the straight and narrow.

Hamilton inherited the lead, but the race was neutralised when the safety auto was sent out so the debris could be cleared.

The safety auto came out again, after Marcus Ericsson's Sauber stalled on lap 39. Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas went on to complete the podium.

The beneficiaries of the first corner chaos were Ricciardo and Hamilton, who took the lead after starting fifth on the grid.

We know how elaborate a challenge Singapore's 61-lap contest can be for the best of drivers out there. Hamilton said. "Yesterday we struggled and I said I needed a miracle". "Leave me alone", growled the 23-year-old Spaniard, who is switching to the French team for 2018.

"It couldn't be a more flawless scenario, really, for us", Hamilton said.

Vettel's recklessness was even more pointless, because Raikkonen is his teammate and Verstappen is not close to being in the title race.

The race restarted with 25 minutes left of the two-hour limit and Hamilton once again did not give Ricciardo a sniff and soon opened up a two second gap. Alonso also continued despite a large chunk of his sidepod and floor missing, but he retired on lap eight after McLaren lost all telemetry from the auto.

Then, just after both Toro Rosso drivers had told their engineers to leave them alone and cease needless radio communication, Daniil Kvyat crashed, triggering a safety vehicle deployment when a virtual safety auto might have been better suited, and multiple pit stops as those on full wets switched to intermediates. The track was still too wet for slicks, but pitting for a fresh set of intermediates was a no-brainer for Ricciardo, who took on new rubber but still retained second place.

Hamilton stayed left, picking his spot, avoiding any danger as he moved into the lead.

Mercedes responded the next lap and Hamilton rejoined in the lead.

With three safety vehicle interruptions, the race ended with 58 of the 61 laps completed after hitting the two-hour mark. Ricciardo placed third in 2014 and has now finished second three times in a row, in a frustrating run for the Australian.

Jolyon Palmer took his first points of the season in sixth ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne's McLaren, which had a solid race to finish seventh ahead of Williams' Lance Stroll.

French rookie Esteban Ocon scored the final point for Force India in tenth.

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