Singapore GP: Hamilton wins from Verstappen and Vettel

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the race

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the race

Yet, despite his various issues, in Q3, when it really mattered, he produced the second best lap of the afternoon to stick his auto alongside Lewis Hamilton's on the front row for tomorrow's race.

Going into the weekend, Hamilton had a 30-point advantage over Vettel.

"We knew exactly what kind of split times that auto was able to do, but in sector one and sector two when the purple times kept popping up it was surreal - so that was his driving". That was a tough race. That was the longest race in my life and its a blessing. On the different tire and I wasn't very convinced that we could make it to the end.

Valtteri Bottas guided his Mercedes to fourth place, Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari came home fifth and Daniel Ricciardo was sixth in the second Red Bull.

Hamilton and Verstappen received an apology after the finish from race director Charlie Whiting for the delay in clearing the slower cars out of the way, but Hamilton understood the difficulty.

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Early drama came when Perez and Force India teammate Esteban Ocon tangled on lap 1 of the race, putting Ocon out of the race on the spot. He did so in the nick of time, with the safety vehicle deployed to deal with Ocon's stricken Force India.

The Briton maintained breathing space between him and Vettel after the restart, extending it to more than two seconds by lap 13 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

As at the Monaco Grand Prix, drivers starting outside the top 10 with a free tyre choice benefitted as some of those ahead on softer rubber pitted first.

Verstappen at last made his stop on Lap 17 to cover off Vettel's undercut, but a stuttering engine hampered his getaway and put him alongside Vettel as he exited the pits.

Hamilton had to fend off an attack from Verstappen into Turn Seven as a result, which he just managed to do, and Grosjean was later given a five-second penalty for his misdemeanour. It was getting from bad to worse for Vettel, who was clearly unhappy with the tyre choice of his opening pit stop when most opted for the longer lasting softs.

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Behind him, Vettel, who was involved in a three-way start-line collision in Singapore last season, drew alongside Verstappen, only for the Red Bull driver to hold position.

In a race of little drama, Perez was given a drive-through penalty after he needlessly banged wheels with Sirotkin's Williams as they squabbled for the minor places.

The Dutch driver had a look into passing Hamilton but pulled out as he passed the back markers. Their duel brought Verstappen closer to Hamilton and he nearly got past the reigning world champion but the Briton staved off the challenge.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel got past the young Dutchman just as the safety auto came out on the opening lap, but couldn't stay there as Red Bull pulled off a great pitstop to get their man back out on track millimetres ahead of the German.

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