Hamilton wins Singapore GP as Vettel crashes out

Ross Houston
September 17, 2017

Lewis Hamilton's hopes of winning this year's Formula One championship were dealt a seismic boost in Singapore after he benefited from rival Sebastian Vettel's first-lap crash with Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen to storm to victory.

The Briton cashed in after Vettel, Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's front row contender Max Verstappen smashed into each other as they raced off the wet starting grid and into the first corner.

Having jumped the Australian off the line, Hamilton led Daniel Ricciardo once the safety auto had withdrawn, with the unlikely line-up of Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas, Jolyon Palmer, Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Ocon in their wake.

"I've got no idea -- and that is the concern I've always had with this race", Romain Grosjean told Autosport.com earlier, when asked if it would be safe to race in the rain. "I knew we had it in us". But no driver was deemed responsible and no further action was taken.

"It's a long race but we are on the wrong side of the track so that doesn't help".

"I think there was damage on the vehicle already", he said of his second incident.

"I saw this commotion happening", Hamilton said.

With three safety vehicle interruptions, the race ended with 58 of the 61 laps completed after hitting the two-hour mark.

Further round the lap, Vettel, whose vehicle was not fatally damaged in the incident lost control and spun out.

"Today I'll accept a little bit of defeat but there's still a lot to play for tomorrow", Ricciardo said.

Verstappen, who had started from second, blamed Vettel.

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

Alonso, meanwhile, bravely continued but retired on lap 9.

Hamilton was among the ten drivers to favour intermediates from the start - as had the top four qualifiers and team-mate Bottas in sixth - but he remained amongst the most cautious when it came to seeking a change.

Daniil Kvyat put his Toro Rosso into the Turn 7 wall amid tricky conditions on Lap 11, and Marcus Ericsson crashed his Sauber on the Anderson Bridge on Lap 38.

The remaining cars had to pass through the through the pit lane behind the safety auto as the marshals cleared the debris at turn one.

Hamilton had a healthy advantage of 9.6 seconds when Sauber's Marcus Ericsson spun and stopped on Anderson Bridge, bringing out a third safety auto and wiping out the Briton's lead.

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