Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen wiped out in first lap carnage

Andrew Cummings
September 17, 2017

Three times world champion Lewis Hamilton on Sunday registered victory at the Singapore Grand Prix, after a dramatic start in which three of his rivals took one another out on the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Raikkonen ploughed into Red Bull's Max Verstappen on the first corner, taking both cars out of the race and also dealing a heavy hit to Fernando Alonso's McLaren.

Hamilton controlled the race from then on, leading every lap as he finished ahead of Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull and the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was third.

Hamilton and Mercedes had braced themselves for a race of "damage limitation" after struggling in qualifying.

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

"God blessed me today for sure", said Hamilton, who set a lap record on his way to a third win in a row.

The first race to be hit by rain in the decade that Singapore has hosted Formula One had started in treacherous conditions, puddles gleaming in the floodlights, after a formation lap behind the safety auto. "The quickest auto and the quickest driver were out within a minute into the race and that can happen all the time".

The incident brought out the safety vehicle and allowed Hamilton into a lead he would keep through two more safety auto periods and a perfectly-timed switch to dry weather tyres. I tried to back out of it because I could see it coming but the rear tyres are wider than the front so I couldn't back out of it. Suspension damage. The remaining points places went to Force India's Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon in fifth and tenth respectively, Williams' Lance Stroll in eighth and Haas's Romain Grosjean in ninth.

Esteban Ocon rounded out the points paying positions in tenth place for Force India after being locked in an ongoing battle with the two Haas drivers and Felipe Massa.

Vettel said he didn't know what happened to cause the accident, but Verstappen felt the German was at fault.

Having built on that advantage, championship leader Hamilton was frustrated by the reappearance of the safety vehicle on lap 11 when Daniil Kvyat drove into the barriers.

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