Singapore Grand Prix attendance rises 19%

Ross Houston
September 20, 2017

As it turned out, the only damage done in Singapore was to his opponents, the chief among them being championship rival Vettel.

This was meant to an exercise in damage limitation for Hamilton after Vettel had scorched to pole position while the best Hamilton could muster was fifth on the grid. Rain drenched the track minutes before the start, remarkably the first time that wet weather has hit the race in the decade that Singapore has played host to it. Instead, Hamilton heads into the final six races of the season with a 28-point advantage. I hoped I would get to race Sebastian at the beginning.

With Max Verstappen between the pair, Vettel had moved to defend from the Red Bull and contact between Verstappen and Raikkonen ultimately ended the race for all three drivers.

Verstappen tried to edge left to avoid Vettel, but he and Raikkonen touched, the Finn spun and collected his team-mate. But after sustaining significant damage to his auto he lasted just three corners before losing control and crashing into the wall.

Vettel had already lost six points in Britain to a late puncture, missed out on a win in China due to a badly-timed virtual safety vehicle period, and now has scored no points in Singapore.

After widespread criticism of the statement, Ferrari added: "What we tweeted was a factual description of events".

Alonso's vehicle was launched, and spun in mid-air, damaging his floor and side-pod and leading to his retirement after a few slow laps.

Toto Wolff says Mercedes can not afford to rest on its laurels despite the remarkable turnaround at the Singapore Grand Prix which moved the team closer towards both Formula One championships. "I knew I had the pace in the rain". Those are my conditions.

"That was very disappointing and it was definitely not the result we were expecting", Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said. "I think that always comes into mind", he said.

"Today we didn't have the Friday pace we showed in practice and I'm a little bit disappointed to miss out on a win but have to be happy to get another podium".

The stewards spoke to all three drivers after the race had finished but could not find sufficient fault in an incident they described as a "chain reaction", and duly ruled it had been a racing incident. "Who could have known that would happen?"

Verstappen and Ricciardo led the Ferrari pair and Hamilton into the top 10 shoot-out, and the Dutch teenager soon gunned to 1:39.814 - before being eclipsed by Vettel's 1:39.669.

"That's not an excuse - if you're fighting for the world championship, you shouldn't take those risks to squeeze someone that much". But when something like this happens you kind of feel for Ferrari.

Verstappen, talking during the race, said: "Lewis is leading the race and the three of us are out".

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