Hamilton extends Championship lead with faultless Singapore GP win

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton extends his championship advantage to 40 points by winning the Singapore GP ahead of Red Bulls Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel as Fernando Alonso scores McLaren’s best finish since the Azerbaijan GP.

16/09/18

Grid Formation

1.Hamilton  2.Verstappen  3.Vettel  4.Bottas  5.Raikkonen  6.Ricciardo  7.Perez  8.Grosjean  9.Ocon  10.Hulkenberg  11.Alonso  12.Sainz  13.Leclerc  14.Ericsson  15.Gasly  16.Magnussen  17.Hartley  18.Vandoorne  19.Sirotkin  20.Stroll

Race

The top 10 will start on the Hypersoft tyre while Brendon Hartley will start on the Hypersoft tyre as well as Lance Stroll will start on the Soft tyre. Everyone else will start on the Ultrasoft tyre. There has been a safety car featured at every Singapore GP, will there be one today?

The lights go out and its a good start by Lewis Hamilton as Sebastian Vettel pressures Max Verstappen but Verstappen stays ahead. Esteban Ocon is in the wall and is out after making contact with team-mate Sergio Perez. Vettel overtakes Verstappen for 2nd into turn 7 as the Safety Car is brought out. Its been a good start by Pierre Gasly, who is now 12th, after starting 15th and Fernando Alonso, who started 11th, is now 9th and ahead of both Renault drivers.

Sergey Sirotkin pits during the Safety Car period as the Russian had sustained damage to his front wing. He swaps to the Soft tyre as the Stewards declare that there will be no further action between the lap 1 incident between Ocon and Perez. Lap 5, Racing resumes as Lewis Hamilton leads the way. Max Verstappen is still complaining of engine problems in which seemed to hamper the Dutchman yesterday during qualifying. Lap 9, the top 3 of Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen are starting to pull away from the rest as they are separated by just over 2 seconds.

Lap 12, the top 6 are staying on the track at the moment as they try and build a gap so for when they come in, they won’t encounter as much traffic. Lap 13, the top 6 are starting to spread out as Lewis Hamilton now leads by 2.1 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel who is 2.4 ahead of Max Verstappen. There are spots of rain in the paddock. Lap 15, Vettel pits, goes onto the Ultrasoft tyre and rejoins in 7th. Will Hamilton pit? Yes, Hamilton pits on lap 16. The Brit goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 5th and ahead of Vettel.

Max Verstappen now leads ahead of Valterri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo. Lap 17, Bottas pits, goes onto the Soft tyre as well. Sebastian Vettel is now able to overtake Sergio Perez for 5th but has lost time to Lewis Hamilton ahead. Lap 18, Verstappen pits, goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins side-by-side withy Vettel. Verstappen inches ahead and has made the over-cut work. Raikkonen and Ricciardo are now 1st and 2nd but are yet to make their first pitstops. Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean have already made their first pitstops and are in 16th, 17th and 18th.

Lap 22, Kimi Raikkonen pits from the lead. The Finn goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 6th. Daniel Ricciardo now leads. Lap 27, Charles Leclerc overtakes Pierre Gasly, who is struggling on his tyres, for 9th before turn 13. Gasly and Kevin Magnussen pit and are now 18th and 19th. Ricciardo pits, goes onto the Ultrasoft tyre and rejoins in 6th. Lewis Hamilton now re-takes the lead ahead of Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, Valterri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen and Ricciardo. Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz Jr are 7th and 8th but are yet to pit. If they keep going at a reasonable pace they’ll be able to jump Sergio Perez who is still behind the Williams of Sergey Sirotkin.

Sergio Perez has had enough and overtakes Sergey Sirotkin but Sirotkin fights back. There’s contact and Perez pits as Nico Hulkenberg overtakes Sirotkin round the outside of turn 5 for 13th place. Replay shows that Perez moved to the left and hit Sirotkin before turn 18. Lewis Hamilton is now encountering lapped drivers and Max Verstappen is closing the gap. It was 4.5 seconds, its now 2.8 seconds. Romain Grosjean and Sirotkin battle and Hamilton has to back off. Verstappen is all over the back of him and Sebastian Vettel isn’t far back as well as Valterri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen. Grosjean and Sirotkin are under investigation for ignoring blue flags as Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc pit.

Lap 40, Sergio Perez has been handed a drive through penalty for the contact with Sergey Sirotkin. Fernando Alonso is still in 7th after making his pit-stop with Marcus Ericsson in 8th having not pitted yet. Carlos Sainz is 9th with Stoffel Vandoorne, yet to pit, in 10th. Alonso went onto Soft tyres while Charles Leclerc, who is in 11th, is on the Hypersoft tyre. Lap 41, Perez takes his penalty as Lewis Hamilton has extended his gap to over 3 seconds ahead of Max Verstappen. Romain Grosjean has been handed a 5 second time penalty for ignoring blue flags as Sainz overtakes Ericsson for 8th. Ericsson pits on lap 46 and that allows Leclerc to get into 9th and Nico Hulkenberg into 10th. Sirotkin is also given a 5 second time penalty for forcing another driver off the track.

Lap 49, everyone has now made their pit-stops as Stoffel Vandoorne pits and rejoins in  12th just over 3 seconds behind Marcus Ericsson in 11th. Daniel Ricciardo has set a new lap record and is closing in on Kimi Raikkonen and Valterri Bottas in 4th, 5th and 6th. Lap 61, Lewis Hamilton wins the 2018 Singapore GP ahead of Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.

Race Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 61 Laps (7th wins of the season & 69th career win)
  2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +8.961s (Fans Driver of the Day)
  3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +39.945s
  4. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, +51.903s
  5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +53.001s
  6. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 53.982s
  7. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, +1:43.011
  8. Carlos Sainz Jr, Renault, + 1 Lap
  9. Charles Leclerc, Sauber, + 1 Lap (First points since Austria)
  10. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, + 1 Lap (150th GP start)
  11. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, + 1 Lap
  12. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, + 1 Lap
  13. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, + 1 Lap
  14. Lance Stroll, Williams, + 1 Lap
  15. Romain Grosjean, Haas, + 1 Lap
  16. Sergio Perez, Racing Point Force India, + 1 Lap
  17. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, + 1 Lap
  18. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, + 2 Laps (DHL Fastest Lap Award)
  19. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, + 2 Laps
  • Esteban Ocon, Racing Point Force India, DNF

Drivers Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 281pts
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 241pts
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 174pts
  4. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 171pts
  5. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 148pts

Constructors Championship

  1. Mercedes, 415pts
  2. Ferrari, 390pts
  3. Red Bull, 248pts
  4. Renault, 86pts
  5. Haas, 76pts

 

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