Lewis Hamilton wins Singapore Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel crashes out

Lewis Hamilton wins Singapore Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel crashes out

The onset of evening rain meant that the tenth Singapore Grand Prix would be its first in wet conditions - indeed, its first wet session in that time - but the race still started from the grid, rather than behind the safety vehicle.

The German had started from pole position but retired seconds later with a badly damaged auto in an incident that also claimed Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

"It's how this business is and it doesn't change much because we're not in the race and [obviously] it's a pity and we can't show the pace we have but I'm sure there will be more opportunities".

"I realise that", responded the driver.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo prevented a Mercedes 1-2 by finishing ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who placed third. Vettel said he didn't know what happened to cause the accident, but Verstappen felt the German was at fault.

It is a crucial pole for Vettel on one of the three hardest tracks to overtake on in Formula One.

"You will have to manage things for yourself", said his race engineer, rendered helpless by the lack of data.

"I capitalised on the incident".

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The Briton's description of how he felt hustling his Mercedes around the streets of the city-state could also apply to his hopes of staying ahead in the championship after Sunday's race.

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

He said: 'I think I have damage on the front left.' The race engineer replied: 'Big damage on the sidepod, stop the auto.

The FIA has said the incident will be investigated after the race.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner defended Verstappen, who had started on the front row with Raikkonen behind in fourth place. "It gave me time to see what would happen".

After a few laps behind the safety vehicle, the race resumed for real on lap 7.

"Initially Sebastian saw I was a little bit better off the line than him and he wanted to close me off, and maybe didn't see Kimi on the left", Verstappen said. The safety auto was also deployed on lap 11 when Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat crashed into the barriers.

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