A chaotic start under the lights involving polesitter Sebastian Vettel, his teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen opened the way for Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to win the Singapore Grand Prix and consolidate his championship lead in the drivers standings to 28 points. Daniel Ricciardo in the sister Red Bull picked up his third consecutive runners-up spot at Marina Bay ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes.
Heavy rains throughout the day had left everyone speculating if it could play a part in the race. It had stopped few hours before the start with teams sticking to their plan on choosing dry tyres. But with few minutes to lights out, the heavens opened once again forcing the switch to intermediates and full wets.
At the start, Vettel moved across to cut off Verstappen who had a better getaway. Raikkonen from the second row made a launch on the ouside of the Red Bull teenager, only for him to ran into his teammate with the Dutchman sandwiched in the carnage. Fernando Alonso in the McLaren who was making gains from a good start, unfortunately ended up catching Verstappen and damaged his car. Vettel somehow kept going until he spun at turn 5 and joined the other three to retire as the Safety Car was deployed.
The race was brought under control for the second time on lap 11 courtesy a crash in the barriers by Toro Rosso’s Danill Kvyat at turn 7. Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber spun and grounded to a halt on lap 38 bringing the Safety Car out for the third time.
The rain and the early crash looked to have saved Mercedes weekend on a track less suited to their W08 hybrid and had struggled from the practice session to qualifying. In all the restarts, Hamilton controlled from the front with good pace, giving Ricciardo no chance to come close to claim his 60th grand prix win.
Carlos Sainz scored his best finish of fourth for Toro Rosso ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez. Renault’s Jolyon Palmer and McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne also with their best finish came 6th and 7th respectively followed by Williams’ Lance Stroll, Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Esteban in P10. Felipe Massa and Pascal Wehrlein were the only finishers to miss out on the points. Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg also retired with mechanical problems.