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Hamilton wins in Singapore as Vettel crashes out

  • Published on 17 Sep 2017 16:04
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Lewis Hamilton has won the Singapore Grand Prix, with his championship rival Sebastian Vettel crashing out on the first lap. Hamilton now extends his lead to 28 points in the championship with just six races left in the 2017 season. The race started in wet conditions, the first time the Marina Bay Circuit hosted a wet race.

Ferrari had both of its drivers retire on the first lap, as well as Max Verstappen who failed to see the chequered flag for the seventh time this season. Fernando Alonso was also involved in the incident and had to pit to retire a number of laps later due to damage suffered in the incident.

Kimi Raikkonen made the fastest start out of the top four and pulled up alongside Verstappen on the run to the first corner. With Vettel pulling over to squeeze Verstappen, the Dutchman became sandwiched and made contact with both Ferrari's.

Verstappen and Raikkonen both retired at the first corner before Vettel spun his heavily damaged car after Turn 3. After heading back to the press pen, Vettel said that he didn't understand what exactly happened, but will undoubtedly face the stewards this evening. 

Daniel Ricciardo crossed the line in second place to take his seventh podium finish of the year. Despite the strong finish, the Australian couldn't produce the pace he showed on Friday and failed to get by the Mercedes of Hamilton. Completing the final step on the podium was Valtteri Bottas.

Carlos Sainz drove strongly to come home in fourth place but was faced with pressure from Sergio Perez behind. Perez himself managed to finish in fifth place while Jolyon Palmer recorded his best ever finish in F1, ending the race in sixth place.

Stoffel Vandoorne also claimed his highest career result, picking up six points for McLaren by crossing the line in seventh. The Belgian driver headed Lance Stroll, Romain Grosjean, and Esteban Ocon, who rounded out the top ten.

The safety car was deployed after the collision between the top three and came in on lap 5. Hamilton had the lead of the race after making a lightning start and benefiting from the collision between his rivals. On the restart, the Brit pulled away from Ricciardo in second place, while Nico Hulkenberg held third.

Jolyon Palmer got by Bottas for fifth place, as the Renault driver was running on the full wets, compared to the intermediates on the Finn's car. Further back, there were battles for the final points positions between Daniil Kvyat and Esteban Ocon.

After Kvyat overtook Ocon, the Russian locked up on the run down into Turn 5 and ended up in the barriers on lap 11. For the second time in the race, the safety car was deployed, which saw Red Bull pull its one remaining car into the pits for a fresh set of intermediates. 

The Renault's also came in a lap after the safety car was deployed to swap over to the intermediates, but the decision to hold off the pitstop saw Hulkenberg drop out of the podium positions. On lap 15, the safety car peeled back into the pitlane and the racing resumed once again.

Kevin Magnussen then engaged himself in a battle with Felipe Massa. The two ran side by side down towards Turn 5, with slight contact being made at high speed. Magnussen got by the Brazilian, who was struggling on the full wets and was soon also passed by Ocon.

The rain had stopped for a number of laps but the track didn't dry up very rapidly. On lap 25, Magnussen became the first driver to bite the bullet and come into the pitlane to fit the ultra soft slick tyres, in the hope of getting ahead of those he was fighting.

Massa followed him in a lap later and both drivers confirmed that it was the right tyre to be on. Over the next number of laps, everyone came in to box to fit the dry tyres. Running on the slick compounds, Sainz and Perez locked themselves in a close battle, with Sainz managing to keep himself ahead of the Mexican.

The third and final safety car of the race was deployed on lap 38, when Ericsson spun the car as he approached Turn 13. Hulkenberg came into the pits and had to have his hydraulics refilled. The long stop dropped him down into tenth place, but the German would ultimately retire from the race due to a persisting problem.

With 27 minutes to go, the safety car came back into the pitlane and the track went green once again. However, Ricciardo couldn't match the pace of Hamilton who went on to take his seventh race victory of the year, his sixtieth overall. 

 

Fergal Walsh

Photos Singapore 2017

SG Marina Bay Street Circuit - 17 September 2017

Replies (3)

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  • Nice race, Ferrari have really messed themselves up... championship may well be over

    • + 0
    • Sep 17 2017 - 16:29
  • That start was a nightmare. They literally gifted Hamilton those extra points.

    • + 1
    • Sep 17 2017 - 16:43
  • reg

    Posts: 162

    Dreadful and that plank Hamilton gets gifted the Championship, that is unless Kimi can take him out in a fortnight. I doubt I'll bother to watch though!

    • + 0
    • Sep 17 2017 - 16:56

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