Formula 1: Dramatic turn on F1 racetrack

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel (No. 5) and Kimi Raikkonen (right), and Red Bull's Max Verstappen (behind Vettel) in a crash early in the race. Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton (far left) won. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo (third from left) came second.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel (No. 5) and Kimi Raikkonen (right), and Red Bull's Max Verstappen (behind Vettel) in a crash early in the race. Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton (far left) won. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo (third from left) came second.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Just days after confirming the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix for another four years, Singapore saw its most dramatic race last night.

For the first time in 10 editions, it rained during the race and the slippery conditions led to a massive crash at the first corner that claimed the Ferrari duo of pole sitter Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, as well as Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

The main beneficiary: championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who went on to celebrate his third victory at Marina Bay. More significantly, the Mercedes man opened up the gap on second-placed Vettel to 28 points in the title race with six races left. He has 263 in total.

"I capitalised on that incident. Who would have known that would happen?" said the Briton.

Also in the mood to party were fans of British band Duran Duran, who relived some of their 1980s hits. After the chequered flag, the baton was passed to American dance music idol Calvin Harris.

Race organiser Singapore GP also had cause for cheer with 260,400 racegoers this year - higher than the event's average overall attendance. Said businessman Christopher Ng, 42: "The Singapore GP is more than just a race. The vibes of the street circuit, the fringe activities, the big-name performers all add up to make it the event of the year."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2017, with the headline 'Dramatic turn on F1 racetrack'. Print Edition | Subscribe