Formula One: Lewis Hamilton wins Singapore Grand Prix, extends drivers' championship lead

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton (right) celebrates beside Red Bull's Max Verstappen after winning the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton (right) celebrates beside Red Bull's Max Verstappen after winning the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton (left) sprays champagne at Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel after the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton (left) sprays champagne at Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel after the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton leads the race during the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton leads the race during the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in action during the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in action during the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Track marshals removing the car that was driven by Force India's Esteban Ocon after an accident during the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.
Track marshals removing the car that was driven by Force India's Esteban Ocon after an accident during the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Force India's Esteban Ocon walks out of the track after crashing out of the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.
Force India's Esteban Ocon walks out of the track after crashing out of the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton behind the safety car during the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton behind the safety car during the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Spectators at the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.
Spectators at the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Fireworks are seen from Swissotel The Stamford at the conclusion of the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.
Fireworks are seen from Swissotel The Stamford at the conclusion of the 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sept 16, 2018.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday night(Sept 16), after starting the race in pole position.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was second, while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third in the 11th edition of the night race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Hamilton said afterwards: "I am spent, it was such a tough race... I had a great start... It felt like the longest race in my race. Max had a great race as well, but what a day, what a weekend."

Ferrari pilot Vettel, who started the race in third place, overtook second-placed Verstappen in the opening lap, just before the safety car emerged on track, following the collision of Force India duo Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez.

But the German - who was the first to pit at lap 15 - had to relinquish second place after Verstappen exited the pit-lane after his stop just inches in front of the four-time world champion.

Vettel said: "I think overall we were not fast enough. We didn't have the pace in the race. We tried to be aggressive in the beginning but it didn't work out. I had a different race from the other guys and I didn't think we could make it to the end. We just focused on making it home.

"I think today, with the way we raced, we didn't have a chance. I think I said before the weekend, we can only beat ourselves, and I think this weekend, we didn't get everything out of our package."

 
 
 

Verstappen almost overtook Hamilton midway through the race, when the race leader was held up in traffic. But the Briton was clued in to the danger and swerved to his left to cut the 20-year-old Dutchman off.

Hamilton said: "I was a bit unlucky with the traffic and these guys were moving around, it was quite difficult to follow. Max was a bit lucky to get by some of the guys, and these guys just won't let me by.

"Definitely close, my heart was definitely in my mouth a bit, but once I was clear, I put the pedal down and pulled away."

Hamilton, Verstappen and Vettel held their positions comfortably for the rest of the race, while Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen were fourth and fifth respectively.

Verstappen said: "It was not bad, shame from the first lap it was clear we lost top speed, but from there on, the team had a great strategy so we could get back in second. Did our own race, tried to follow Lewis a bit, but at the end, we knew second was going to be the result, so bring it home."

With the victory - his fourth in Singapore after triumphs in 2009, 2014 and 2017 - Hamilton has 281 points in the drivers' championship race and stretched his lead over second-placed Vettel to 40 points, with six races left in the 2018 season.