• World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton also wins the Formula One night race in Singapore.
  • His lead over Sebastian Vettel in the overall standings is thus growing to 40 points. Is this the preliminary decision?
  • Click here for the overall ranking of Formula 1.

After a tactical error by Ferrari and a shiny Formula 1 night shift by Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel's chances for the World Cup have fallen to a minimum. After his crash at Monza, Vettel had to settle for third place on Sunday because of a wrong tire strategy and is already 40 points behind Singapore winner Hamilton in the overall standings before the last six races of the season.

In the largely low-tension race Vettel was brought by his command post too soon to the pits. By contrast, Hamilton secured his seventh win of the season in the Mercedes in front of Max Verstappen in the Red Bull at the Ferrari parade. Thanks to his fourth success in the last five Grand Prix, Hamilton has a reassuring cushion to top himself for the fifth time in the championship.

Vettel's weekend in the city-state had by no means begun according to plan. Because of a defective right rear suspension of the Heppenheimer had to park his car prematurely in the second training. The much greater disappointment he experienced in qualifying. With more than 0.6 seconds behind Hamilton, who secured his 79th career pole with a sheer magical round, the annoyed Vettel came on the grid only in third place.

And already at the beginning of the night race it crashed. This time, however, without Vettel's involvement, which collided with his teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen of Red Bull last year after the start. All three retired at the time. This time, the two Force India cars of Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon crashed into each other in turn three. The Frenchman Ocon thundered into the guardrail, his Grand Prix was prematurely ended. Thus, in the eleventh edition of the race, the safety car came on the course illuminated by more than 1600 light projectors and slowed down the field.

Vettel had previously had a strong start, but had gone against the second Verstappen in the position fight on the 301 meters to the first corner but not yet full risk. On the first straight, just before the safety car hit the track, Vettel passed the Dutchman and was able to position himself for his hunt for the leader Hamilton.

In Reifenpoker then took Ferrari for the four-time world champion from Germany the initiative. In the 15th round received Vettel's company car Ultrasoftgummis, he ranked seventh behind Pérez. One round on it Hamilton came to the pits. However, the Mercedes crew relied on the harder mixture, the softpneus, to get through it without further stops. And the Briton raced in fifth ahead of Pérez and Vettel on the track. Shortening was on his Red Bull in the 18th Round as well as Hamilton the Softs aufzie – and returned at the exit of the pit lane even before Vettel back on the track.

At almost 70 percent humidity Hamilton took over in the 28th round again the lead after Verstappens stable rival Daniel Ricciardo had come to the pits as the last top pilot. The 33-year-old's lead on the third Vettel was almost nine seconds. Hamilton was later stuck in overtaking in traffic, Verstappen and Vettel could come closer again. However, the Briton freed himself from the asphalt jungle in time and had to concentrate on his tire management from now on. An attack by Vettel did not have to worry Hamilton. The tires on the Ferrari degraded too much, while the Brit drove happily over the finish line.

"That was a magic round"

For the seventh time this year Lewis Hamilton starts from the pole position, nowhere is she more important than in Singapore. The big loser in qualifying is Sebastian Vettel.

By Elmar Brümmer




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