Lewis Hamilton extends title lead with Singapore GP triumph


"It was not an ideal session for us, you can figure out what I mean but I think we should have done better".

Verstappen was mere inches behind Hamilton as they rounded Turn 9 but the Briton stayed ahead and quickly re-asserted an authority that he never relinquished.

But the pair flatly ignored blue flags being waved, ordering them to let the faster cars pass, as frustrated Hamilton watched Verstappen close right up in his mirrors.

Max Verstappen of Red Bull will start on the front row for Sunday's race alongside Hamilton after coming second, 0.319sec behind the Englishman, but Sebastian Vettel could only manage third.

Vettel's championship bid crumbled when he crashed from pole here previous year and then went on to lose the title by 46 points to Hamilton.

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The safety auto has been a regular feature here in the last 10 years and it was no different this time when Sergio Perez pushed his Force India teammate Esteban Ocon into the wall after Turn 3 on the opening lap, reminding of their heated battles last year, after which the Silverstone squad was forced to implement team orders.

The move put Vettel in the position he wanted from which to attack Hamilton after a disappointing qualifying session for Ferrari, but the team blew it.

Ferrari opted to bring more sets of the high-grip hypersoft tyres to Singapore than both Mercedes and Red Bull, giving Vettel and Raikkonen the luxury of attempting more qualifying simulations than their main rivals.

This is Vettel's best chance.

That is how Hamilton beat Vettel's teammate Kimi Raikkonen in Italy and Ferrari will have learned from that. "What we tried to do was get to first position and get ahead, but Lewis was too quick". "The tyres will not make it to the end". Vettel, in all probability, will have to win the remaining six races to even have a chance of taking the title. That's including Lewis' lap as an individual but also them as a team.

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Hamilton was able to take avoiding action, turning left and heading down an escape road.

The Dutch driver finished ahead of Scuderia Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, jumping him during the pit stop window after the German passed him at the start of the race.

Verstappen was the next in, nearly colliding again with Vettel into turn three.

Perez was in the wars again, driving into Sirotkin after getting alongside him between Turns 17 and 18 following many laps held up behind the Williams, and earning himself a drive-through penalty.

OUT: Fernando Alonso (McLaren), Carlos Sainz (Renault), Charles Leclerc (Sauber), Marcus Ericsson (Sauber), Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso).

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The need for speed: The people of Singapore are the fastest walkers on the planet, at an average of 6.15kph Hamilton's pole position in Singapore was the 200th for an English driver in F1 history.