Lewis Hamilton wins Singapore Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel crashes out

The damage to his auto was evident, but it remains to be seen if the damage done to his title chances can be repaired.

Stewards summoned Vettel, Raikkonen and Verstappen to a meeting after the race.

Hamilton was the beneficiary, moving to the front and remaining there to stretch his lead in the standings to 28 points after fending off Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

"God blessed me for sure".

The incident brought out the safety vehicle and allowed Hamilton into a lead he would keep through two more safety auto periods and a perfectly-timed switch to dry weather tyres.

Ricciardo insisted having to manage the gearbox did not play a major role in the outcome, and he was disappointed that Red Bull's early weekend form did not continue into the race. He started squeezing me, maybe he didn't see Kimi on the left.

"But we didn't have the pace we showed on Friday, we struggled to look after the tyres - when able to punch out a good laptime, I couldn't maintain it, whereas Lewis could answer and answer again". However, race control decided against taking the option of starting the race under the Safety Car.

"I saw Max and then next thing I see is Kimi hitting the side of me and Max somewhere there", said Vettel, who remains optimistic about his title hopes.

Lost amid the first-corner mayhem was a dazzling start by Fernando Alonso, who swept past on the outside of Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas, only to be scuttled by Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari.

"If you are fighting for the title you shouldn't take those risks".

While Alonso was eventually forced to retire, this drive offered a reminder of why McLaren have been so desperate to keep him.

Daniil Kvyat put his Toro Rosso into the Turn 7 wall amid tricky conditions on Lap 11, and Marcus Ericsson crashed his Sauber on the Anderson Bridge on Lap 38.

"Why another safety vehicle?"

The remaining cars had to pass through the through the pit lane behind the safety auto as the marshals cleared the debris at turn one.

But Hamilton shot off after the restart to maintain the gap from Ricciardo and as he finally took the chequered flag, the grandstand came to its feet and fireworks lit up the night sky.

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