Hamil­ton wins chaotic GP

Sin­ga­pore race fin­ishes with just 12 driv­ers

Global Times US Edition - - SPORTS -

Lewis Hamil­ton won a chaotic and rain-hit Sin­ga­pore Grand Prix on Sun­day to seize con­trol of the For­mula One world cham­pi­onship as his ti­tle ri­val Se­bas­tian Vet­tel crashed out on the first lap.

Fer­rari’s Vet­tel and Kimi Raikko­nen, and Red Bull’s Max Ver­stap­pen all went out just af­ter the start of the first wet race in Sin­ga­pore, which saw three safety cars and fin­ished with only 12 driv­ers.

It all played per­fectly into the hands of Mercedes driver Hamil­ton, who went from fifth on the grid to first and held off Red Bull’s Daniel Ric­cia­rdo to clinch his third win in a row.

With his 60th race vic­tory and sev­enth this sea­son, Hamil­ton – who had said he needed a “mir­a­cle” af­ter strug­gling in qual­i­fy­ing – stands 28 points ahead of Vet­tel with six Grands Prix left this year.

“Guys what can I say – what a turn­around to­day! Fan­tas­tic job with the team strat­egy,” Hamil­ton said over the ra­dio, be­fore leap­ing out of his car and hug­ging his en­gi­neers.

“God blessed me to­day, for sure,” he said later, drip­ping with cham­pagne. “I cap­i­tal­ized on the in­ci­dent – who would have known that would hap­pen?

“It was re­ally un­for­tu­nate for the Fer­raris but a great re­sult for the [Mercedes] team.”

Some driv­ers had ex­pressed con­cerns about vis­i­bil­ity in the wet un­der flood­lights, but the night race had hardly started when it lost three of the first four cars on the grid.

Raikko­nen plowed into Red Bull’s Ver­stap­pen on the first cor­ner, tak­ing both cars out of the race and also heav­ily shunt­ing Fer­nando Alonso’s McLaren.

Pole sit­ter Vet­tel, who had been look­ing to re­claim the world cham­pi­onship lead from Hamil­ton, spun fur­ther ahead and lost his front wing, a crash that also ended his race.

“Ob­vi­ously it sucks be­ing on the wrong side of the track now, but that’s what it is,” Vet­tel shrugged af­ter re­turn­ing to the pad­dock.

But Hamil­ton dodged the pileup and he pro­gressed from fifth on the grid to first, ahead of Ric­cia­rdo, as the race fi­nally restarted af­ter a safety car.

Alonso lasted just a few laps be­fore the dam­age sus­tained at the first cor­ner forced him to re­tire, and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat be­came the fifth man out when he plowed nose-first into a bar­rier – prompt­ing a sec­ond safety car.

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