F1 2017: Hamilton receives his Singapore Grand Prix miracle as Vettel causes chaos at the start

Lewis Hamilton puts in masterclass to win wet-dry Singapore Grand Prix for Mercedes AMG F1 as Sebastian Vettel causes Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen to crash out at the start.

By autoX Editorial | on September 17, 2017 Follow us on Autox Google News

Lewis Hamilton now has a lead of 28 points in the drivers' championship. (PHOTO: Mercedes AMG F1)

Pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel caused a collision that was catastrophic to his title chances. (PHOTO: F1 on Twitter)

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes AMG F1 were staring at the possibility of neither of their cars finishing on the podium at the end of the Singapore Grand Prix following yesterday's qualifying session when Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas were fifth and sixth. Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari looked on song with the Red Bull-Renaults of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo looking racy too, ahead of the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

But then Lewis Hamilton received not one, but two miracles on Sunday, despite only wishing for one. It rained very heavily before the start of the race, negating the pace advantage Ferrari and Red Bull seemed to have in dry conditions. Then at the start of the race, Vettel tried to block Verstappen from passing him into the first corner of the race, not knowing that Raikkonen had made a better start than both and was to the left of Verstappen going into the left-hand turn. 

The resulting crash - Verstappen going into Raikkonen and then the Finn crashing into Vettel as the German continued to turn left - took out three strong contenders for victory although initially it looked like it would only be Raikkonen and Verstappen who would have to pay for Vettel's attempts to retain the lead.

Vettel stayed out front as Hamilton avoided the chaos - which had also claimed Fernando Alonso's McLaren - but the Ferrari spun out after fluid from the radiator (the left side-pod had been smashed) leading to a loss of rear grip and a frontal collision into the barrier, which led to a loss of the nose cone.

Of course, Vettel's misguided maneuvering was only half the story for Hamilton. He still had to hold on to win on a wet track that took its own sweet time to dry out. And afterwards, keep Ricciardo at bay. But that was the bonus miracle after all. Hamilton's extreme confidence in wet conditions kept him out of the Red Bull's clutches and when the track eventually dried enough to warrant dry tyres, the pace the Red Bulls had teased in Friday's practice sessions and qualifying did not materialize. 

In fact, Hamilton went on to record the fastest lap of the race - which was also the circuit lap record - en route to his 60th career victory and his seventh of the 2017 F1 season. 

With six races remaining, Hamilton has a 28-point cushion over Vettel to play with and tracks that should not put Mercedes at a disadvantage when it comes to battling Ferrari. Could a fourth title be imminent?

Tags: F1 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo Valtteri Bottas Ferrari Sebastian Vettel Kimi Raikkonen Max Verstappen

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