Disastrous start for Ferrari in Singapore helps Hamilton extend F1 championship lead

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2017 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

2017 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

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Sunday’s 2017 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix is a race Ferrari definitely won’t want to remember. Things were ominous from the get-go as it was the first wet start in the history of the Singapore race.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was on pole and the only real challenger in the 2017 title fight, Mercedes AMG’s Lewis Hamilton, was back at fifth. In between were Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, along with Vettel’s teammate, Kimi Räikkönen.

Both Ferrari drivers got a good start, as did Verstappen. Vettel then moved across the track to block Verstappen and take the line. Unfortunately, Räikkönen was doing the same on the other side of Verstappen. The Red Bull ended up sandwiched between the two Ferraris. Verstappen then braked and the rear wheel of Räikkönen’s car rolled up into the front wheel of Verstappen’s car.

This caused Räikkönen’s car to spin into the side of Vettel’s car. Vettel managed to continue but damage to his car caused it to spin shortly after and he was out of the race, along with Räikkönen and Verstappen. Sadly, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was caught up in the scuffle and ended up succumbing to damage caused to his car.

"I had an average start and then I moved slightly to the left trying to defend my position from Max," Vettel said after the race. "Then I got bumped on one side as Kimi’s car hit me—I’m not sure what happened."

Mercedes AMG’s Lewis Hamilton at the 2017 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

Mercedes AMG’s Lewis Hamilton at the 2017 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

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Later that evening, race stewards ruled that no one driver was to blame and therefore no one was penalized. For Ferrari, though, and Vettel in particular, the championship fight may be over. Hamilton now has his 60th F1 victory but more importantly has extended his 2017 championship lead over Vettel from three to 28 points with just six races to go.

Even without the Ferraris, Hamilton didn’t have an easy job of securing the win thanks to Ricciardo who finished 4.507 seconds behind the winner. Hamilton built up a decent gap in the early stages of the race but that was eliminated after the 11th lap crash that saw Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat end up in the wall at Turn 7. Once again Hamilton managed to build up a gap and once again this was eliminated when Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson crashed on the 37th lap after spinning on the Anderson Bridge.

Fortunately for Hamilton he was able to keep his cool to the end of the race. Fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas also stayed calm to the end, crossing the line third, 8.8 seconds behind Hamilton. Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz claimed fourth and Force India’s Sergio Perez fifth.

The results of the weekend mean Hamilton now leads the 2017 Drivers’ Championship with 263 points. Vettel is second with 235 points and Bottas is third with 212 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 475 points, Ferrari is second with 373 points and Red Bull is third with 230 points. The next race on the calendar is the Malaysian Grand Prix in a fortnight.

Hit the next page for the full results of the 2017 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix.


 
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