Hamilton's 'aggressive caution' leads his F1 title charge

Red Bull consider the Singapore race as one of their best venues to secure a second victory of the season following Ricciardo's success in Baku in June. But Mercedes must be thanking the Gods after a first and third podium finish.

Lewis Hamilton said he knew he could win the Singapore GP the moment it starting raining, after he delivered a potentially defining victory in F1 2017's title race.

Speaking to media about the first lap incident, he said: "I didn't see that much".

Hamilton had started fifth after a disappointing qualifying.

Vettel made one of the worst starts of his distinguished career, throwing away pole position as he recklessly caused a crash heading into the first corner.

Of course, Vettel's misguided maneuvering was only half the story for Hamilton. "In the rain, those are my conditions". Seb pulled in for the squeeze against Verstappen, who started second on the grid, and eventually collided with the young Dutchmen. "The auto was awesome", Vettel said.

Ricciardo finished second on the Singapore podium previous year, and he merely smiled when asked about the possibility of staving off the Mercedes and Ferrari challenge come race day.

But as the rain fell under the floodlights, it was the Ferrari who were left picking up the pieces after a race which was supposed to swing the title momentum firmly back in Vettel's favour.

"Nothing we can do now. For sure, it's bitter but it's done", said the four-time Singapore GP victor, whose retirement ended a run of 18 successive points finishes. Kvyat meanwhile brought out the second safety auto intervention after he crashed his Toro Rosso.

Hamilton had a healthy advantage of 9.6 seconds when Sauber's Marcus Ericsson spun and stopped on Anderson Bridge, bringing out a third safety vehicle and wiping out the Briton's lead.

Despite missing out on the top spot, Ricciardo and Verstappen sounded confident going into the race.

"They have the advantage of having two cars there against one Ferrari, so in terms of pace it is probably these three cars that will be the quickest".

"I can't win the bloody thing!"

"A little bit disappointed to miss out on the win".

"Three years in a row we are second, normally I am happy with a podium".

Fresh from finally announcing they are splitting with Honda at the end of the season, McLaren enjoyed their most competitive Friday since the similarly high-downforce Hungaroring with Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso sixth and seventh respectively.

  • Julie Sanders