Lewis Hamilton profits from chaos to win Singapore GP
Canadian rookie Lance Stroll cracks top-10 after starting 18th
Lewis Hamilton profited from the chaos to win the Singapore Grand Prix and extend his championship lead on Sunday, while title rival Sebastian Vettel lost huge ground after crashing out on the first lap.
Montreal's Lance Stroll, who claimed his "car is impossible to drive" after qualifying 18th on Saturday, also benefited from the mess to finish eighth.
Meanwhile, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo prevented a Mercedes 1-2 by finishing ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who placed third.
Vettel can have little complaint as he seemed to cause the first-turn mayhem, despite starting from pole position. The crash caused a domino effect, taking out his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, Red Bull's Max Verstappen and McLaren's Fernando Alonso.
Having started from fifth, on one of the toughest tracks on the curcuit for overtaking, Hamilton could not believe his luck. The field opened up perfectly for the British driver to seal his third straight win, seventh of the season and 60th overall. He now has a commanding 28-point lead over Vettel with just six races remaining.
"I capitalized on the incident," Hamilton said. "Who could have known that would happen?"
Following a massive downpour several hours beforehand, more heavy showers soaked the Marina Bay circuit just before the 8 p.m. race.
The treacherous conditions might have made Vettel a bit nervous, even on a track where he holds the record with four wins.
After making a hesitant start, the four-time F1 champion veered hastily left as he tried to counter Verstappen's strong start. It was a needless move, and squeezed Verstappen and Raikkonen for room, causing them to collide on the inside.
UPDATED DRIVER STANDINGS<a href="https://twitter.com/LewisHamilton">@LewisHamilton</a> now leads the championship by 28 points<br><br>The biggest lead so far in 2017<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SingaporeGP?src=hash">#SingaporeGP</a> 🇸🇬 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1?src=hash">#F1</a> <a href="https://t.co/1nwoMV3m2F">pic.twitter.com/1nwoMV3m2F</a>—@F1
Raikkonen's wobbling car then tagged Vettel's before spinning across the track, careering spectacularly into Verstappen and Alonso — who was in the right place at the wrong time after making a superb start.
Hamilton picked his spot, avoiding any danger as he moved into the lead, with Ricciardo jumping up from third on the grid to second.
After a few laps behind the safety car, the race resumed on lap seven with huge spray flying up from the cars.
Vettel, meanwhile, was back in the garage contemplating the heavily damaged front wing and left of his car.
"Sorry guys. Sorry," he said, contritely. "Really sorry."
With files from CBC Sports