MERCEDES driver Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory in the Singapore Grand Prix to strengthen his hold on this year’s World Championship.
Hamilton’s brilliantly controlled drive from a pole position was helped by the latest in a series of questionable strategy calls from Ferrari.
It dropped Hamilton’s title rival Sebastian Vettel from second to third behind Max Verstappen, throwing away a position the German had earned by overtaking the Red Bull driver on the first lap.
While Vettel was left to question his team once again this season. Hamilton’s only worrying moment was caused by back markers at about two-thirds distance.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean and Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin ignored the closing Hamilton in the heat of their battle for position, and cost him his five-second advantage over Verstappen.
Hamilton had to fend off an attack from Verstappen into Turn Seven as a result, which he just managed to do, and Grosjean was later given a five-second penalty for his misdemeanour.
Hamilton’s victory, with Vettel third behind Verstappen, extended the Briton’s advantage over the German in the championship to 40 points with six races and a maximum of 150 points remaining.
“We are going from strength to strength in terms of our understanding of the car,” said the Briton.
“But it is not the end.”