Hamilton extends lead with #SingaporeGP victory

Formula One World Championship

Singapore GP: Raikkonen fastest in 2nd practice session

Hamilton promptly put in a fizzing flying lap, of 1:36.015, pushing Vettel into third and Raikkonen into sixth. It would nearly certainly give up hope of gaining track position at the time, but it would allow him a run at Hamilton on fresher tyres at the end of the race. "I truly think we can deliver like this for the rest of the season, and that is the goal".

The Ferrari pairing of Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen had set the pace for most of the weekend, but the German could manage only third place, more than half a second down, and will start alongside Mercedes's Valtteri Bottas, who was fourth fastest. It's the most challenging circuit, I think, for us in the year.

Lewis Hamilton labeled the Singapore circuit "Monaco on steroids" as he talked the media through his incredible pole effort Saturday.

Hamilton was cruising up front but suffered a mini-crisis on the 38th lap when he got stuck in a queue of tail-enders, which allowed Verstappen to get right up behind him.

"It's hard to overtake here so I didn't want to take the risk".

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"I don't think there was a moment in the lap that was wide".

"We are sure we have a good auto and can be fast in the race".

Vettel got past Verstappen before the safety vehicle emerged and slotted in behind Hamilton, but his race unravelled when the German pitted first on the 14th lap but got stuck in traffic and overtaken by the Dutchman when he made his stop for fresh tyres.

For Vettel and Ferrari it was another disappointing weekend after the vehicle showed plenty of pace through all three practice sessions, the German's cause not helped by a questionable strategy and a poor pitstop. "We changed to the ultrasoft and a lot of people covered us which put us back in traffic, so it didn't really work out", Hartley said.

"We knew they (Ferrari) were going to be spectacular here this weekend and we knew it was going to take something quite special to beat them".

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"It's not what we wanted today to get third".

"That's what I mean when I said we didn't get everything out of ourselves".

"We knew coming here that the characteristics of this track would suit our package. It depends on the start and the first couple of laps", Vettel said. "I will always defend the team", he said.

It didn't. When Verstappen was able to subsequently pit and rejoin (just) ahead of the Ferrari - and on the softs that could comfortably make the end of the race - Vettel's attention turned to managing his tyres to avoid having to pit again.

Once he had fended off Verstappen's attack, Hamilton cruised to victory, the Dutchman held at arm's length, and Vettel cruising similarly behind.

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The 20-year-old apologized to his team on the radio as he left his auto stranded in an escape road with two minutes left in the session, a sight that will disappoint his future employers, who will hope he does not make similar mistakes next season.

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