Friday, 20 July, 2018

Formula One: Hamilton rejoices in Singapore good fortune

Kristopher Love | 17 September, 2017, 19:42

Horner revealed after the race that Red Bull feared Ricciardo would not even finish the race due to a gearbox problem.

Red Bull Racing's pace from practice did not carry over to the race, and while Daniel Ricciardo looked set to be one of the favouries for the race win in Singapore, only managed to finish in second place, four seconds down on Hamilton despite a late Safety Car.

Sebastian Vettel heads into Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix brimming with confidence after a blistering run in qualifying while championship leader Lewis Hamilton is praying for a "miracle".

"So there's two, for sure, opportunities and then one potential one if there is a safety vehicle", he said.

Following a massive downpour several hours beforehand, more heavy showers soaked the Marina Bay circuit just before the race which started 8 p.m. local time (1200 GMT).

After a few laps behind the safety auto, the race resumed for real on lap 7.

Lost amid the first-corner mayhem was a dazzling start by Fernando Alonso, who swept past on the outside of Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas, only to be scuttled by Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari.

Red Bull dominated all three practise sessions, with Verstappen posting the fastest time in the third and final practise and Ricciardo setting lap records in Friday's two sessions.

"When you're fighting for a world championship you shouldn't do that", the 19-year-old Dutchman said.

He said: "I didn't see that much".

"I had an average start and then went to the left trying to fend off Max and the next thing I get a bump on the side and see Kimi's vehicle. Obviously we are not in the race, that's a pity, we can't show the pace that we have but I am sure there will be more opportunities". "It was not very clever". The safety vehicle was also deployed on lap 11 when Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat crashed into the barriers.

While Alonso was eventually forced to retire, this drive offered a reminder of why McLaren have been so desperate to keep him.

"Why another safety vehicle?" a clearly annoyed Hamilton said.

The safety auto came out again, after Marcus Ericsson's Sauber stalled on lap 39.

It made no difference here, as Hamilton won by 4.5 seconds.