Lewis Hamilton can pull off a victory even when the numbers are stacked against him. He proved it back in Italy and he did it again in Singapore. To begin with, he pulled off a miracle of a pole position, setting new records in the process, against the two Ferraris that had seemed rampant through qualifying.
The initial drama was delivered by the new Force India team with Ocon trying to find an overtake line outside Sergio Perez, only to be thrown into the wall, bringing out the safety car just as Vettel got ahead of Verstappen.
After the restart, it came down to a matter of tyre strategy and pit stop scheduling, with Hamilton having his hypersofts switched to softs, while Vettel’s tyres were now ultrasofts. Verstappen’s stop for softs was timed perfectly, allowing him to come back on to the track abreast of Vettel and then getting ahead of him.
Force India were to provide further drama with Sergio Perez taking the battle to the Williams of Sergey Sirotkin, who he believed was holding him back. Halfway into the race, he managed to draw abreast of the Williams and then made a rookie error by steering into the Russian, damaging bodywork and puncturing his rear tyre. In the process, he also picked up a drive through penalty.
Sirotkin was to also be penalised with a five second burden for holding up the race leader in his battle with the Haas of Romain Grosjean. Once Hamilton managed to get ahead of that, he built up the pace that had slipped, allowing Verstappen to come up on his tail.
The race ended with Hamilton getting his 69th career win, ahead of Verstappen and Vettel who managed the crucial podium slot that limits the Brit’s lead to 40 points. From this point, with the season on its closing races, the championship lead is Hamilton’s to keep intact.
Post-race he said, “I’m so excited. I came here knowing that Singapore is a hard one for us. But I’m always optimistic, thinking that if we’re really diligent and do our work, we can create some chances. Then Friday was already a good day for us. Saturday didn’t start off well, but then all of the sudden that special lap came in. Knowing that we would start on pole, I knew that it was a great opportunity for us to capitalise on. I had a great start and from then I was able to manage it. When I hit the traffic, I was just mindful not to take any risks. When you start to get closer to another car, you start losing grip and start sliding around more, so there’s a higher chance of mistakes. If you’re lucky you catch the cars at the right point and they let you by so you don’t lose any time, but today I always caught them at an unfortunate point. So when Max was right behind, I had to go on the defensive, and I thought to myself “Bro, you’re not getting by – not today!” It was physically such a demanding race, so I’m relieved that it’s over now – it felt like such a long night, but I’m super grateful for the result.”
2018 Formula 1 Drivers
|Car No||Name||Team||2018 season||2017 season|
|33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||216||168|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||146||200|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India||57||100|
|31||Esteban Ocon||Force India||49||87|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||29||0|
|28||Brendan Hartley||Toro Rosso||4||0|
2018 Formula 1 Teams
|Team||2018 season||2017 season|
|Red Bull Racing||362||368|
|Force India Mercedes||47||187|
|Toro Rosso Honda||33||53|
2018 Formula 1 Races
|Mexico||28/10/2018||Max Verstappen||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|United States||21/10/2018||Kimi Raikkonen||Max Verstappen||Lewis Hamilton|
|Japan||07/10/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Russia||20/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Sebastian Vettel|
|Singapore||16/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen||Sebastian Vettel|
|Italy||02/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen||Valtteri Bottas|
|Belgium||26/08/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen|
|Hungary||29/07/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Germany||22/07/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Britain||08/07/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Austria||01/07/2018||Max Verstappen||Kimi Raikkonen||Sebastian Vettel|
|France||24/06/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Canada||10/06/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Monaco||27/05/2018||Daniel Ricciardo||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton|
|Spain||13/05/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Azerbaijan||29/04/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen||Sergio Perez|
|China||15/04/2018||Daniel Ricciardo||Valtteri Bottas||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Bahrain||04/04/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Valtteri Bottas||Lewis Hamilton|
|Australia||25/03/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen|