Britain's Lewis Hamilton eased to victory from pole position at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday as the Mercedes driver extended his championship lead over Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to 40 points with six rounds remaining.
Vettel is also seeking a fifth world title and while he remains a huge threat in a very competitive vehicle, the German was disappointed not to have been able to capitalise on the dominance Ferrari had over their rivals in practise.
Vettel conceded Ferrari had made tactical errors in qualifying but argued that although Hamilton's pole lap was significantly faster than his, the Briton was not untouchable. "Keep pushing - we´ve got this guys".
"It was a tough race, a hardcore race".
When Formula One drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen visited Singapore previous year, the Red Bull Racing duo were tasked with opening a durian using everyday tools including a screwdriver, mini saw and a rubber chicken.
Fernando Alonso drove an excellent race, starting 11th, passing Renault's Nico Hulkenberg at the start and using a long first stint on the ultra-soft tyres to move into the position of best of the rest - a rare fillip for McLaren as their season collapses around them with a vehicle the team have admitted is "poor".More news: Apple's low-priced iPhone XC might launch in 'limited quan
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Force India's Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon will start seventh and ninth respectively, while Romain Grosjean is eighth on the grid for Haas with Nico Hulkenberg rounding out the top 10 in his Renault. A visibly disappointed Vettel could manage no better than third fastest after again having his preparations for the crucial lap interrupted by him trying to guide Ferrari's pit lane operations.
Singapore's start-finish straight is fairly short, but if Vettel gets good traction from third he could at least be second by Turn 1, which would considerably improve his chances of a fifth win at the Marina Bay Circuit.
"Great job everyone, what a weekend", said Hamilton on team radio immediately after winning at the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the second year running.
Vettel's frustration increased as Hamilton rejoined in front and then boiled over as Verstappen jumped him when he too pitted for softs.
The other option if Hamilton pits first, is to run a longer first stint. It was getting from bad to worse for Vettel, who was clearly unhappy with the tyre choice of his opening pit stop when most opted for the longer lasting softs.
Lewis Hamilton celebrates with his team after winning the Singapore Grand Prix to extend his championship lead.