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Purple patch for Lewis Hamilton in Singapore

Purple patch for Lewis Hamilton in Singapore

Max Verstappen has declared himself pleased with his second-place finish in the Singapore Grand Prix despite Red Bull's engine concerns, and added that he felt it "wouldn't have been fair" to pass eventual victor Lewis Hamilton when he was held up by back markers. The German arrived in Singapore 30 points behind Hamilton, with only seven races left to overhaul the Mercedes driver.

"I'm spent! That was a tough race, I have such great support here and we had a great start", Hamilton said after claiming victory at the 23-turn floodlit circuit for the fourth time in his career. But also I think we tried to be aggressive in the beginning and obviously it didn't work out.

"I didn't have a wheelspin, I didn't have a snap anywhere, the auto was just underneath me and I managed to maximise every corner. and I do feel like I got absolutely everything possible on that lap", Hamilton added. "I think today, with the way we raced, we didn't have a chance".

"I think it's very close".

Hamilton got the flawless start from pole position as Verstappen was slower away from second on the dirty side of the grid and saw his Red Bull come immediately under pressure from Vettel.

In indomitable form, there is now a relentless, intimidating quality to Lewis Hamilton's driving that seems to simply brook no dissent.

"I'm spent", Hamilton said moments after victory, crouching down by his auto.

Vettel sat glum-faced in the news conference after qualifying third, trailing Hamilton by a sizeable margin in Formula 1 terms: 0.6 seconds. Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso, who won the inaugural race here 10 years ago, was seventh for McLaren.

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"It's so hard to overtake here", Hamilton said.

The need for speed: The people of Singapore are the fastest walkers on the planet, at an average of 6.15kph Hamilton's pole position in Singapore was the 200th for an English driver in F1 history. "So positioning is everything". Unfortunately we couldn't make up any ground and finished third. They just avoided contact.

Hamilton's victory opened up his championship lead over Vettel to 40 points, with just six races remaining. Romain Grosjean and Sergey Sirotkin may have been battling for position, but the pair failed to leave room for the leading duo, and it nearly allowed Verstappen to make a move for the race lead, one that would have been highly controversial.

The move put Vettel in the position he wanted from which to attack Hamilton after a disappointing qualifying session for Ferrari, but the team blew it.

Hamilton admitted that Mercedes had been too conservative in their tyre choices for the race and after sneaking through the first phase of qualifying on the slower ultrasoft tyres, the Briton was unstoppable with the high-grip hypersofts on his auto. Verstappen held position, Vettel dropping to third. "I'm mostly thinking about today's race, and I think with the way we raced we didn't have a chance".

"So it was really quite a monumental moment for us as a team".

Time is running out for Vettel, who realistically has to win in Russian Federation in two weeks' time if he is to get back into title contention.


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