Lewis Hamilton: I knew I was going to win when it rained

The Marina Bay Street Circuit a spectacular setting for the Singapore Grand Prix held at night under floodlights

The Marina Bay Street Circuit a spectacular setting for the Singapore Grand Prix held at night under floodlights

Red Bull's Max Verstappen blamed Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel for the first-lap crash which took three cars out of the Singapore Grand Prix.

The win means the Mercedes driver opens up a 28-point lead over Vettel with six races to go.

Hamilton managed to keep clear of the chaos and went on to win the race despite three Safety Cars while Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was second with Bottas taking the final podium spot.

Hamilton and Mercedes had braced themselves for a race of "damage limitation" after struggling in qualifying.

The FIA stewards announced that the startline incident was under investigation, with a ruling expected after the race.

Vettel had got around the first corner ahead, but then spun, and with his auto badly damaged he retired from a race for the first time in 2017.

While Vettel avoided that second impact at Turn 1, his vehicle was damaged and he crashed out moments later from the lead of the race.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton drives out of the pit lane during Friday practice for the Singapore Grand Prix
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton drives out of the pit lane during Friday practice for the Singapore Grand Prix

The first race to be hit by rain in the decade that Singapore has hosted Formula One had started in treacherous conditions, puddles gleaming in the floodlights, after a formation lap behind the safety auto.

Alonso lasted just a few laps before the damage sustained at the first corner forced him to retire, and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat became the fifth man out when he ploughed nose-first into a barrier - prompting a second safety vehicle. I just know that when those conditions happen it's more of a lottery, there's more opportunity, it levels the playing field and then there's a real race and that's what I was excited to have.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz, who will move to Renault next season, finished fourth for Toro Rosso to score the best result of his career.

Esteban Ocon rounded out the points paying positions in tenth place for Force India after being locked in an ongoing battle with the two Haas drivers and Felipe Massa.

Vettel's getaway was routine but he soon found Verstappen closing in on him on the inside, and the Ferrari driver moved across to cover the Red Bull, apparently unaware Raikkonen was on the other side of the No.33 vehicle and next to the pit wall.

Mercedes declined to pit Hamilton under the safety auto but after the restart he reeled off a string of fastest laps on the slowly drying track, extending his lead over Ricciardo.

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