Singapore Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton needs 'a miracle' from fifth on grid

Vettel claimed a crucial pole position as his rival for the title Lewis Hamilton struggled

Vettel claimed a crucial pole position as his rival for the title Lewis Hamilton struggled

Raikkonen continued in his damaged Ferrari, sweeping into Verstappen again at turn one, before collecting Fernando Alonso in a secondary collision.

Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel, three points adrift after Hamilton won the previous two races, seized pole position with a blistering late lap under the floodlights at the Marina Bay circuit.

Race Control will talk to the drivers and assess footage before dishing out any subsequent penalties.

But on the exit of turn three, and with significant damage to his auto, the German lost control and crashed into the concrete wall. "I saw Max and then next thing I see is Kimi hitting the side of me and Max somewhere there".

Race engineer: "We have lost data from the auto so we don't know what is going on".

"It's a long lap - you gain a bit, you lose a bit, you kind of say I could've got more there - but I think the gap was, in the end, three or four tenths, it was quite significant". I don't know how easy that's going to be when I get home.

Hamilton controlled the race from then on, leading every lap as he finished ahead of Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull and the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was third.

All three drivers were forced out of the race, allowing Hamilton to take the lead behind a safety auto.

Carlos Sainz Jr. secured a career-best fourth place for Toro Rosso, with Force India's Sergio Perez in fifth. "I'm sure there will be more opportunities".

But Hamilton dodged the pile-up and he progressed from fifth on the grid to first, ahead of Ricciardo, as the race finally restarted after a safety auto.

Verstappen blamed Vettel, but none of the drivers will face further action.

"When you're fighting for a world championship you shouldn't do that", the 19-year-old Dutchman said. The safety vehicle was also deployed on lap 11 when Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat crashed into the barriers.

Hamilton had a healthy advantage of 9.6 seconds when Sauber's Marcus Ericsson spun and stopped on Anderson Bridge, bringing out a third safety vehicle and wiping out the Briton's lead.

The remaining cars had to pass through the through the pit lane behind the safety auto as the marshals cleared the debris at turn one.

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