Hamilton takes points lead with Singapore win

By on Sunday, September 21, 2014
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton stormed to victory in the Singapore Grand Prix as Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg was forced to retire.

Hamilton led all but two laps under the lights in Marina Bay to take the lead of the championship, with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo completing the podium.

Fernando Alonso was fourth for Ferrari.

Rosberg started from the pit lane due to a steering wheel issue and retired following his first stop.

Hamilton retained the lead at the start as Alonso locked up and headed into the run-off as the two Red Bull drivers squabbled. Alonso gave up a position to Vettel but stayed ahead of Ricciardo, with stewards deeming that no further action was warranted.

The leading quarter all made their stops and retained positions, with Hamilton holding a comfortable advantage at the head of the pack.

Alonso decided to use the undercut at his second stop to gain position on Vettel and with the German switching to Primes, Alonso held second place behind Hamilton.

Hamilton gradually increased his lead until the Safety Car was called following a collision between Adrian Sutil and Sergio Pérez, with debris from the Mexican’s front wing littering the circuit. Pérez stopped for repairs while Sutil pulled into his garage a few laps later.

Hamilton, on Options, continued to lead as his rivals, including Alonso – who stopped under the Safety Car for fresh Primes and dropped behind the Red Bull duo – planned to run to the end of the race on their third set of tyres.

Hamilton stormed away from Vettel at the restart, while Ricciardo hung to the back of his Red Bull team-mate as the pair eased away from Alonso.

Hamilton stretched his lead by as much as three seconds a lap across the next stint as he attempted to open up a sufficient advantage to pit and emerge at the head of the field.

Ultimately, Hamilton extended his advantage to 20 seconds before he started to feel the effect of tyre degradation. He opened up another few seconds before Mercedes called him in for a third time.

Hamilton stopped on lap 52 and came out 1.9s behind Vettel, whose advantage he soon carved into. Vettel led across the line – the first time the German has led a lap in 2014 – but Hamilton eased by on the next tour to take back the advantage.

Hamilton scampered into the distance while Vettel started to struggle with his tyres and was reeled in by Ricciardo and Alonso.

That particular trio held position during the final laps while Felipe Massa had a lonely run to fifth.

Jean-Éric Vergne prevailed in an epic scrap for sixth place and retained the position despite copping a five second penalty for exceeding track limits.

Pérez recovered to claim seventh position, ahead of Kimi Räikkönen, Nico Hülkenberg and Valtteri Bottas; the Williams driver led the train for much of the race until his tyres cried their last on the final lap.

Outside of the top 10, several drivers encountered problems, including erstwhile championship leader Rosberg.

Rosberg encountered issues with his steering wheel on the installation lap and returned to the pits for repairs. Mercedes sent him back out to the grid but the problems persisted and the German had to start from the pits.

The problems did not repair themselves and Rosberg was suffering from double upshifts, meaning he was only able to make small progress.

At his first stop Rosberg had to coast in and couldn’t select gears; at this point Mercedes opted to retire him.

Jenson Button put in a typically feisty performance but had to retire from a points paying position towards the end due to a ‘total shutdown’ on his McLaren.

Esteban Gutiérrez ran strongly early on but suffered a slow first stop and retired a few laps later after his Sauber encountered an electronics problem.

Kamui Kobayashi did not start the race after he pulled his Caterham off the track due to an oil pressure problem on the formation lap.

144Lewis HamiltonMercedes60Winner125
21Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault60+13.5 secs418
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault60+14.2 secs315
414Fernando AlonsoFerrari60+15.3 secs512
519Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes60+42.1 secs610
625Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault60+56.8 secs128
711Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes60+59.0 secs156
87Kimi RäikkönenFerrari60+60.6 secs74
927Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes60+61.6 secs132
1020Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes60+62.2 secs91
1177Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes+65.0 secs8
1213Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault+66.9 secs18
138Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault+68.0 secs16
1426Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault+72.0 secs10
159Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault+94.1 secs22
1617Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari+94.5 secs19
174Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari+1 Lap21
Ret22Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes+8 Lap11
Ret99Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari+20 Laps17
Ret21Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari+43 Laps14
Ret6Nico RosbergMercedes+47 Laps2
Ret10Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault+60 Laps20

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