Lewis Hamilton has won the Singapore Grand Prix, surviving a crash on lap one which accounted for both Ferrari’s, Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso.
Starting fifth, Hamilton avoided the first turn melee to take the lead, controlling the race from beginning to end, winning ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Valterri Bottas.
A shower of rain doused the circuit minutes before the start, creating challenging wet conditions for the opening laps.
The pole sitting Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel moved over on Verstappen at lights out, squeezing the Dutchman between the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who was alongside the Red Bull driver, and the pit wall.
The two latter drivers made immediate contact, spinning Raikkonen into the side of his team mate as all three cars scraped along the track towards turn one.
Alonso ended up being the innocent victim when he was collected at the first corner by Raikkonen and Verstappen.
Vettel continued on, but retired two corners later when he spun on his own coolant, crashing into the wall and pulling off to the side of the track.
“No idea,” said Vettel when questioned on his perspective of incident.
“I don’t know, I saw Max (Verstappen), and the next thing I saw was Kimi (Raikkonen) hitting the side of me and Max crashing.
“Obviously we’re not in the race and we lose lots of points in the championship”
After a prolonged safety car period, the race got back underway again on lap five, with Hamilton leading the field to green, as Alonso eventually retired on lap 9, a result of the damage to his McLaren Honda from the opening lap chaos.
The green flag period lasted until lap 11, when Daniil Kvyat locked up under braking for turn seven and speared into the barrier, causing another safety car intervention.
Ricciardo, who sat in second place marginally reduced the gap to Hamilton when the field changed from Intermediate tyres to slick’s, but the Australian had to settle for a lonely second.
Another safety car was deployed in the late stages of the race when Marcus Ericsson spun out and made contact with the barriers, but Hamilton quickly re-cemented his lead again on the restart, taking the victory over Ricciardo by 4.5s.
Bottas completed the podium for Mercedes, while the high rate of attrition meant midfielders scored major points paying positions.
Torro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz finished fourth, ahead of Sergio Perez and Jolyon Palmer in the Renault.
Stoffel Vandoorne took out seventh for McLaren Honda, while Lance Stroll came eighth, and the two Haas team mates of Romain Grosjean and Esteban Ocon rounded out the top ten in ninth and tenth respectively.
Hamilton has taken the championship points lead by a margin of 28-points over Vettel, who had his first retirement of the 2017 season.
The Formula One World Championship now heads to Sepang for the Malaysian Grand Prix which will take place in a fortnight, from 29 September to 1 October.