Lewis Hamilton capitalises on Sebastian Vettel's first-lap drama in Singapore

Lewis Hamilton has won the Singapore Grand Prix from Daniel Ricciardo

Lewis Hamilton has won the Singapore Grand Prix from Daniel Ricciardo

But as he tried to cover off fellow front-row starter Max Verstappen come lights out, he squeezed the Red Bull driver into his Ferrari team-mate and all three cars sustained race-ending damage.

Force India's Sergio Perez was fifth with Briton Jolyon Palmer, making way for Sainz at Renault, scoring his first points of the season with sixth.

Vettel attempted to put a courageous face on the fist-lap mayhem - an incident which will now be investigated by the stewards - but he will know that his chances of stopping Hamilton march on to the title have taken a significant hit. Max is next to me, so first of all I guess I'm racing him and then Daniel (Ricciardo) and so on and so forth.

In contrast, Verstappen moved to lay the blame at Vettel's door.

"I have an idea, if we were to do the race again and set the auto up different, something we did on the vehicle would have helped us if we went the other way for how the conditions are". "It was not very clever".

"It's just a shame we couldn't put it on pole", Verstappen said. Remarkably, Alonso was able to continue despite his McLaren having effectively been disembowelled, with entrails hanging from its left hand side, and ran just outside the points until the inevitable happened on lap nine and he was forced to retire.

"The vehicle was completely destroyed on the left side", the Spaniard said.

Hamilton soon got into the groove and opened up a handsome five second advantage to Ricciardo in second.

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. Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas went on to complete the podium.

Hamilton surged to the front - with Red Bull's Ricciardo also a beneficiary - and a timely reminder from his team to get the vehicle home in one piece was heeded, making last year's runner-up the heavy favourite for the title with six rounds to go, even after Marcus Ericsson's spin led to another outing from the safety auto.

The safety vehicle came out again, after Marcus Ericsson's Sauber stalled on lap 39.