Lewis Hamilton wins Singapore Grand Prix after Sebastian Vettel crashes out

The car of Ferrari's driver Kimi Raikkonen is seen after a crash as Ferrari's driver Sebastian Vettel leads during the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix in Singapore

The car of Ferrari's driver Kimi Raikkonen is seen after a crash as Ferrari's driver Sebastian Vettel leads during the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix in Singapore

It is a crucial pole for Vettel on one of the three hardest tracks to overtake on in Formula One.

Overall it was a phenomenal drive from all three drivers on the podium.

"I don't think it was a racing incident". Who would've known that would happen. Whatever the cause, the German was out of the race - and his title rival in the lead... "To come out of it in the other direction is a shock".

"Normally I'm happy with the podium", he said. "Obviously we are not in the race, that's a pity, we can't show the pace that we have but I am sure there will be more opportunities".

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

Vettel took pole with a super performance in qualifying, but his form deserted him in the rain.

"It's a long race but we are on the wrong side of the track so that doesn't help".

The treacherous conditions might have made Vettel a bit nervous, even on a track where he holds the record with four wins. "Hopefully the next races are more in our direction".

Raikkonen's wobbling auto then tagged Vettel's before spinning across the track, careering spectacularly into Verstappen and Alonso.

"I tried to back out of it because I could see it coming, but the rear tyres are wider than the front so I couldn't back out of it anymore", he added.

Hamilton added: "I got everything I could out of the auto".

He said: "I didn't see that much".

The incident was due to be investigated by race stewards post-race.

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

Hamilton stayed left, picking his spot, avoiding any danger as he moved into the lead. "I'm trying", he said afterwards. "Then it was all about managing the tires".

With three safety vehicle interruptions, the race ended with 58 of the 61 laps completed after hitting the two-hour mark.

A replay showed fluid streaming out of Vettel's damaged sidepod after Turn 1 and it is likely it caused him to lose the rear of his vehicle and hammer his Ferrari against the concrete wall. I saw Max and then the next thing I see is Kimi hitting the side of me and Max somewhere there.

"I want to congratulate my team, they did a fantastic job", said Hamilton.

Lost amid the first-corner mayhem was a dazzling start by Fernando Alonso, who swept past on the outside of Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas, only to be scuttled by Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari.

"That's not an excuse - if you're fighting for the world championship, you shouldn't take those risks to squeeze someone that much". "It was not very clever".

The first lap incident left Verstappen, who has now had seven retirements this season, unimpressed with Vettel.

"The auto was completely destroyed on the left side", the Spaniard said. The safety vehicle was also deployed on lap 11 when Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat crashed into the barriers.

By the next re-start on lap 15, Ricciardo had changed tires, but Hamilton hadn't.

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

Hamilton surged to the front - with Red Bull's Ricciardo also a beneficiary - and a timely reminder from his team to get the auto 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 vehicle.

The safety auto cuts the leader's momentum and enables others to close the gap.