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He may have won the Singapore Grand Prix and extended his championship lead to a season-high 40 points but Lewis Hamilton said the hairs were standing up on his body when he caught traffic that failed to obey blue flags midway through the race. Pierre (Gasly) was on my gearbox and Sergey was on my front wing.

But once clear, Hamilton was able to pull away from the Red Bull again, crossing the line just under nine seconds clear of the Dutchman to take a 44th career win when starting from pole position.

It afforded him a more relaxing race than expected - heat aside - given Ferrari's advantage during practice this weekend.

Vettel pitted on lap 15 in his bid to undercut Hamilton for a new set of ultrasofts but Hamilton managed to come out ahead of the German, albeit on a much slower soft tyre, hoping it would last for a successful one-stop strategy.

Hamilton controlled the restart four laps later to sprint away more than a second clear of Vettel. That felt like the longest race of my life.

"Overall, we were not fast enough". I think Max was probably a little bit lucky in getting by in terms of what point on the track and the guys wouldn't let me by so, jeez, it was definitely close.

"If it doesn't work it's always easy to criticise afterwards, but we will always defend what we did".

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"After that, I got stuck in neutral so many times, quick-shifting wasn't working". "He obviously had some great pace toward the end, so then he would put in a good time and I would pick up the pace".

We asked Ted Kravitz to check the heat of the F1 tyres after the stress of the Singapore GP circuit at Marina Bay. "It was a tough race, we got to the end but there's no celebrations today".

With Hamilton sweeping to his fourth victory in five races, Vettel slipped 40 points behind in the drivers' championship with six races to go, while Ferrari now sits 37 points behind Mercedes in the constructors' standings after Kimi Raikkonen could only finish fifth in the sister Ferrari vehicle.

Hamilton's team mate Valtteri Bottas held off a prolonged late challenge from Raikkonen in the other Ferrari to claim fourth place, the pair finishing just ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who was closing on them in the final laps. It dropped him briefly behind Serio Perez in the Force India, but ultimately cost him ground on Hamilton and track position to Verstappen.

Discussing the importance of qualifying on pole, Hamilton continued: "We knew they [Ferrari] were going to be spectacular here this weekend and we knew it was going to take something quite special to beat them". Despite the night-time start, the temperature was around 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) and the humidity intense.

"The only thing I can say is it was a great qualifying", he added, "I think the best I have ever done and also the vehicle was working really well".


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