Lewis Hamilton has suggested that, with an extended championship lead after finishing on the podium in Singapore, he will take a more measured approach to the final three races of the season than he did in 2008.

Perhaps fuelled the momentum of his stellar rookie campaign, the Briton made mistakes over the run-in that ultimately saw him miss out on the title by a single point to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, and he is determined not to make the same error in his head-to-head with the Finn's team-mate, Felipe Massa, this time around.

After the controversy of Belgium and qualifying problems in Italy, Hamilton headed to Formula One's inaugural night race on the streets of Singapore with a slim one-point lead over Massa but, with unpredictability again a key factor under the lights of Marina Bay, emerged with a strengthened seven-point advantage as Ferrari self-destructed.

Massa, after his scintillating pole on Saturday night, again appeared to have the measure of the field but, as an early safety car threatened to upset the order, fell foul of Ferrari's automated pit release system, just as Raikkonen had in Valencia. This time, a large proportion of the Scuderia's refuelling equipment was towed down pit-lane by the Brazilian, obliging his crew to make a dash to retrieve it and send him on his way. Not only did the problem drop Massa to the rear of the field, however, but it also earned him a drive-thru' for an unsafe release into the path of Adrian Sutil that confirmed him with a mountain to climb.

Unsurprisingly, Massa failed to make it back into the points, despite a second safety car late in the race, allowing Hamilton the option of accepting a safe third place and six vital points.

The seven-point cushion between the pair heading to Fuji in a fortnight's time means that, all being well, Hamilton can now afford to finish one place behind his rival in each of the three remaining rounds and still take the title by a point.

"It's all about scoring points," Hamilton acknowledged, "It would have been tough to score more points than [Massa] in this race but, fortunately, the race had a couple of incidents which didn't benefit them. We did a solid job and came back with the points so, moving forward, I think we approach it the same as we have this weekend and definitely don't get ahead of ourselves because, as you can see, lots of things can happen. We'll just focus on doing a solid job, and scoring more points, hopefully."

With two surprise winners in as many races, F1 is showing that it can still throw the odd curve ball, and Hamilton admits - especially with last year's Chinese and Brazilian GPs still fresh in his mind - that he cannot afford to relax over the remaining three rounds.

"As I said, we're going to approach the next few races exactly the same as we have this one," he insisted, "I have no doubts we have a competitive package to compete with [Ferrari] but, without a doubt, it will be a very tough battle.

"We came here with a one-point lead, and I could see that the Ferraris were very competitive and Felipe was driving very well, so I knew it would be very tough to beat them. Especially after the start, I was just behind him and it seemed like he would perhaps be going to the same lap as me, so it just showed that his qualifying lap was phenomenal.

"I think, in the first few laps, being behind Felipe but being quite quick compared to him, I probably used up more of my tyres than I potentially needed to. That was the only opportunity for me to get past him. Unfortunately, my rear tyres just dropped away a little bit - as we always see - while they are always great at looking after their tyres.

"Nevertheless, we came through. It was a tough weekend but we got some good points, so I am very, very happy."