With a final round-up from the Marina Bay Street Circuit following Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, Crash.net F1 Digital Editor Luke Smith brings you his paddock notebook.

- Lewis Hamilton stormed to victory on Sunday in Singapore with a controlled display at the front of the pack, extending his championship lead over Sebastian Vettel to 40 points. It marks his biggest points advantage since the end of last season, when he won the title by 46 points.

- It was Hamilton’s seventh win of the season, four of which have come in the last five races, a period in which he has scored 118 of a possible 125 points. In the same period, Vettel has scored only 70 points.

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- Hamilton now has four wins in Singapore, tying with Vettel’s record. He also surpassed Vettel has having led the most laps at Marina Bay, sitting on 242 after leading 49 through today’s race.

- Max Verstappen managed to score his best result since his victory in Austria two months ago by taking second place for Red Bull, bouncing back from slipping to third on the opening lap behind Vettel to recover at the single round of pit stops. The result also came despite recurring engine issues through the weekend that almost caused Verstappen to stop behind the Safety Car and also experienced a brief stall pulling out of his pit box.

- The issue means that Red Bull is likely to change Verstappen’s engine for the next race in Russia, as confirmed by Christian Horner after the race.

- Both Hamilton and Verstappen were left bemused by traffic from back markers that cost them time on Lap 38. Verstappen was able to close to the back of Hamilton’s car after the Mercedes driver got stuck behind Romain Grosjean and Sergey Sirotkin, who were battling for position at the time.

- FIA race director Charlie Whiting said Grosjean had “forgotten the golden rule” of blue flags, which is that you must forget your ongoing battle and yield the position. He received a five-second time penalty that dropped him from 13th to 15th in the final classification, as well as three penalty points on his Super License, leaving him just three points away from a race ban.

- In third, Vettel continued his impressive Singapore record with seven podium finishes in the last nine years, but was left frustrated after going for an alternative strategy that ultimately backfired due to traffic.

- Only Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo went from Hypersofts to Ultrasofts, with the rest of the lead runners using Softs for their second stint. Ricciardo had backed off to get out of dirty air in both stints, but was unable to pass Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen in fourth and fifth despite better pace in the closing stages. Ricciardo did however lead his first laps in F1 since winning the Monaco Grand Prix in May.

- Bottas fumed over the radio about blue flags, complaining that backmarkers were not being shown them early enough. The FIA ruling was that the gap had to be 1.2 seconds for blue flags to be show, which Bottas said was “fucked” over team radio. Whiting revealed this gap was increased from one second last year, and said it was simply down to Bottas to cut the gap below the threshold required. Bottas’ result did help Mercedes move into a 37-point lead at the top of the constructors’ championship.

- Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz Jr. and Charles Leclerc all benefitted from their free tyre choice after dropping out in Q2 to leapfrog the Hypersoft starters in the top 10, all of whom had to pit early and subsequently got stuck in traffic from cars further back who stayed out. Alonso scored both his and McLaren’s best result since Azerbaijan in April by finishing seventh, while Leclerc picked up his first points in five races.

- Nico Hulkenberg was the only midfield driver who started on Hypersofts to score points, taking a single point for P10. He had been stuck in the train behind Sergey Sirotkin prior to the Russian’s clash with Sergio Perez.

- Perez was hit with a drive-through penalty for the incident which the stewards deemed to be “potentially dangerous”, having side-swiped Sirotkin. Perez admitted after the race his penalty was fair.

- Sirotkin himself was hit with a penalty in an incident-laden race, having forced Brendon Hartley off the road while battling outside of the points. Sirotkin got a five-second time penalty which he took at a late pit stop, and also accepted the penalty was fair.

- Sirotkin had also been forced to pit at the end of the opening lap after a piece of debris from the crash between Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon at Turn 3 got lodged in his front wing. Whiting told Williams it had to pit Sirotkin via radio to remove the debris.

- While the clash between Ocon and Perez was deemed to be a racing incident by the stewards, Force India looked dimly on the collision, with team principal Otmar Szafnauer confirming it would be reintroducing the ‘rules of engagement’ required after their clash at Spa last year.

- Toro Rosso had a weekend to forget as both Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley finished outside of the points, taking P13 and P17 respectively. Hartley lamented a strategy gamble with an early pit stop, while Gasly said points were never really on for the team at a track it had expected to do well at. It has still not received a car update since Austria, which did not work as expected.

- A curious incident on the grid saw the Safety Car leak fluid from its air condition system onto the track. Charlie Whiting said it happened because driver Bernd Maylander had forgotten to turn the AC off while he was out of the car conducting an interview.

- Officials from the Singapore Grand Prix reported the second-highest attendance in the 11-year history of the race, with a three-day attendance of 263,000. The event this year once again offered a number of music acts for fans to see including Martin Garrix, Dua Lipa, Liam Gallagher and The Killers.

 

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