Lewis Hamilton claimed a maximum 25 points but his principal rival left with none as the championship situation changed dramatically in Singapore.
Hamilton now leads Sebastian Vettel by 28 points in the drivers’ championship. That is the largest lead any driver has enjoyed all season. Vettel’s lead peaked at 25 points after the Monaco Grand Prix, since when Hamilton has enjoyed a net 53-point swing in his favour.
It was Hamilton’s third consecutive win, following a period at the beginning of the season in which no driver had won two in a row. It was also his third victory in Singapore.
Hamilton now has 60 career wins, yet it is shocking to know that this is the second time he has won, having started outside of the first two rows. He won the 2014 British Grand Prix from sixth place. His other wins have come from pole position (38), second (15), third (3) and fourth (2).
Vettel’s 200th participation in a world championship race weekend was not a successful one. His retirement from the race means Hamilton is now the only driver to have scored points in every race this year.
With Kimi Raikkonen going out in the same first-lap incident, this was the first time since the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix that Ferrari failed to get either car home.
Not since the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix have two Ferraris failed to get either beyond the first lap, and that was in quite different circumstances.
Gilles Villeneuve was killed in a crash during qualifying and Didier Pironi’s car was withdrawn as a mark of respect. This was the first time Ferrari have entered two cars in a race and both retired on the first lap.
Vettel at least took his fourth Singapore Grand Prix pole, the most of any driver, and the 49th of his career. It was also the 213th pole position for a Ferrari-powered car. That equals the record number of pole positions for an engine brand, held by Renault.