Hamilton scorches to pole for Singapore Grand Prix

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Red Bull's Max Verstappen was second, 8.961sec behind, while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton's main championship rival, was third, 39.945sec adrift. "I think we have a good vehicle so let's see".

"We have the right clues now (with the car)". "I truly think we can deliver like this for the rest of the season, and that is the goal". "I'm not saying this lightly, it was the best lap I have ever seen in a Formula One auto".

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

"I'm spent. It felt like the longest race of my life so I'm glad it's over", said Hamilton when interviewed on track after hugging his crew in celebration. I had a great start. "It was a long race". I'm not sure where their pace disappeared to.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has suggested that the Maranello team were guilty of self-sabotage at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Verstappen received an apology after the finish from race director Charlie Whiting for the delay in clearing the slower cars out of the way, but Hamilton understood the difficulty. I'm not saying this lightly, it was the best lap I have ever seen in a Formula 1 vehicle.

The German four-time world champion used his superior Ferrari power to outdrag Verstappen down Raffles Boulevard and just managed to nip past the Dutchman before the safety auto brought a temporary halt to hostilities on the first lap for the third year in succession in Singapore. "I said before the weekend we could only beat ourselves and I think today we didn't get everything out of our package".

The Mercedes pilot had all the answers last night as he claimed another title in Singapore after wins in 2009, 2014 and previous year. "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".

While the four-time world champion was largely untroubled during the 61-lap race, he had to fend off Verstappen midway through, after he was caught in traffic behind the slower cars. It gets your hairs standing up for a second.

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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 was prompted by a collision between the Force Indias that put Esteban Ocon into the wall and out of the race after a sideswipe from teammate Sergio Perez.

But the 20-year-old snatched back the second spot behind Hamilton, after emerging from his pit stop just inches in front of Vettel on the 18th lap.

"I don't know where it came from but it all came together".

Hamilton's pole winning lap in yesterday's qualifying session was clearly crucial to the outcome of the race - but so was getting a smooth launch from the grid at the start.

Hamilton responded immediately and pitted on the next lap, but he crucially opted for the soft compound that had been predicted to last until the end.

Hamilton won comfortably from pole position on Sunday, extending his Formula One championship lead over Vettel to 40 points.

He said: "We can not get ahead of ourselves and we have to continue to remain humble".