The championship situation changed dramatically in Singapore as Lewis Hamilton claimed a maximum 25 points but his principal rival left with none.
Hamilton now leads Sebastian Vettel by 28 points in the drivers’ championship. That’s the biggest 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: Vettel still holds the record with four.
Hamilton now has 60 career wins yet remarkably this is only the second time he’s 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 (three) and fourth (two).
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. Hamilton and Esteban Ocon are the only drivers to have been classified in every race so far.
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 Gilles Villeneuve was killed in a crash during qualifying and Didier Pironi’s car was withdrawn as a mark of respect.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 have and both retired on the first lap.
Go ad-free for just £1 per month
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.
However it gets more complicated if we include the pole positions for Renault engines branded as TAG Heuer (Daniel Ricciardo, 2016 Monaco Grand Prix) and Playlife (Giancarlo Fisichella, 1998 Austrian Grand Prix), by which count Ferrari are still two behind.
Ricciardo continued his streak of podiums in Singapore. He’s never failed to finish on the rostrum at this track since he joined Red Bull but nor has he been able to win the race. This was his third consecutive second-placed finish. Remarkably, he’s been in second place for 174 of the last 180 laps raced at this track.
However he took his seventh podium finish of the year while team mate Max Verstappen posted his seventh retirement. Four of these have been due to technical failures and three have been caused by first-lap crashes. While Hamilton has completed all 834 laps raced so far this year, Verstappen has only managed 457 (54.8%). Verstappen has only completed 45 more laps than Hamilton has spent in the lead in 2017.
Valtteri Bottas came home third for Mercedes which means Singapore’s record of never seeing a one-two finish by a team has continued for a tenth year. His tenth podium finish of the year means he is now tied with Vettel for the most so far.
One widely-expected statistical landmark was passed by Nico Hulkenberg. His retirement means he has surpassed Adrian Sutil as the driver who has started the most races without ever finishing on the podium:
|1||Nico Hulkenberg||129||2010-present||Williams, Force India, Sauber, Renault||4th (3)|
|2||Adrian Sutil||128||2007-14||Spyker, Force India, Sauber||4th|
|3||Pierluigi Martini||118||1985-95||Minardi, Scuderia Italia||4th (2)|
|4||Philippe Alliot||109||1984-94||RAM, Ligier, Lola, Larrousse, McLaren||5th|
|5||Pedro Diniz||98||1995-2000||Forti, Ligier, Arrows, Sauber||5th (2)|
|6||Ukyo Katayama||95||1992-97||Larrousse, Tyrrell, Minardi||5th (2)|
|7||Jonathan Palmer||83||1983-89||Williams, RAM, Zakspeed, Tyrrell||4th|
|8||Marc Surer||81||1979-86||Ensign, ATS, Theodore, Arrows, Brabham||4th (2)|
|9||Vitantonio Liuzzi||80||2005-11||Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Force India, HRT||6th (2)|
|10||Piercarlo Ghinzani||76||1981-89||Osella, Toleman, Ligier, Zakspeed||5th|
During the race it briefly looked as though Hulkenberg was going to stop this from happening. He completed lap one in third place and stayed there until he pitted on lap 11. As late as lap 38 he was running fourth, close behind Bottas, when a power unit problem ended his race. But surely the ever-improving Renault will allow him to eventually reach the rostrum and hand this unwanted record back to Sutil?
With Hulkenberg and Vettel failing to score, for the first time in 176 races there were no German drivers among the points-scorers. That streak dates back to the 2008 French Grand Prix, when points were only awarded to the top eight. There were five German drivers in that round and all finished but none in the points. They were Timo Glock (11th), Vettel (12th), Nick Heidfeld (13th), Nico Rosberg (16th) and Sutil (19th).
The absence of several big names missing from the sharp end of the field three drivers took the opportunity to score their best career finishes to date. They were Carlos Sainz Jnr (fourth), Jolyon Palmer (sixth) and Stoffel Vandoorne (seventh).
Review the year so far in statistics here:
- 2017 F1 championship points
- 2017 F1 season records
- 2017 F1 race data
- 2017 F1 qualifying data
- 2017 F1 retirements and penalties
- 2017 F1 strategy and pit stops
Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Singapore Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.
2017 Singapore Grand Prix
- Vettel’s Singapore crash is why his title hopes are over
- No point dwelling on cause of Singapore crash – Vettel
- 2017 Singapore Grand Prix team radio transcript
- Analysis: Raikkonen set to become Vettel’s number two after Malaysia
- Top ten pictures from the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix