Singapore is a breathtaking place for a Formula 1 Grand Prix, with racing under lights through the streets of Marina Bay a feast for the eyes.
And in 2018 F1’s original night race again provided a thrilling spectacle, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton storming to his fourth win in the city-state, his 69th overall, at a track that wasn’t meant to suit the Silver Arrows.
At lights out, Hamilton got off the line well but Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel had a blinding start, and he dragged Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen down to Turn 1, with the Dutchman just keeping him behind.
Vettel, however, was on a charge and he blasted past Verstappen down the back straight for second place into Turn 7.
Behind them, carnage as the two Force Indias collided, with Sergio Perez forcing teammate Esteban Ocon into the wall at Turn 3 – bringing out the safety car, and neutralising the race.
The race restarted on Lap 5 and Hamilton led Vettel, Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in sixth.
Out-front, Hamilton set a string of fastest laps as the top-six stayed within touch, but who would move first to get rid of the fragile hypersofts?
On Lap 15, Vettel pitted, attempting the undercut for the lead, switching onto the ultrasofts. Hamilton covered him off the next lap, but Vettel’s plan came unstuck when he was held up behind Perez.
Verstappen pitted on Lap 18 for the softs, coming out just ahead of Vettel – who he managed to keep behind him, on more durable rubber.
Raikkonen pitted on Lap 23, releasing Ricciardo – who kept the lead for 5-laps, while there were reports of rain that never arrived.
On Lap 34, Perez was fighting Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin for 13th place but clattered into the Russian out of Turn 17, damaging both cars and earning the Mexican a drive-through penalty.
On Lap 39, Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Sirotkin almost changed the order as the pair ignored blue flags and the leaders approached. But it wasn’t to be as Hamilton won the fastest ever Singapore GP in history.