Lewis Hamilton has taken a significant step towards his fifth Formula 1 World Championship title when he powered to a commanding victory at the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver now leads the standings by 40 points with only six rounds remaining but admits he never believed he would bag maximum points at Marina Bay Circuit on the night.
The Mercedes driver spoke afterwards, “I’m spent! That was a tough race, I have such great support here and we had a great start. The team had never given up faith and belief in me and Valtteri. That was the longest race in my life and its a blessing. I’m just blessed.”
“I was a little but unlucky with the traffic, these guys [Grosjean and Sirotkin] were moving and it was difficult to follow. Max was lucky I think, and the guys wouldn’t let me by, my heart was in my mouth but once I got past I could put the pedal down and just had to go.”
“The Ferraris put a good fight this weekend but I’m not sure where their pace went in the race. It’s just special.”
It all began 24-hours earlier in qualifying with Hamilton’s stellar record-breaking pole-winning lap, perhaps his best ever and set the stage for his 69th Formula 1 triumph on Sunday night.
Hamilton continued, “We knew [Ferrari] were going to be spectacular here this weekend and we knew it was going to take something quite special to beat them.
“It was quite a monumental moment for us as a team. I definitely didn’t think I’d come to Singapore with 10 points more, but I’m very grateful.”
Hamilton crossed the line in cruise mode, ten seconds ahead of the next best but it was demanding as he explained, “It was long, but it was still fun. Driving this track is incredible, especially with these cars. I got a great start and was able to control the pack, control the tyres and push where I needed to push.”
“It definitely got a little bit interesting towards the end with the backmarkers as you could already feel the draft from the cars when you were five and six seconds behind.”
“You can’t really see the blue flags, they are quite dark. Max had an opportunity really, I had to go on massive defensive while still racing the backmarkers,” added Hamilton.