If your title rival, your nearest threat, your intra-team nemesis, your thunder-stealer begins to suffer your share of bad luck will you feel satisfied? Will you feel the world and it’s populace isn’t really on your case? Will you rediscover the real you?
It appears thatÂ LewisÂ Hamilton has begun to rediscover his genius. The genius that brought him into this massive spotlight called F1â„¢. At Singapore a few nights ago his stride had a bounce in it. A proper fashionista swagger. Alighting from his shiny chauffeur-driven AMGÂ he walked unescortedÂ towards the Paddock gates and responded to a fan’s ‘you all right Lewis?’ with a ‘Yeah I’m great, thanks!’.
Fresh from theÂ feisty conquest atÂ the temple of speed, Hamilton revelled inÂ anotherÂ completely dominating weekend leaving Rosberg trailing by 3 points in the Championship.
Rosberg suffered a start-line nightmare when his steering wheel all but failed. He couldn’t engage the clutch and his paddlesÂ were double-shifting. While the rest set off on the formation lap Mercedes #6 was wheeled away into pit lane.
When the lights went out, Hamilton floored it to perfection taking T1 well before the chasing pack. Behind him Alonso jumped both Red Bulls from P5 with no real intention of braking to make the corner! He went off but came back onto the racing line holding onto P2. Which he decided to give back to a fast-starting Vettel who in turn capitalised on Rosberg’s empty Mercedes grid slot ahead of him.
On Lap 4, positions 1,2 and 3 were held by champions. All past winners of all the Singapore Grand Prix. Meanwhile the pit-lane-starting Championship leader Rosberg, was making no impression on the Caterhams and Marussias running ahead of him. HisÂ MGP W05 was truly in a lot of pain and woefully out of pace. The street circuit notorious for lack of overtaking space wasn’t helping either.
Between him and the leading trio a train of battles ensued between Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Massa, and further back Button, Bottas and Magnussen. The Toro Rosso team mates duelled tooÂ â€“Â Vergne getting the better of Kvyat while on Lap 10 Rosberg was still in P20. Three laps later Vettel, Alonso and Ricciardo all pitted in succession. Hamilton, by this time had built a large enough gap to Vettel that he exited ahead of the German after his first pit stop.
On Lap 14 Rosberg came in forÂ his pit stop but the steering trouble was terminal.
A big moment for the Championship shoot-out had just unfolded at Singapore! Mercedes’ boss Toto Wolff was later quoted as saying “…we have built a missile but we must make it more reliable”.
In the next successive laps Ricciardo, Hamilton and Alonso traded fastest laps with each other and Alonso, closed in rapidly on Vettel. It was soon time for the second round of pit stops and Alonso, Vettel and Raikkonen dived in for fresh rubber. This left Hamilton out in front ahead of Ricciardo by 17 seconds. By the time he and Ricciardo made their second stops the gap to P2 was down toÂ 7 seconds.
An incident between Force India’s Perez and Sauber’s Sutil wreckedÂ the Mexican’sÂ front wing and strewed debris all over the track. Considering how the Pirellis can shred nowadays, the Safety Car was deployed as is inevitableÂ on a street circuit.
The race wasn’t going to remain as straight forward as it initially appeared. The long Safety Car periodÂ meant tyre strategies needed re-thinking! Red Bull and Williams believedÂ they could stick with aÂ two-stop strategy to catchÂ MercedesÂ whoseÂ big lead was reduced to nothing. Mercedes however required to pitÂ again forÂ prime tyres! This meant HamiltonÂ had to build a gap of over 27 secondsÂ to Vettel. He did so. Lapping almost 2 seconds faster than anyone elseÂ at times, heÂ beganÂ a relentless chase to the finish line. He stopped and exitedÂ just behind Vettel on fresh tyres. In the space of a lap and a half he overtook the German aggressively through T7 and secured a deservingÂ win for Mercedes amidst spectacular fireworks.
For the seventh time this year.
P1 Hamilton â€“Â Mercedes AMG 2hr 00m 04.795s
P2 VettelÂ â€“Â Red Bull Racing
P3 RicciardoÂ â€“Â Red Bull Racing