Motorsport wrap: Hamilton wins in Singapore; Vettel crashes out
Vettel, Räikkönen and Verstappen clashed at the start of the Singapore Grand Prix
British driver moves 28 points clear in Formula 1 title race after his main rival is knocked out in a first corner fracas
Lewis Hamilton moved 28 points clear in the Formula 1 World Championship standings after taking a dominant victory in the Singapore Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel crashed out at the first corner.
The German Ferrari driver had qualified in pole position but was involved in a crash with his team-mate Kimi Räikkönen and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the run to the first corner in wet conditions. All three retired due to damage from the accident. The crash also accounted for McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.
“I went to the left trying to fend off Max and the next thing I get a bump on the side and see Kimi’s car,” said Vettel.
When asked who he blamed for the accident, Verstappen said: “Mainly Sebastian. He started squeezing me, maybe he didn’t see Kimi on the left. That’s not an excuse – if you’re fighting for the championship, you shouldn’t take those risks to squeeze someone that much.”
The clash was a huge boost for Mercedes driver Hamilton, who had only managed fifth place in qualifying. He made a great start and dodged the drama to move into the lead, and from there was able to comfortably fend off Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
The win was the 60th of Hamilton’s career.
“I felt like I had a great start, but I think Kimi had an incredible launch and then I saw this commotion happening,” he said. “We had no idea what was going to happen today, but we just tried to stay focused. It was very fortunate with the Ferraris at the beginning.”
Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished third ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr. (Toro Rosso) and Sergio Pérez (Force India). Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, who has lost his drive at the team for next season, took a career-best fifth.
British Touring Car Championship: Silverstone
Tom Ingram, Jack Goff and Matt Neal took races wins on a dramatic day of BTCC action at Silverstone while Ash Sutton produced some solid drives to maintain his championship lead.
IndyCar Series: Sonoma Raceway
American driver Josef Newgarden clinched the IndyCar Series championship with a second-place finish in the season finale at Sonoma in California.
The 26-year-old, who entered the weekend with a narrow points lead, led for much of the race before his Penske Racing team-mate Simon Pagenaud used an alternate strategy to claim the lead in the final round of pit stops. But second place was enough for Newgarden to claim the title by 13 points from 2016 champion Pagenaud.
World Rallycross Championship: Riga, Latvia
Swedish racer Johan Kristoffersson clinched the World Rallycross Championship title with two events left to run, taking his fifth victory in a row – and sixth of the season – in Riga, Latvia.
Kristoffersson’s main title rival heading into the event was his team-mate Petter Solberg, but the Norwegian crashed heavily in his semi-final. Solberg was taken to hospital, having suffered a broken collarbone in the accident.
World Endurance Championship: Austin, Texas
Porsche drivers Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber took their four World Endurance Championship (WEC) event win in a row at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, US, thanks to team orders.
Nick Tandy had been leading the race in the Porsche 919 Hybrid he shared with Neel Jani and André Lotterer, but moved over for Bamber with eight minutes of the race left. The result bolstered the winning crew’s lead over Toyota’s Kazuki Nakajima, Sébastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson, who finished third.
NASCAR Sprint Cup: Chicagoland, Illinois
Martin Truex Jr. won the first Playoff round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Chicagoland Speedway, a result included here largely so we can mention the race title: the improbably named Tale of the Turtles 400.
In one of the most bizarre NASCAR race title sponsorship deals since the Spongebob Squarepants 400 of 2015, the event was backed by the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. Just check out the trophy Truex Jr. got to take home…
Source: Autocar Online