Lewis Hamilton wins the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix in a tight race

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the race

After blundering on strategy and being beaten by Mercedes and Red Bull at the Singapore Grand Prix, Ferrari has raised eyebrows with a rather freaky postrace news release.

Hamilton, now with one hand on the 2018 championship, was ecstatic with the result. Ferrari, pre-empting a Mercedes stop, pitted Vettel at the end of Lap 13 for a new set of ultrasofts in preparation for what was expected to be a two-stop race.

"And the Ferraris, at least the last five or six years, have been right there as well".

Max Verstappen of Red Bull will start on the front row for Sunday's race alongside Hamilton after coming second, 0.319sec behind the Englishman, but Sebastian Vettel could only manage third. The British driver had nailed an extraordinary lap to take pole.

Vettel attempted to hang around the outside of the 20-year-old at Turn 3, but it was no good, and he was forced to concede the position. Yet given Ferrari's form in Singapore it was still a win against the odds. "We need to understand why". In FP3 there were just so many problems - I was going into forced neutral, the auto was just stopping on the track and while driving on my fast laps it was bogging down.

Leaving with an even bigger advantage over Vettel had certainly not been what the team were anticipating.

There was more nerviness to come from the Scuderia, too.

"The auto is then not able to find a gear, so I nearly stalled". "We have been chipping away at it for 12 months and it is a delight. I truly believe we are more united and I think I have the smartest group of guys in my team who are bringing their a-game". They still have the quicker vehicle yet are failing to exploit it and the German is becoming frustrated as the title looks to be slipping away. He emerged behind a Force India and had fitted the ultrasoft tyres.

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Clearing Verstappen's Red Bull, who starts second, is vital.

Hamilton said: "We knew this would be hard but we've been working and evolving at the auto, and our understanding of the tyres has helped us as well - there have been so many areas". "I am still learning more about the vehicle".

"It's largely to do with how we chose to race - which tyres for how many laps, etc".

If he can pit before Hamilton he can try and undercut the Briton by doing a fast outlap on fresh tyres which could allow him to get ahead when Mercedes do eventually pit his title rival. As I said before, I think other people did a better job - that's including Lewis's lap as an individual but also them as a team.

Hamilton, however, was on a roll of both confidence and momentum and was understandably optimistic that he is in a position to close out the title.

"I was happy and confident. So that's the goal".

The Dutchman had a look up the inside as Hamilton struggled to pass the back markers but the Briton just stayed ahead and was able to pull clear all the way to the chequered flag once he had a clear track ahead of him. The victory has put him 22 behind Michael Schumacher's record of 91 race wins.

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