Lewis Hamilton moved one step closer to retaining his Formula 1 Drivers’ world title after winning the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday.

Hamilton raced to a pole-to-flag victory under the lights at Marina Bay to claim his 69th career win, his seventh of the 2018 season and fourth at the Singapore street circuit.

The result also marked Hamilton’s 80th podium with Mercedes and the 10th podium in Singapore for his team.

Hamilton got away cleanly at the start and did well to fend off a challenge from Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen later on.

Hamilton completed the 61-lap sprint in one hour 51 minutes 11.611 seconds. He eventually built a comfortable 8.961-second gap ahead of runner-up Verstappen, while chief title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari could only manage third.

Hamilton’s Mercedes tammate Valtteri Bottas was fourth, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen fifth and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo sixth.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso had an impressive seventh-place classification, while rounding out the points winners from eighth, through 10th, respectively, were Carlos Sainz of Renault, Charles Leclerc of Sauber and Nico Hulkenberg of Renault.

Hamilton (281 points) extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 40 points from Sebastian Vettel (241 points). Mercedes (452 points) now also lead Ferrari (415 points) by 37 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Hamilton said after the race: “I’m so excited. I came here knowing that Singapore is a hard one for us. But I’m always optimistic, thinking that if we’re really diligent and do our work, we can create some chances.

“Then Friday was already a good day for us. Saturday didn’t start off well, but then all of the sudden that special lap came in. Knowing that we would start on pole, I knew that it was a great opportunity for us to capitalise on.

“I had a great start and from then I was able to manage it. When I hit the traffic, I was just mindful not to take any risks. When you start to get closer to another car, you start losing grip and start sliding around more, so there’s a higher chance of mistakes. If you’re lucky you catch the cars at the right point and they let you by so you don’t lose any time, but today I always caught them at an unfortunate point. So when Max was right behind, I had to go on the defensive, and I thought to myself ‘Bro, you’re not getting by - not today!’

“It was physically such a demanding race, so I’m relieved that it’s over now - it felt like such a long night, but I’m super grateful for the result.”

Only six Grands Prix remain in the season. Next up is Russia on September 30.

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