Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory in the Singapore Grand Prix to strengthen his hold on this year’s World Championship.

Hamilton’s controlled drive from a pole position won brilliantly on Saturday was helped by the latest in a series of questionable strategy calls from Ferrari.

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It dropped Hamilton’s title rival Sebastian Vettel from second to third behind Max Verstappen, throwing away a position the German had earned by overtaking the Red Bull driver on the first lap.

While Vettel was left to question his team once again this season – and for the second time this weekend after a less-than-perfect qualifying session – Hamilton’s only worrying moment was caused by back markers at about two-thirds distance.

Haas driver Romain Grosjean and Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin ignored the closing Hamilton in the heat of their battle for position and cost him his five-second advantage over Verstappen.

Hamilton had to fend off an attack from Verstappen into Turn Seven as a result, which he just managed to do, and Grosjean was later given a five-second penalty for his misdemeanour.

Hamilton’s victory, with Vettel third behind Verstappen, extended the Briton’s advantage over the German in the championship to 40 points with six races and a maximum of 150 points remaining.

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