Mon, Sep 17, 11:45am by Staff Writer
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has extended his lead atop the Drivers Championship after a dominant performance in the weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
With just six races remaining this season, Hamilton has a 40-point edge on his nearest opponent, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton is $1.17 to win the Drivers Championship, while Vettel is priced at $4.50.
The four-time Formula One champion recorded his seventh win of the season and the 69th of his career on Sunday night.
It was a race where Vettel was lamenting poor team strategy, as he was forced to pit early, surrendering second spot to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Vettel’s championship quest crumbled in Singapore last season as he crashed from pole position and it was a similarly dire performance from the German on Sunday night.
Verstappen finished the race in second spot, with Vettel crossing third, nearly 40 seconds adrift of Hamilton.
Hamilton made a clean start to the race and was untroubled as he conquered the Marina Bay circuit nine seconds clear of Verstappen.
Finland’s Valtteri Bottas finished in fourth place, while Kimi Raikkonen came home in fifth.
Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo finished in sixth spot. The West Australian admitted that qualifying is of greater importance in street circuits, but struggled to overtake the drivers ahead of him.
There were issues for Ricciardo’s Red Bull in qualifying and his fresher tyres proved inconsequential during the course of the race.
Tyre strategy played a key role in the race, with Hamilton, Verstappen and Vettel all starting the race on hypersofts, with the German the first to pit. He opted for the ultrasoft compound tyre when he stopped on lap 15, in a race-changing move.
A host of other drivers pitted later in the race, choosing the soft compound tyre. Although slower, it lasted longer than Vettel’s ultrasoft.
Hamilton was surprised to extend his championship lead in Singapore, given the track suits Ferrari, with its slick and intricate turns.
Mercedes is $1.25 to win the Constructors Championship and is 37 points clear of Ferrari, who are paying $3.75.
The next Formula One Grand Prix takes place in Sochi, Russia on September 30.
F1 Drivers Championship Odds
Lewis Hamilton $1.17
Sebastian Vettel $4.50
F1 Constructors Championship Odds
Red Bull $301
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