Hamilton wins in the rain as Vettel crashes

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Ferrari's Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen (front) and Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen get out from their cars after a crash during the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore last night.

Lewis Hamilton profited from the chaos to win the Singapore Grand Prix and extend his Formula One championship lead last night, while title rival Sebastian Vettel lost huge ground after crashing out on the first lap.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo prevented a Mercedes 1-2 by finishing ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who placed third.

Vettel can have little complaint as he seemed to cause the first-turn mayhem, despite starting from pole position. The crash caused a domino effect, taking out his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, Red Bull's Max Verstappen and McLaren's Fernando Alonso.

Having started from fifth, on one of the toughest tracks in F1 for overtaking, Hamilton could not believe his luck. The field opened up perfectly for the British driver to seal his third straight win, seventh of the season and 60th overall.

"I capitalized on the incident," Hamilton said. "Who could have known that would happen?"

He now has a commanding 28-point lead over Vettel with just six races remaining. For Ricciardo, it was a seventh podium in the past 10 races.

Carlos Sainz Jr secured a career-best fourth place for Toro Rosso, with Force India's Sergio Perez in fifth.

Vettel took pole with a super performance in qualifying, but his form didn't translate to the race.

Following a massive downpour several hours beforehand, more heavy showers soaked the Marina Bay street circuit just before the 8pm race. The treacherous conditions might have made Vettel a bit nervous, even on a track where he holds the record with four wins.

After making a hesitant start, the four-time F1 champion veered hastily left as he tried to counter Verstappen's strong start. It was a needless move, and squeezed Verstappen and Raikkonen for room, causing them to collide on the inside.

Raikkonen's wobbling car then tagged Vettel's before spinning across the track, careering into Verstappen and Alonso — who was in the right place at the wrong time after making a superb start.

Hamilton picked his spot, avoiding any danger as he moved into the lead, with Ricciardo jumping up from third on the grid to second.

After a few laps behind the safety car, the race resumed on lap 7 with huge spray flying up from the cars.

Vettel, meanwhile, was back in the garage contemplating the heavily damaged front wing and left of his car.

"Sorry guys. Sorry," he said, contritely. "Really sorry."

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