LIVE COMMENTARY: 2014 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX - SUNDAY - SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX
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As it happened: Sunday - Singapore Grand Prix
By Pablo Elizalde, Matt Beer, Edd Straw, Ben Anderson, Dan Cross and AUTOSPORT staff
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
Good afternoon and welcome to AUTOSPORT's live coverage of the Singapore Grand Prix, the 14th round of the 2014 season.
Just five races left after this one, and it still looks like the championship battle will go down to the wire.
But will pole man Lewis Hamilton manage to reduce the gap to championship leader Nico Rosberg again this weekend? Twenty-two points still separate the Mercedes duo.
Hamilton starts on pole for the sixth time this year after beating Rosberg by just
0.007 seconds yesterday.
It was the closest pole since the 2010 German Grand Prix, where Sebastian Vettel beat Fernando Alonso by 0.002 seconds.
In case you are wondering, 0.007 seconds is around 30 centimeters when translated into distance.
It promises to be a fascinating race today after an overnight downpour washed all the rubber from the racing line. With few support races ahead of the start of the grand prix, drivers are facing a very hard day when trying to make the Pirelli rubber last until the end.
Alonso admitted yesterday it was hard to predict how the race will pan out given the track conditions.
"It's true that the track probably will improve a lot during the race. We'll start like from zero again so tyre degradation is higher in the first stint. We'll see. I have no answer now, but it's something to have in mind."
Pre-race scare for championship leader Nico Rosberg as he has to return to the Mercedes garage with a technical issue on his installation lap.
With the problem quickly fixed, he's back on the grid.
Pirelli thinks a three-stop strategy is likely to be the best for the 61-lap event.
"Considering the high probability of the safety car especially at the beginning of the race, suggests: start on the supersoft, change to supersoft again on lap 20, supersoft again on lap 36 and then finish the race on the soft from lap 51," says Pirelli.
On paper, this should result in a cumulative race time that is around 10 seconds quicker than the fastest two-stopper.
BEN ANDERSON: "Steering wheel change for Rosberg's Mercedes after a gearbox glitch in the pits. Nothing like a bit of mild panic in the build up to a race!"
The safety car has a 100 per cent record in Singapore, meaning today we are very likely to see it again at some point.
Last year's race featured one safety car period and the finishing time was 1h59m13s, just some 47 seconds short of the two-hour limit.
This year the race is the same amount of laps, but the cars were around three seconds per lap slower in qualifying, meaning if there is a safety car period today, the race is likely to hit the two-hour mark before the cars complete the scheduled 61 laps.
EDD STRAW: “What does Mercedes do if the safety car is deployed? In Hungary, the team opted to split strategies with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, which triggered a team orders row. With so much scrutiny on the world championship battle, the team will not be keen to split again.
“But if the safety car is deployed while the pair are running nose-to-tail, does the team get the second driver to queue in the pits or leave him out? And what happens if it needs to hedge its bets by splitting?
"It’s a potential weakness for Mercedes and with Red Bull, Ferrari and Williams not far behind, it’s a problem that could make life very difficult for the Silver Arrows.”
Today's will be the first race since the clampdown on radio communication was introduced by the FIA.
Here's a list of the things teams are not allowed to say to their drivers:
* Driving lines on the circuit
* Contact with kerbs
* Car set-up parameters for specific corners
* Comparative or absolute sector time detail of another driver
* Speeds in corners compared to another driver
* Gear selection compared with another driver
* Gear selection in general
* Braking points
* Rate of braking compared to another driver
* Rate of braking or application of brakes in general
* Car stability under braking
* Throttle application compared to another driver
* Throttle application in general
* Use of DRS compares with another driver
* Use of any overtake button
* Driving technique in general
The grid is beginning to clear with the start a few minutes away now.
Everybody starting with the super-soft tyres. Only Button and Grosjean with a new set.
Problems remain for Rosberg, Mercedes tells him if pulling away "manually" doesn't work, he may have to start from the pitlane.
That means that at best, Rosberg looks set to have a much slower start than those around him. At worse, he'll be going to the back.
Rosberg is stranded on the grid!
The championship leader is frantically playing with the steering wheel controls but his car is static.
The rest of the field is away on the parade lap without trouble. This is a golden opportunity for Lewis Hamilton.
The Mercedes is now being pushed into the pitlane. Will he even be able to start from there?
Now Kobayashi looks like he's grinding to a halt on the parade lap.
Kobayashi is parked in an escape road and is getting out of the Caterham.
Hamilton and the rest and the field arrives back on the grid.
Hamilton is clearly in the line off the line, as Alonso shoots down the outside into second for a moment before running wide.
Alonso emerges in second, but he cut a long way across the Turn 1 and 2 chicane. Now he loses second to Vettel, who beat Ricciardo off the line.
Ricciardo now attacks Alonso for third, with Vettel trying to chase leader Hamilton.
Alonso and Vettel both got away much better than Ricciardo, leading to a three-abreast charge towards the first corner.
Alonso then outbraked himself and skittered across the run-off, emerging in second, but wisely giving the place back to Vettel easily.
Order after lap one:
The stewards announce that Alonso's Turn 1 move will be investigated for track limits infringements.
Perez is told he needs to clear Gutierrez, but he responds he may have trouble with his front wing.
Vettel sets fastest lap on lap two, 0.014s quicker than Hamilton, who leads by 1.6s.
Rosberg is told pitstops will be difficult, but they can 'deal with it.'
Alonso has dropped a second behind Vettel, and has Ricciardo and Raikkonen tight up behind him, with Massa next up.
After all his problems, Rosberg is down in 21st
Red Bull warns Ricciardo that his rear brakes are hot. He's told to adjust the balance and not sit in Alonso's tow.
Vettel is currently matching Hamilton's pace. They were 0.021s apart on lap three and the gap is still 1.6s.
Kobayashi's pre-race retirement has been swiftly diagnosed as an oil pressure problem.
Replays show how hairy Turn 1 was for Ricciardo as Alonso shot down his outside like a brake-locked missile and Vettel squeezed in too.
Still nothing to choose between Hamilton and Vettel up front. On lap four the Red Bull is 0.002s quicker.
A minor scare for Vettel though, as Red Bull tells him to ignore a message on his dashboard while "we're looking into it."
Vergne is right on the back of team-mate Kvyat for tenth, and Kvyat is in turn hunting down Magnussen for ninth.
Rosberg up to 20th, but his pace is over three seconds off the leader last time round.
Having checked with Mercedes if his pace and temperatures were OK, Hamilton now steps it up and extends his lead to 2.1s on lap five.
Alonso is settling into third now. He can't match the front two, but he's now got a 2.1s cushion over Ricciardo.
Kvyat is told to attack Magnussen, Kvyat was three tenths quicker through the first sector.
Red Bull tells Vettel he's doing "a good job on fuel and a good job on pace". He's 2.8s behind Hamilton after seven laps.
Alonso has now fallen 5.3s behind Vettel in third, but has got his cushion over Ricciardo up to 3.6s. Raikkonen and Massa idly shadow the Aussie.
Hulkenberg in 12th has set some personal best sectors in the last two laps, and is approaching the battle between Magnussen, Kvyat and Vergne. He is currently 1.7s behind them.
Hamilton inches the lead up a little more. His cushion up to 3.1s.
Vergne had been urging Toro Rosso to move Kvyat out of his way. Kvyat insisted he could pass Magnussen ahead of them...
Sutil has pitted, and predictably comes out in 21st and last.
...Toro Rosso gave Kvyat two laps to attack the McLaren. He couldn't, and after some more radio exhortation from Vergne, the STRs swapped.
Hulkenberg has also pitted and comes out 19th, some way ahead of our first stopper, Sutil.
We're passed lap 10 of 61, and a storming lap from Hamilton brings his lead over Vettel up to 5.1s.
Massa is the first of the frontrunners to come in, pitting from sixth.
The lead group is very spread out, Vettel is 5.1s behind Hamilton, Alonso 10.7s, Ricciardo 15.1s and Raikkonen 19.0s.
Rosberg is told he can't go above 6500rpm in first gear during the pitstops, as his limiter isn't working. He is still circling way down the order in 19th.
Grosjean and Kvyat add themselves to the names of drivers who have pitted further down the order.
Raikkonen now pits from fifth.
Hamilton is charging away up front, his last lap was 1.5s faster than Vettel and his lead is up to 6.6s.
Pitting one lap earlier worked well for Massa, he jumps Raikkonen as the Ferrari rejoins.
Hamilton is the only driver in 1m53s, with everyone else at least 0.8s slower.
Second, third and fourth all pit: Vettel, Alonso and Ricciardo are in.
All three frontrunner pitters keep super-softs (scrubbed ones) and rejoin in the same order.
Rosberg asks the team 'Can you hear me?' The team are trying to tell him to stall the car in the pitstop. They will also change his steering wheel again during the stop.
Hamilton will be in next time.
Leader Hamilton comes in after 12 of 61 laps. He should have no trouble rejoining in front.
"Sebastian, you're not going to undercut Hamilton, so save tyres and fuel," is the message to Red Bull.
Magnussen makes his first pitstop from a brief third place and moves onto softs.
Button is running relatively long, he's still out and is just behind leader Hamilton in second.
Massa passes the yet-to-stop Perez as he makes his way back through after his pitstop. That's sixth for the Williams.
Rosberg is told to box. First gear, no LEDs on the steering wheel, and stall the car in the pitbox.
Button now pits from second too.
The stop appears slow, but judging by the list of instructions given to Rosberg, it's hardly surprising.
Hamilton comes through with an 8.8s lead over Vettel as the pitstops are completed for the lead pack.
They're wheeling Rosberg into the pits, looks like his race is over.
Rosberg can't help but stare at his stricken Mercedes. The German could well take a huge hit in the championship standings if the result remains the same.
So after 15 laps, Hamilton leads Vettel by 7.7s, Alonso by 11.0s and Ricciardo by 15.4s.
Massa is 8s behind fourth-placed Ricciardo and keeping Raikkonen at bay, with Bottas now ahead of Button into seventh.
Mercedes tells Hamilton that he's now got everything under control. They plan to extend the stint length before their next stop.
With 22 points between Rosberg and Hamilton in the standings pre-Singapore, Hamilton is currently on course to reclaim the championshp lead.
Ricciardo pops in the fastest lap of the race, a 1m52.964s, though it only gains him a tenth on Alonso.
Too much of the "got in the bag" approach? Hamilton loses six tenths to Vettel on lap 16.
Rosberg is yet to take off his helmet as he stares into space in the Mercedes pit. He is pacing up and down as he chats dejectedly to Mercedes crew members.
Hamilton responds with a new fastest lap. His 1m52.882s brings the lead up to 7.2s.
Hamilton's 1m52.8s lap came just after Mercedes recommended "low 1m53s"...
Vergne was a major winner in the first round of stops, he is just behind Button in ninth, but crucially ahead of Hulkenberg and team-mate Kvyat.
's Paul Hembery on how the tyres are looking:
"Initial degradation a bit higher than anticipated, so first stops a couple of laps earlier than predicted. Still expecting a three-stopper."
Gutierrez comes in to retire, and rather uncharacteristically throws his gloves down as he escapes into the back of the Sauber garage.
Fastest lap from Alonso, and that gains him 0.4s on Vettel. They're now 2.7s apart.
Chilton has a front right puncture, and pits.
Alonso takes another four tenths out of Vettel for second. He's now within 2.3s as we hit one-third distance.
Bianchi is currently in the lead of the Marussia and Caterham battle, he is 17th ahead of Ericsson in 18th.
Massa, in fifth, continues to fall away from Ricciardo ahead, the gap now 9.8s. Raikkonen remains tucked up behind Massa.
Another four tenths gone from the Vettel-Alonso gap, the Ferrari is within 1.9s.
Red Bull tells Vettel to "open the gap" to Alonso and "ignore the beeps" from the gearshift. Use some fuel and pull away, basically.
Magnussen is quicker than Vergne ahead of him in ninth and closing, Hulkenberg is told to push to catch both of them.
Hamilton extends his lead over Vettel to 9.2s, despite Mercedes suggesting he might have debris in his front wing.
"It feels OK still," Hamilton replies to Mercedes' debris news. "We'll not panic," comes the response.
Massa comes in for an early second stop from fifth place on lap 22.
Alonso continues to close on Vettel, though only by 0.3s not 0.4s this time. Gap now 1.6s.
Ricciardo is lapping at a similar pace to Alonso and also inching closer to his team-mate.
Not long until Alonso will be in DRS range of Vettel. The Ferrari is now 1.2s behind the Red Bull.
"Push now, push now, PUSH," is the message to Raikkonen after Massa's early stop.
Bottas follows Massa's lead and pits from a brief sixth.
Massa has settled in 10th behind Hulkenberg.
Red Bull asks Ricciardo for balance feedback. His answers are pretty chilled.
Alonso pits from third place, trying to under-cut Vettel.
As well as the two Williams, Maldonado, Grosjean and Kvyat have all pitted for the second time.
Vettel pits one lap after Alonso, who's been setting a very strong out-lap.
Raikkonen pits as well.
Vettel moved to softs, whereas Alonso kept super-softs.
Alonso is easily ahead of Vettel as the Red Bull comes out. That'll be second place for Ferrari - for now at least.
Hamilton comes in from the lead for his second stop, having asked if it was worth trying "plan B". Doesn't seem to be.
Ricciardo stayed out until lap 27 in the lead, but now pits for softs.
Alonso is flying in what will be second, and has got Hamilton's lead down to 3.9s after a leisurely Mercedes stop.
Mercedes was clearing debris out of Hamilton's car at the stop, which was worth doing given his lead. Both our leaders are on super-softs.
Massa's relatively early stop kept him ahead of Raikkonen for sixth place, which will be fifth when Button pits - though McLaren may well be two-stopping.
Hamilton gets back onto fastest-lap-setting pace with a 1m51.793s. That brings his lead over Alonso back to 4.4s.
Magnussen claims something is burning on the radio, although it's not clear what it is.
Vettel is losing 1s per lap to Alonso at the moment, though he is on the slower tyre. The second to third gap is up to 5.9s.
Magnussen is currently down in 10th, but his pace seems OK and unaffected by any trouble in the cockpit so far.
Ricciardo reports a loss of power. "Understood, we can see the issue," says Red Bull. He still sets his best lap of the evening so far.
Hamilton sets another new fastest lap, adding 0.7s to his lead over Alonso. It's now 5.2s.
Grosjean is right on the back of Perez, but can't yet find a way past him and into 12th. Kvyat is ready to pounce should either of the drivers slip up.
But while Alonso's losing ground to Hamilton, he's still escaping Vettel. They're now 6.4s apart.
Button isn't sure this two-stop plan is working. "Make sure there's more to gain than to lose," he shouts, as he laps 3s off the pace.
Button is told he can take the two Williams and that there is more to gain if he can make his strategy work.
We've got our first safety car of the 2014 Singapore GP.
Perez's wing breaks in spectacular fashion, he will have to be very careful coming back to the pits.
The shower of debris from the Force India is what's prompted our caution on lap 30 of 61.
"Look for debris," Mercedes urges Hamilton. "That was a little bit late, I went over a lot of stuff there," replies.
Contact with Sutil caused the Force India's wing breakage, Sutil didn't leave Perez much room and probably didn't see the Force India.
Alonso dives into the pits under this yellow. He had been second.
Button and Raikkonen also come in.
Hamilton asks Mercedes to keep his eye on his tyre pressures in case he picked up any damage from Perez's debris.
"All look OK at the moment," Mercedes tells Hamilton about his tyres.
Here's the lead order under yellow:
And the midfield:
Vettel suggests to Red Bull that they squeeze out the current softs until 12 laps to go before returning to super-softs.
Red Bull tells Ricciardo that "avoiding exit kerbs may help the problem with the car". He'd reported a loss of power.
Hamilton is told his brakes look cold, but he disagrees, saying according to his readouts, they're fine. "It's a bit confusing," he says.
Still behind the safety car as we head onto lap 34 of 61.
The burning Magnussen was referring to a few laps ago is the liquid coming from his drinks bottle. With drivers losing up to 3kg of fluid during this race, that cannot be pleasant for the Dane.
The main interest is what Red Bull can make out of this. Can Vettel and Ricciardo come back at Hamilton and Alonso when they switch to super-softs at the end?
"Steering feels a bit weird," Bottas tells Williams.
Hulkenberg is told that Magnussen ahead may be suffering with cramp.
Williams asks Bottas if that steering issue is a recent development or it's been degrading all race. He says he's only just noticed.
Red Bull tells Vettel that Alonso and the Williams are likely to try to run to the end on their current tyres.
Sutil has been given a five second penalty for exceeding track limits, but is exonerated over the clash with Perez.
Perez says over the radio that it should have been more as he "put me in the wall."
We're finally about to go racing again...
Hamilton is a bit concerned about how his strategy is working out as some behind can go to the end.
Hamilton probably doesn't need to worry...
We're back to green flag racing as we begin lap 38 of 61.
Huge gap for Hamilton immediately as he makes a great restart to pull clear of Vettel, Ricciardo, Alonso and the Williams.
"We need to be pulling away from the cars behind," Red Bull tells Ricciardo. "Don't go crazy, it might be a long stint."
Magnussen is right on the back of Vergne in his hunt for ninth.
Hamilton leads by 3.2s after just one lap of racing.
Vettel has Ricciardo close behind, then a slight gap to Alonso, Massa and Bottas.
Williams's message to Bottas: "The only way we're going to make today work now is to get this tyre to the end."
"How many laps do I need to do on these [tyres]?" Hamilton asks Mercedes. "Six or seven, but it may change," is the reply.
Hamilton bangs in a fastest lap of 1m50.417s, 2.5s quicker than Vettel on that lap, so his lead is 5.8s.
Wiliams tells Massa he needs to be getting his current tyres to the finish as well.
"Target laptime is mid to low 1m51s," Mercedes tells Hamilton as he laps in 1m50.5s... He's reminded to take care of the front brakes.
The battle for seventh is really heating up now, with Button heading Raikkonen, Vergne and Magnussen, all in close vicinity.
Alonso, in fourth, is falling away from the two Red Bulls ahead of him. He's 2.4s behind Ricciardo.
Hamilton is 1.8s faster than Vettel on lap 40 of 61. His lead now 7.6s.
Ricciardo is 1.5s down on Vettel, Alonso another 2.3s back and clear of the Williams.
Red Bull tells Vettel to try to get his current tyres to the end. He's sceptical, but he's told others are trying it.
Red Bull's argument to Vettel is that pitting will put him behind too many cars that are trying to run to the flag.
Ricciardo is on the same squeeze-the-rubber-to-the-flag plan as Vettel.
Hamilton asks if a two-stop is doable. Mercedes tells him "one or two may try it, but it's a long way to go."
Chilton and his engineer discuss going onto the option as they are "not catching anyone at the moment."Chilton had a puncture earlier and sits 18th.
Hamilton adds another 2.1s to his lead. It's up to 9.7s with 20 laps left and the leader one of the only frontrunners planning to pit.
"These tyres are good, I can do several more laps if I need to. If I need to pick up the pace, I can," declares Hamilton.
Another 1.9s onto the Hamilton-Vettel gap. It's now 11.5s.
Alonso has picked up his pace a little and is closing back in on Ricciardo's third place.
Hamilton is told another seven laps on his tyres. He's worried that's vulnerable to a safety car, but is reassured it will work.
Closest battle on track is now for sixth, with Button closing on Bottas. The McLaren is in DRS range.
Vettel is reassured that his tyre wear is similar to Ricciardo's. That hasn't always been the case in 2014.
Hamilton continues to lap 2s faster than anyone else. His lead grows to 13.5s with 18 laps left.
Raikkonen in eighth is currently quicker than Vergne behind him, but Magnussen in 10th is quicker than both of them and starting to trouble Vergne.
Hulkenberg is up to 11th after passing Kvyat.
Raikkonen's pace is drawing him into the Bottas-Button train for sixth.
Alonso continues to chip away at Ricciardo for third. They're 1.7s apart.
And Kvyat pits in response after losing the spot to Hulkenberg.
Hamilton comes through 1.7s quicker than Vettel that time. The lead is 15.3s.
Vergne has followed team-mate Kvyat's lead and pitted.
Hamilton adds another 2s to his lead, making it 17.3s with 16 laps and a pitstop to go.
Bottas's steering issues are worsening: "There's absolutely zero feeling. It's feeling very sticky and heavy. But I can drive it."
Perez is told by Force India that they are hoping the cars around him "deg off."
That steering worry explains why Bottas has fallen 3.7s away from Massa and has Button and Raikkonen tight behind him.
Hamilton's latest lap is half a second down on his recent spree.
The leader 'only' adds 1.4s to his advantage that time. Hamilton's lead is 18.7s after 46 laps.
Maldonado is up into the points, as Magnussen exits the pits.
Button is close enough to try a move on Bottas, but doesn't take a shot at sixth yet.
Hamilton is 1.6s faster on Vettel on lap 47 of 61. Lead now 20.3s. Getting closer to pitstop range.
Vettel is alone in second as he's 4.3s ahead of Ricciardo, the Australian still struggling with technical problems but fending off Alonso.
Perez can catch the pair of Lotus within five laps with his current pace
Red Bull is telling Ricciardo to "hold the overtaking button" to make the car work properly.
Hamilton's pace is tailing right off now, down to 1m52.843s after being in the 1m50s not long ago.
That means Hamilton only adds 0.8s to his lead that time, it's 21.1s.
"Rears starting to drop off," Hamilton tells Mercedes. The reply is that he needs a 27s lead...
Perez produces a forceful move past Kvyat into 14th, at the same place he lost his front wing earlier in the race.
Hamilton picks up his pace to a 1m52.1s, with Mercedes suggesting he should stay out for a few more laps yet.
Vettel is 1.6s slower than Hamilton that time, so the gap is now 22.7s with 12 laps (and a pitstop) left.
"That thing is so fast in a straight line!" That's Button's verdict on Bottas's Williams as he struggles to pass it.
Magnussen pumps in some personnel bests as he looks to move back into the top 10.
He is currently 13th but lapping much quicker than Maldonado in 10th.
Only a 1m53.0s for Hamilton on lap 50. But Vettel is still 1.2s slower, so the gap is up to 24s.
"I need to box pretty soon, my tyres are going off. I've told you," Hamilton says with some urgency.
McLaren insists to Button that he will pass Bottas through better tyre life before the end regardless of the straightline speed deficit.
Hamilton tells Mercedes he doesn't think getting a 27s lead on these tyres is achievable.
Still close for third: Ricciardo is only 1.5s ahead of Alonso.
"OK Lewis, looks like Vettel's dropping off the tyre even more than you," comes the reassurance from Mercedes.
Sure enough Hamilton adds 1.3s to his lead, which is now 25.2s with 10 laps left.
Vettel's 1m54.0s lap that time lost him six tenths to the chasing Ricciardo and Alonso, who are 2.7s and 4.2s behind.
"My right rear is getting seriously worn, I'm not sure if these things are going to explode or not," protests Hamilton.
Mercedes is out in the pitlane, Hamilton comes in.
Vettel into the lead, Hamilton rejoins just ahead of Ricciardo!
Mercedes told Hamilton the numbers were looking good, but not quite enough.
But can Vettel hang on ahead of a fresh-tyred Mercedes for nine laps with very worn rubber?
Ricciardo had half a sniff at Hamilton but the Mercedes is already storming away after Vettel.
Hamilton is already right behind Vettel.
Magnussen is right on the back of Grosjean, as he looks to take 12th.
Red Bull is preparing for a pitstop... then changes its mind.
Hamilton is already all over the back of Vettel.
Hamilton hits the DRS and breezes past Vettel to retake the lead with eight laps left.
Button is reporting a "shutdown" of his McLaren, and he parks it.
And Magnussen is through, past Grosjean and into 11th. He'll be right on the back of Maldonado soon too.
Heartbreak for Button, just eight laps left and running a solid seventh when his McLaren ground to a halt.
"That's game over," Button tells McLaren as he prepares to get out.
Hamilton quickly opens a 2.1s lead over Vettel, who is only 1.5s ahead of Ricciardo and 2.5s in front of Alonso now.
Though Button has gone from his mirrors, Bottas still has Raikkonen and now Hulkenberg too chasing him.
Williams reassures Bottas that Raikkonen "hasn't got the straightline speed" to try to pass him for sixth.
Jean-Eric Vergne is under investigation for track limits.
Vettel just lost a second to Ricciardo, is a Red Bull battle about to develop over the final seven laps?
Alonso is capitalising on the Red Bulls beginning to delay each other. He's now 0.7s behind Ricciardo for third.
Hamilton asks Mercedes if it's safe to turn the engine down now he's sitting on a 3.7s lead again.
The sole remaining McLaren of Magnussen is past Maldonado and into the top 10.
Just 1.3s covers Vettel, Ricciardo and Alonso with five laps left.
Massa is having another quiet one - in fifth place he's 20.9s away from the fight for second and 10.6s clear of Bottas's dice for sixth.
Bottas in sixth is desperately holding off Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Vergne.
Surely Bottas won't be able to hold on much longer on this rubber?
Though there's nothing to choose between Vettel, Ricciardo and Alonso, none of them is currently looking capable of getting a run on anyone.
Vergne receives a five second stop and go penalty for exceeding track limits.
Meanwhile Hamilton's lead now stands at a very civilised 8s with four laps left.
Vettel, Ricciardo and Alonso are all slithering around pretty desperately on now very tired tyres.
Perez is past Maldonado and up to 11th behind Magnussen.
The McLaren has joined the snake of cars behind Bottas in sixth, which includes Raikkonen, Vergne and Hulkenberg
Hamilton goes onto what will be his last lap. We'll hit the two-hour time limit with 60 of the planned 61 laps done.
Vettel continues to cling on ahead of Ricciardo and Alonso.
Vergne had passed Raikkonen and then Bottas straight after.
The Frenchman takes sixth, but don't forget his five second penalty to be applied at the end.
Perez is also on the move, he's up past Hulkenberg and into ninth behind Raikkonen.
Hamilton takes the chequered flag and wins the Singapore Grand Prix - taking the championship lead in the process.
Vettel fends off Ricciardo and Alonso for second place by a few tenths.
Massa clinches a quiet fifth place ahead of some incredible racing behind.
Perez and Magnussen are both past Bottas who appears to be on the metal of his wheel rather than any Pirelli compound.
Out of the points:
Retirements: Button, Sutil, Gutierrez, Rosberg, Kobayashi.
"I didn't have any tyres left. I did everything I could," says Vettel, who thanks Red Bull for a "great job".
Jean Eric-Vergne made the most of the last lap squabble behind him to cover off the pack behind, and pulled out the necessary five seconds he will be penalised at the end of the race. He will therefore keep sixth.
Vettel congratulates Hamilton in parc ferme as they exit their cars with fireworks overhead.
Hamilton gives his Mercedes a loving and grateful pat on the front as he hops out.
Hamilton heads down a corridor lined with applauding ladies in tasteful clothes, then wraps his head in a towel in the pre-podium room.
Vettel asks Ricciardo if he had much pressure from Alonso at the end, intimating that it didn't look too hard in his mirrors.
Ricciardo gave Hamilton an endearing towel/hair ruffle as he joined him for a guzzle of much-needed water.
The podium trio comes out, and Hamilton is absolutely beaming as the national anthem plays.
After some decorum through the British and German national anthems, the hats go back on and we wait to see if this trophy meets Hamilton's standards.
Ricciardo's grin is bright enough to match a Marina Bay floodlight even on a day when he's 'only' third.
Relatively subdued champagne fight among three drivers who are pleased but look a bit knackered.
Vettel gets a late jab in with a final spurt of champagne into Hamilton's ear when he's not looking.
Team boss turned pundit Eddie Jordan is conducting the podium interviews today.
"This year is absolutely incredible. The feeling I had through the race... I couldn't do it without the guys," says Hamilton, who says the pressure before the last pitstop "wasn't too bad."
Hamilton adds that he always felt "kind of comfortable" that he'd be able to repass anyone he dropped behind with his last stop.
Vettel's won here three times, and second is his best result of the year. Cue some platitudes about liking Singapore.
Vettel reckons the safety car "was at the worst moment for us" and says the strategy afterwards was "borderline" so he's glad it worked.
Big cheers for Ricciardo, who agrees "it feels like a home race. Singapore to Melbourne is pretty much the same as Melbourne to Perth".
Jordan tries to stoke a bit of controversy by asking Ricciardo if he felt Alonso should've ceded to him on lap one too. Ricciardo doesn't look very fussed.
Back to Hamilton: "I was so excited to have a clean weekend, and this has been it." Sums it up pretty well for the new points leader.
admits Williams needs to analyse today's race after he failed to score when trying a two-stop strategy that proved to be a mistake.
"We need to have a look if there was anything we could have done better.
"We tried to be aggressive with the three stops but the safety car ruined that. Then we went for the two-stopper and it was just a bit too long in the end."
matched his best ever result today when he claimed sixth - a position he kept despite being given a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
The Frenchman was happy with the result, especially since he is on the market for next season
"Sixth is like a podium for us, and I am extremely happy," he said.
"It's good for me and this season I need to push for next year. Today I think I showed my potential. I think I did everything I could today.
to a drive with Nissan in the World Endurance Championship next year.
Here's BEN ANDERSON's race report, who explains how Hamilton was able to win his second race on the bounce after his victory at the Italian Grand Prix a fortnight ago.
Hamilton takes F1 points lead as Rosberg retires
admits that was one of the toughest races of his life.
He suspects something was wrong with his car, because it was making his seat too hot.
"That was tough, very tough. At least we got one point. It's the hardest-earned point I've ever had. It's better than nothing."
was the only driver to go a lap down in today's race. We'll let him explain how this happened...
"Our pace was OK, but I had a puncture," he said
"Well, not a puncture, but a loss of pressure on the front right tyre on the new options, which meant we had to pit straight away on the next lap, so we were instantly 27s behind.
"I caught up a bit, but the blue flags come into play a lot here, so it was a long day trying to catch up."
We'll finish off with
pulling no punches with a reporter (not from AUTOSPORT): "For the strategy, whatever I say you will write whatever you want because normally to these races you come with one idea, if the strategy was OK for you or not OK for you. So whatever I say it will not make a big difference."
Magnussen is heading to the medical centre for
treatment for burns
. McLaren is investigating what could've caused the in-car heat.
For the full set of quotes from every driver in the Singapore Grand Prix, plus the most comprehensive lap, gap and pitstop data around, head to AUTOSPORT's stats parner
FORIX's Singapore page
Keep an eye on our news pages through the evening for all the reaction from the leading protagonists in today's thrilling race.
Then tomorrow morning you can unravel the grand prix in depth with EDD STRAW's analysis of the main storyline and his driver ratings.
That will be followed by GARY ANDERSON's verdict on the big Singapore storylines, plus CRAIG SCARBOROUGH's round-up of this weekend's technical developments later in the week.
AUTOSPORT F1 Live returns for the Japanese Grand Prix in a fortnight, and Race Centre Live will be running next weekend to keep you up to speed with Aragon MotoGP, Zandvoort DTM, Paul Ricard Formula Renault 3.5, Silverstone BTCC, Franciacorta World Rallycross and more. Bye for now.
Alonso sounded rather annoyed when asked about his strategy by a Spanish journalist...
"For the strategy, whatever I say you will write whatever you want because normally to these races you come with one idea, if the strategy was okay for you or not okay for you. So whatever I say it will not make a big difference."
Kevin Magnussen has received medical treatment for burns after the race. It is no wonder he thought his seat was too hot.
full story here.
SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX
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