SINGAPORE, (Reuters) – Lewis Hamilton stormed to a floodlit victory in the Singapore Grand Prix yesterday while Jenson Button extended his championship lead to 15 points with three races left.
McLaren’s Formula One world champion drove brilliantly around the 5.067km Marina Bay street circuit to lead from start to finish in the gruelling 61-lap night race, crossing the line 9.6 seconds ahead of Toyota’s Timo Glock.
Last year’s winner Fernando Alonso was third for the embattled Renault team, reeling under a suspended permanent ban imposed for fixing the inaugural night race in 2008.
“It was a very tough race and the conditions did not help,” Hamilton told reporters. “It was fairly straightforward after I made a good start and was able to build a gap over the others as I knew I had more fuel so could stay out longer.
“It was a nicely controlled race so I have to thank my team for a great weekend,” added the Briton.
While Hamilton emerged from the cockpit to kiss pop singer girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger and embrace his mechanics, compatriot Button had as much to celebrate after climbing from 11th on the grid to fifth at the finish.
Closest rival and Brawn team mate Rubens Barrichello was sixth after starting in ninth place.
“I just wish I did those (fast) laps in qualifying. It would have made life a lot easier,” Button told reporters.