It's Three In A Row For Hamilton As He Conquers Singapore.

He asked for a miracle and his prayers were duly answered. After qualifying in a disappointing fifth position on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton knew that his chances of winning the Singapore Grand Prix at the glamorous Marina Bay street circuit with its signature ferris wheel and marina were diminishing. With the formidable and adrenalin fuelled Sebastien Vettel on pole for Ferrari and the two Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo locking out second and third, the world champion British racing driver also had Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in fourth to contend with. As the rain lashed down onto a slippery track causing treacherous conditions in the darkness ahead, no-one could have blamed Hamilton for feeling less than optimistic as the twenty cars lined up on the grid for the tenth Singapore Grand Prix and the first ever wet night race. What followed within seconds of lights out however dramatically changed everything and Hamilton was left gleefully thanking his lucky stars for such an unpredictable gift from the gods.

It was the most disastrous start to the race of the 2017 season so far as the chaos dramatically unfolded before our eyes. All of the top six drivers had opted to start on intermediate tyres given the tricky conditions and there was a blend of wets and intermediates towards the back of the line-up. Kimi Raikkonen had an electrifying start as he shot off the grid from fourth to come up on the inside but Vettel in pole instinctively pulled sharp left to take an aggressive and defensive line into Turn One causing the two Ferrari's to immediately sandwich a storming Max Verstappen in his Red Bull car. With the Dutch driver holding a straight line, he had nowhere to go and through no fault of his own got tragically caught up in a cataclysmic crash with horrific consequences. Raikkonen and Verstappen were immediately eliminated from the race on impact and Vettel managed to hold on into Turn Three where the damage to his Ferrari was too great and he lost control of the wheel and was sent spinning into the wall and his race was also declared as over.

On a track where Ferrari were undoubtably the hot favourites, the devastating crash was the first time in 67 years that the red team have lost both of their cars on the opening lap. An investigation by the race stewards after the race declared that no further action would be taken and the crash would go down as a racing incident as 'no driver was wholly or predominantly to blame', a decision that Red Bull's Verstappen vehemently protested against believing that Vettel had been outrageously reckless. "I think that Sebastien started squeezing me" said the Dutchman who had raced his final Grand Prix as a teenager. "Maybe he did not see Kimi on the left but that is not an excuse. He shouldn't take those risks. I don't think it was a racing incident. Three cars were taken out and I was in the middle not doing anything wrong".

Amidst all the ensuing chaos, Hamilton had calmly and deftly managed to dodge all the drama as he took an outside line away from the chaos and flying debris and lunged out in front ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, a lead which he managed to maintain for the entire race. Yet again, he performed a masterclass of his unique and stellar style of motor-racing displaying a measured drive in incredibly demanding conditions with heavy rain and a total of three safety cars interrupting his momentum after a series of incidents. As he leapt out of his car after the race to a stunning backdrop of fireworks lighting up the inky night sky, Hamilton's immense joy was palpable. He threw himself in to the arms of his ecstatic team all eager to congratulate their number one driver on his momentous victory and quite possibly the drive of his life. What had started out as a day of damage limitation and an attempt to minimise the chance of dropping any precious points to his arch rival Vettel had transpired in to a dream come true. His victory at Singapore yesterday and the 60th of his career gives Hamilton a huge 28 point lead ahead of Vettel, a significant turning point in the World Championship having come into the race leading by a mere three points. With only six races to go on the Formula One calendar, the Mercedes driver has seized the advantage and now looks to have the esteemed trophy and world title within his grasp. "I love the energy that has come from today", said a victorious Lewis Hamilton. "I felt great in the car. This is our weakest circuit and to come away with a win here, I couldn't be happier". Expressing his strong self-belief and confidence in his abilities, Hamilton also mentioned how the weather had played a huge factor in his phenomenal win. "As soon as it rained, I knew where i was going to finish. With it raining, those are my conditions".

Fernando Alonso briefly believed that that his hopes of a podium finish were within his reach having started in eighth and quickly taking third position behind Vettel and Hamilton at the very beginning of the race but unfortunately was taken out by a spinning Raikkonen in his Ferrari during the aftermath of the crash and the Spaniard's race for McLaren was once again brought to an abrupt and premature end. Speaking after the race, Alonso described his disappointment and firm belief that McLaren were set to secure their first podium in over three years. "The start was amazing, the car launched amazingly well. Wrong place at the wrong moment" he said. "Arguably we could be leading the race because we were in front of Hamilton. Podium possibility missed".

Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull suffered a worrying gearbox problem from the outset and this severely hampered his chances of ever catching up with the scintillating Hamilton who was putting in his fastest ever laps on a track that was slowly drying out. With a gap of four seconds between himself and the race leader, Ricciardo had to settle for second place. Ever the joker, he declared "I can't win the bloody thing!" to Eddie Jordan when interviewed on the podium after the race. "We didn't have the Friday pace to have the pace on Mercedes. A little bit disappointed to miss out on a win but I'm grateful for another podium". Red Bull Principal Christian Horner praised the team's Australian driver for managing his gears and the situation so carefully and for successfully completing the race having been faced with such a serious issue. Definitely one to watch for the remainder of the 2017 season, Ricciardo will undoubtedly refuse to go down without a fight.

The "Flying Finn" Valtteri Bottas also managed to avoid being involved in the early collision as his teammate had done managing to cross the finish line in third and successfully extending Mercedes' lead on the the Constructors Championship board to 102 points. Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso drove a highly impressive race managing to overtake many of the drivers in his path and finish in fourth, fifth place was awarded to Sergio Perez driving for Force India and the British driver Jolyon Palmer secured his best finish to date for Renault and completed the race in sixth position achieving his first points of the season. Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren, who narrowly escaped a collision with Felipe Massa on Lap 13, managed seventh and Force India's Esteban Ocon who was driving on his 21st birthday managed to secure one point for his team when he came in at tenth place.

There was a total of eight casualties from the race on Sunday including Daniil Kyvat who crashed on Lap 11 resulting in the second safety car of the day closely followed by Marcus Ericsson of Sauber who lost control of his car and was sent spinning out of control on Turn 12 coming to a complete stop on Anderson Bridge. Nico Hulkenberg was in an impressive fourth place and was fighting for a podium finish when he unfortunately suffered an engine oil leak to his Renault and had to admit defeat on Lap 38. The race was called to an end on the two hour limit reducing the lap distance from 61 to 58 laps. A gruelling and demanding circuit, the Singapore Grand Prix is renowned for being a strict test of endurance and for pushing the drivers to their absolute limits with many losing up to four and a half pounds in body weight.

With Hamilton now having his seventh win of the season safely tucked under his belt we have a fortnight's break until we will inevitably witness more exciting drama unfold in the sticky heat of Malaysia where Mercedes will be hoping to make it four wins in a row. With only six races remaining on the F1 calendar for 2017, the epic duel between Hamilton and Vettel rages on and their titanic battle for the championship title continues.