Rosberg holds off Ricciardo for Singapore win

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg has assumed the lead in the world championship after fending off a hard charging Daniel Ricciardo to win the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver converted pole position into a healthy lead in the early stages and looked set to record a comfortable win, despite having to manage a race-long brake issue.

However, the complexion of the race changed entering the final quarter when Ricciardo, who held second from the start, elected to switch to super-soft tyres on lap 47.

Mercedes had the option to cover off the Red Bull driver’s third pitstop, but instead left Rosberg to defend his lead on worn tyres.

Ricciardo, on fresher rubber, decimated the 24 second gap to Rosberg, although the Australian just ran out of laps to launch a serious attack for the win.

In the end, Rosberg held his nerve to take the victory from Ricciardo by 0.4s to open up an eight-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the championship.

Hamilton completed the podium in third after struggling for long periods in the race.

The Brit also battled a brake issue as he spent the majority of the race locked in a fight for third with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Raikkonen moved into third on lap 33 although the positions were reversed after Mercedes switched Hamilton to a three-stop strategy that saw the world champion undercut the Ferrari.

Raikkonen was left to settle for fourth ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who produced a stunning drive from the rear of the grid.

Vettel made the most of a new engine and gearbox as he powered into top five contention after an impressive first stint.

Max Verstappen endured an eventful race that was almost over at the start after narrowly avoiding a spinning Nico Hulkenberg.

Hukenberg speared across the road and into the pit wall following contact with Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz.

The incident, which brought out the Safety Car, further delayed a slow-starting Verstappen, dropping the teenager from fourth to eighth in the early laps.

However, the Dutchman produced a fighting drive to come home in sixth after late passes on Sergio Perez (Force India) and Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso).

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso provided another encouraging performance for the Woking squad in seventh, having run as a high as fifth.

The top 10 was completed by Perez, Kvyat and Renault’s Kevin Magnussen, who scored the French manufacturer’s second points finish of the season.

The race ran largely without incident although Valtteri Bottas (Williams) and Jenson Button (McLaren) joined Hulkenberg on the list of retirements.

Bottas suffered a puncture while Button damaged his front wing on the opening lap, which dented the duo’s hopes.

Bottas retired with an overheating engine triggered by a long pitstop to fix a problem with his seat belts.

Button eventually parked his McLaren with a mechanical issue.

Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean’s nightmare weekend continued as he failed to make the start with a brake problem on his Haas F1.

Result: Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

Position Driver Car Time/Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 61 Laps
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault +0.48s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +8.03
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +10.21
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +27.69
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault +1:11.19
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda +1:29.19
8 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes +1:49.14
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari +1:49.86
10 Kevin Magnussen Renault +1:51.84
11 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari +1 Lap
12 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes +1 Lap
13 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari +1 Lap
14 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari +1 Lap
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault +1 Lap
16 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes +1 Lap
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari +1 Lap
18 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes +2 Laps
DNF Jenson Button McLaren/Honda Retirement
DNF Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes Retirement
DNS Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari Not started
DNF Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes Collision

Championship Standings

Position Driver Points
1 Nico Rosberg 273
2 Lewis Hamilton 265
3 Daniel Ricciardo 179
4 Sebastian Vettel 153
5 Kimi Raikkonen 148
6 Max Verstappen 129
7 Valtteri Bottas 70
8 Sergio Perez 66
9 Nico Hulkenberg 46
10 Felipe Massa 41
11 Fernando Alonso 36
12 Carlos Sainz 30
13 Romain Grosjean 28
14 Daniil Kvyat 25
15 Jenson Button 17
16 Kevin Magnussen 7
17 Pascal Wehrlein 1
18 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
19 Esteban Gutierrez 0
20 Jolyon Palmer 0
21 Marcus Ericsson 0
22 Felipe Nasr 0
23 Rio Haryanto 0
24 Esteban Ocon 0

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