Lewis Hamilton regained the Formula One drivers’ world championship lead with victory in the Singapore grand prix after his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg was forced to retire with electronic problems.

Daniel Ricciardo was third in the second Red Bull ahead of a revived two-time champion former Fernando Alonso of Ferrari and Felipe Massa of Williams.

Hamilton led from pole position and dominated the 61-laps race before a lengthy safety-car interruption reduced his lead and forced him to attack again in the closing stages when he passed Sebastian Vettel to win.

Rosberg turned up for the Marina Bay street circuit night race 22 points clear of Hamilton.

But the German endured a wretched evening, his car failing to set off for the warm-up lap from second on the grid.

He eventually started from the pitlane, but retired on lap 14.

After swallowing his disappointment, Rosberg watched the finale of an incident-packed race from the Mercedes pit wall, with Hamilton winning to take a three-point advantage to the Japanese grand prix on October 5.

It was the 29th win of the 29-year-old Briton’s career, his seventh this year and his second in Singapore, ending four-time champion Vettel’s run of three successive wins on the south-east Asian street circuit.

Hamilton moves up to 241 points with five races remaining in one of the most tense and closely-fought championships of recent years.

Hamilton came home triumphant, 13.534 seconds ahead of Vettel, with Ricciardo finishing less than a second behind his Red Bull team-mate.

Job-hunting Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, due to be replaced by 16-year-old Dutchman Max Verstappen next year, finished sixth for Toro Rosso ahead of Sergio Perez of Force India, Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari, Nico Hulkenberg of Force India and Kevin Magnussen of McLaren.

Source: AFP