Lewis Hamilton admitted he got “very fortunate” during Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix after a three-car crash at the first corner eliminated both Ferraris, but always felt confident of victory in the rain.
In the first wet night race in F1 history, Hamilton was able to jump from fifth to first on the opening lap when title rival Sebastian Vettel tangled with Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen at Turn 1.
Hamilton managed to negotiate the wet-to-dry phase, three safety car periods and race-long pressure from Daniel Ricciardo to bag his third straight victory, extending his lead over Vettel to 28 points – the largest gap at the top all season.
“Yesterday we struggled, and we had no idea what was going to happen today, but we just tried to stay focused and try to get ahead,” Hamilton said.
“Of course we were very fortunate with the Ferraris in the beginning. I couldn’t be happier, I’m really grateful. God blessed me today for sure.
“I capitalised on the incident. Who would have known that would happen? Really unfortunate for the Ferraris but a great result for the team, Daniel put up a really good fight today. I enjoyed racing him.”
Hamilton said on Saturday after qualifying he needed a “miracle” to leave Singapore still leading the championship, coming in the form of the first-lap clash.
However, he always fancied his chances at Marina Bay when it started to rain in the build-up to lights out.
“I needed it to rain, and as soon as it rained, I knew where I was going to finish,” Hamilton said.
“I knew I had the pace when it rains, but unfortunately we just didn’t have the car in the dry, but today it raining, those are my conditions.”