Ferrari had been favourites for victory in Singapore, but they failed to convert that potential for the second successive year at Marina Bay, which was something of a surprise for Hamilton. Pierre (Gasly) was on my gearbox and Sergey was on my front wing.
There has, however, been a safety auto period in every race in Singapore since it joined Formula One in 2008 and it was deployed on the opening lap after Sergio Perez pushed his Force India team mate Esteban Ocon into a wall after Turn Three.
Especially as Hamilton has no intention of easing up.
The result was a fourth win in five races for Hamilton, arguably all of which Vettel could and perhaps should have won himself.
"Of course it feels great but I've been here a long, long time so I know I can't get ahead of myself, we can't get ahead of ourselves".
"I think it was a chess game today".
In the first session of the day, Red Bull enjoyed a welcome return to the top of the timesheets after a few quiet races with Ricciardo and Verstappen securing a one-two for the team in the baking afternoon heat. "Not for the championship but it feels significant because we have understood the auto in Singapore". We got Ted Kravitz to find out. It's disappointing as we had high hopes for Singapore.
He added: "That was a tough race".
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It is looking increasingly like a repeat scenario for the Ferrari driver, who is in disappearing into Hamilton's slipstream.
Vettel had jumped Verstappen on the opening lap of the race but his pit stop dropped him behind the yet-to-stop Sergio Perez, and the Red Bull driver used clear air to good advantage. "I wasn't convinced we would make it to the end of the race, but pitting again was no option".
"I believe we saw something and we went for it", Vettel said.
Hamilton, however, was on a roll of both confidence and momentum and was understandably optimistic that he is in a position to close out the title. Despite the night-time start, the temperature was around 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) and the humidity intense.
In recent races, even Hamilton himself has agreed with the conclusion that Ferrari has the quicker vehicle over Mercedes and Lewis expressed surprise at the lack of pace the Italian team showed.
Hamilton had said: "There's a lot left of the tyres". "So positioning is everything". Mercedes also reacted promptly when Ferrari attempted an undercut strategy for Sebastian Vettel.
Verstappen was mere inches behind Hamilton as they rounded Turn 9 but the Briton stayed ahead and quickly re-asserted an authority that he never relinquished. Verstappen held position, Vettel dropping to third.
"Sorry guys there was no room", Perez told his team over the radio. "If it works then it's great; today it didn't work", Vettel explained.