Rosberg triumphs in Singapore to lead Formula One standings

Nico Rosberg edged Daniel Ricciardo to win the Singapore Grand Prix from pole position on Sunday and go above world champion and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the Formula One standings.

It was Rosberg's third win in a row, his first in Singapore and the 22nd of his career, while Hamilton had to settle for third behind Red Bull's Ricciardo in a tactical night race and a tense finish on the Marina Bay street circuit.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was fourth while team-mate and last year's winner Sebastian Vettel finished fifth after starting last on the grid, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen sixth.

Rosberg held on as the race came to life in the final laps to take the chequered flag 0.4 seconds ahead of Ricciardo. He moves to 273 points, eight ahead of Hamilton, with six races remaining and the Malaysian Grand Prix next up in two weeks.

Ricciardo challenged after a late pit stop for faster tyres, while the leader Rosberg stayed out, a decision which was justified with his eighth win of the season.

"Of course Daniel tried to pull one on me at the end but we managed to hold him off - I'm really, really happy," Rosberg said.

"I couldn't come in at the same time as Daniel because I was in traffic.

"The whole car was on the edge, it always is in Singapore. It's all the more satisfying with a race like that."

The safety car was immediately out after Force India's Nico Huelkenberg's race ended after just a few seconds when he came off worse in a tangle with the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz.

Huelkenberg was sandwiched between two Toro Rossos and his car was spun sideways into a wall.

Haas driver Romain Grosjean was meanwhile unable to start because of a brake problem.

Rosberg kept his lead from pole following the safety car when the restart saw a marshal still on the track but able to run to safety as cars approached.

Both Rosberg and Hamilton were warned by their team early in the race they would have to manage their brakes, which were a concern throughout the race.

With overtaking difficult on the 5.065-kilometre street circuit, tyre strategies were the key to gaining places.

Ricciardo in second place and Hamilton in third switched tyres on the 16th lap, just before Rosberg also pitted.

Ricciardo was fitted with a new set of supersoft tyres, while Hamilton swapped ultrasoft for more durable soft tyres, a decision the Briton queried over team radio.

But Hamilton, who congratulated Rosberg on the podium, said problems with the brakes were his main issue.

"This weekend has been a tricky one for me but I'm just happy to get on the podium and get some points for the team," he said.

"The brakes were way overheating so I had to slow down. Once I did my second or third stop we managed to sort it out."

Ricciardo pitted again on lap 33 of the 61 laps, with the hope it seemed of taking soft tyres to the end of the race, while Raikkonen got past Hamilton for third place in one of the race's rare overtaking manoeuvres before he pitted along with Rosberg.

Hamilton reacted a lap later with another tyre change but came out well behind Raikkonen. He made a third pit stop five laps later for supersoft tyres, while Ferrari then brought in Raikkonen for ultrasofts, a move which backfired when the Finn was undercut by Hamilton.

Ricciardo also swapped tyres to supersofts with 13 laps to go while Rosberg stayed out to defend a lead of some 18 seconds against the Red Bull's faster tyres. It proved just enough as he held on to take the chequered flag with the Red Bull on his tail.

"We have come close on numerous occasions but I am not disappointed," Ricciardo said. "We gave it a shot, we got with half a second. It was close."

Also in the points were seventh-placed Fernando Alonso in a McLaren, followed by Sergio Perez in a Force India, Daniil Kvyat in a Toro Rosso and Kevin Magnussen in a Renault.

Last update: Sun, 18/09/2016 - 17:31
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