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Has Hamilton all but sealed the driver's championship?

Arjun K
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
198   //    17 Sep 2018, 13:54 IST

F1 Grand Prix of Singapore
Lewis Hamilton celebrating with his team after winning his 4th GP at the Marina Bay Circuit, Singapore

Lewis Hamilton coasted to take the chequered flag from pole position at the Singapore GP thereby establishing a 40 point lead over his nearest rival Sebastian Vettel with 6 races remaining. In a track which the 4-time champion referred to as "Monaco on steroids", Hamilton was in cruise control from start to finish and won his fourth victory at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

It was Hamilton's 7th victory of 2018 and 69th overall in what has been a terrific few months. The Brit who deftly balances his hectic race schedule with his fashion commitments exuded confidence and polished off a terrific weekend by saying - "Great job everyone, what a weekend. Keep pushing - we've got this guys" over the team radio immediately after the race finish.

On a circuit where Ferrari were expected to perform better and trim the lead over the two Mercedes', the results proved otherwise. Vettel was left frustrated and he moaned over the team radio, "There's no chance. These tyres will not make it to the end". Just as Ferrari have done all season long, they seemed to misjudge the situation and the decision to opt for ultrasoft tyres hoping to get some extra pace off the initial few laps backfired and that coupled with a poor pit stop strategy ensured that the Red Bull of Max Verstappen got past Vettel's Ferrari eating away crucial championship points.

With only 6 races to go, Hamilton looks calm, confident and appears firmly in control whereas his nearest rival, Vettel seems to be getting frustrated about both his own costly errors and Ferrari's poor strategies. It looks all but certain that Hamilton will win his 5th drivers' championship and equal the tally of the late Argentine racing great - Juan Manuel Fangio who won the last of his 5 championships in 1957.

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