Lewis Hamilton has taken a huge stride towards winning his fourth world championship after winning his third successive race at the Singapore Grand Prix. It is his 60th Grand Prix victory and he has established a healthy 28-point lead over title rival Sebastian Vettel.

With six races remaining, Vettel has a mountain to climb after a first-lap collision in the rain with the Red Bull of Max Verstappen and his own teammate, Kimi Raikkonen. Daniel Ricciardo battled a gearbox problem to bring the second Red Bull home in second spot, with the other Mercedes GP of Valtteri Bottas in third.

Here's a round-up of the weekend in the Marina Bay with an extensive look at the first corner shunt which took out four cars and could be a title-wrecker for Vettel's championship tilt.

Does Ferrari have to take responsibility?

After winning the Hungarian Grand Prix, Vettel had a 13-point lead going into the summer break. Now, he faces a mighty struggle to even take the title battle all the way to Abu Dhabi in November. Ferrari was beaten fair and square at Spa, thrashed on home soil at Monza and this has put the Italians under immense pressure.

Singapore was always going to be a race that the Scuderia targeted to regain momentum and the advantage over Mercedes GP. Instead, they now have an expensive shunt to deal with and hopes of winning either championship in tatters.

In reality, the Maranello outfit has not been able to fully keep up with the rate of development. It is a similar story to Fernando Alonso's near-miss title tilts in 2010 and 2012. On both occasions, Ferrari fell behind Red Bull and McLaren and it was only driver skill that kept them with a realistic shout in winning either championship.

Hungary aside, Mercedes have had the fastest car since their crushing defeat around the streets of Monte Carlo in May.

Usually, with the Prancing Horse, they will react to a crisis and not always in the best shape. They will be nervously awaiting the stewards' verdict into what happened seconds into the race because it could totally finish any faint hopes going into the Malaysian Grand Prix in a fortnight's time.

On Twitter shortly afterwards, their official account indicated they clearly felt Verstappen was to blame for the crash that took both of their cars out. Realistically, they have no-one else to blame but themselves.

Did Vettel ask for it?

After sticking the car on pole position on Saturday, Vettel made a very ordinary start. His focus was completely on Verstappen who had made a slightly better start from the front row of the grid. Sebastian's move across the track wasn't as vicious as we've seen off the line previously from Michael Schumacher down the years. However, it was a risk he didn't need to take.

Verstappen has nothing else to fight for but pride. His season has been ruined by unreliability from his Red Bull machine.

He wasn't going to back out of a possible accident. They would have both got away with it, had it not been for Raikkonen's amazing start.

For Kimi, it is an action replay of an incident that happened 14 years ago. At the 2003 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, the Finn made a brilliant start in his McLaren but he then got involved in a pile-up with the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher's Williams. On this day, Ralf was blamed for a wandering move across the track and was fined for his actions. Barrichello was the innocent victim, whilst Raikkonen's squeeze on the Brazilian ensured all three cars retired. Raikkonen missed out on the title by two points that season and it was a costly misjudgement.

Here, it looks exactly the same. In reality, it was a racing incident but if you had to portion blame, the Ferrari's must take responsibility. They both tried to intimidate Verstappen, who suddenly became part of an unhealthy Italian sandwich. The result, three wrecked cars, plenty of damage and a race spectacle ruined for the fans.

Vettel has made two big errors of judgement this season. In Baku, he hit Hamilton twice behind the Safety Car and got plenty of strife for his dangerous actions there. Here, his aggressive move towards Verstappen triggered a costly accident and might ultimately cost him a fifth world championship.

Lewis' Christmas arrives early

For Hamilton, this was his Christmas Day.

After qualifying, he admitted he needed a "miracle" to win the race. Maybe Father Christmas made an early stop in Singapore on Saturday evening! He made an awesome start which meant he avoided the skittles game Raikkonen was playing into turn one and that put him up to second from fifth on the grid.

Vettel survived the first two corners but had taken a massive hit from his own teammate and this meant his radiators were damaged. He spun on his own oil and into the concrete wall through the kink at turn three. From there on in Hamilton won as he pleased.

With a 28-point lead, it becomes a question of when, rather than if Hamilton takes back the title he lost last year to the now-retired Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton is normally unstoppable in Abu Dhabi, USA and Japan and would have won Malaysia at a canter last year before engine failure. He is on a roll and it wouldn't be a surprise now if he actually won all the last six races and equalled Vettel's 13 wins in a season record from 2013.

It is his title to lose now and he knows it.


Talking of fine starts, you have to feel for Alonso. After qualifying a brilliant eighth, he made a stunning start and was up to third by turn one, ducking and diving past Nico Hulkenberg, Bottas and Ricciardo. Unfortunately, he was in the wrong place and was collected by Verstappen, who had been whacked for a second time by Raikkonen. The double world champion just can't catch a break this season.

There were fantastic performances from Carlos Sainz, who recorded a best-ever result of fourth for Toro Rosso. The Spaniard has a works Renault contract now in his back pocket for 2018 and looks happy to have his future finally sorted.

Sainz will take the seat of Jolyon Palmer, whose drive has come under great scrutiny for many months now. Palmer's performances have been poor for much of the campaign but he has also endured some rotten reliability luck, especially in Baku and at Silverstone. He kept out of trouble in tricky conditions and finished sixth. This should mean he keeps his current seat until the end of the season before stepping aside for Sainz next season.

It was a weekend of announcements.

McLaren's spilt with Honda was confirmed and they will run Renault power units next season whilst Honda stays in the sport with Toro Rosso. Sainz's move to Renault is now a done deal too.

The Singapore Grand Prix looks like being a pivotal moment in this season's world championship. When Sebastian Vettel looks back on this season, he will have major regrets about his actions in Baku especially and probably what happened here too.

Former team principal Eddie Jordan told Channel 4 viewers the championship is over. It's hard not to disagree with him. Lewis Hamilton is on a crest of a wave. Sebastian Vettel now needs a "Devon Loch" if he is going to overhaul Hamilton in the 2017 Formula One season.