Hamilton way off the pace as Rosberg dominates in Singapore
Just eight points separate Mercedes teammates following third successive win for German
Nico Rosberg won his third successive Grand Prix as he took the chequered flag in Singapore ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo with Lewis Hamilton in third.
In beating his Mercedes teammate into third, Rosberg regained the World Championship lead. Eights points now separate the pair with six races remaining in the season and Hamilton acknowledged that Marina Bay had not been a good experience. "It doesn't always go well and this has been a difficult weekend for me and my side of the garage," reflected the Briton. "But we will reunite and regather and understand what went wrong and try to rectify it for the next race."
The victory was Rosberg's eighth of the Championship, two more than Hamilton, in what was the German's 200th Grand Prix star. Only fifteen drivers have reached that milestone and naturally Rosberg's post-race emotions were in stark contrast to Hamilton's. "It’s been an awesome weekend," he told reporters. "Already yesterday, with the pole lap, and then today. [I] had a great start, had a good car in the race...we knew it was going to be tight at the end, but it worked out, so I’m really, really happy."
Rosberg had to hold off a late charge from Ricciardo with the Australian finishing half a second behind the victor. "We've come very close this year on numerous occasions but you know, I'm not going to stand up here and be disappointed," reflected Ricciardo, who made the podium for the third consecutive race. "I think we gave it a good shot. We tried something at the end with the [three-stop] strategy and we got within half a second. It was close but hey, we're up here again; it feels great."
Hamilton, who chalked up his 99th podium finish, was way off the pace in the first half of the race and when asked what was wrong, he replied: "I was struggling with my brakes, they were way overheating... which meant I had to drive slow until they cooled down, which they never did until close to the end."
Despite trailing Rosberg by eight points in the Championship, Hamilton struck an upbeat note when asked if he believed he could overhaul his German rival before the final Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi on November 27. Pointing out that he's already fought back from a 43-point deficit after the first four races of the season, Hamilton said: "All in all, with everything that's gone on this year, I'm still in the fight. There's still a long way to go and I'm going to give it everything I've got."