Rosberg reclaims drivers’ championship lead after winning Singapore Grand Prix

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany celebrates after winning the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix on the Marina Bay City Circuit Singapore, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

Nico Rosberg is in the ascendency in the Formula 1 drivers’ championship after overcoming technical issues to claim victory at the Singapore Grand Prix.

The German, in his 200th career race, looked set to stroll to victory before a late surge from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo set up a grandstand finale.

But Rosberg held firm amid break issues and fading tyres to claim just his second podium finish in Singapore to go eight points clear of teammate and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton, who overtook Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari to finish third restrict the damage to his title hopes.

Sebastian Vettel starts 22nd on the grid but slalomed his way through to finish fifth, with Max Versteppen, Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez, Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen completing the top 10.

A late decision to call off a fourth Rosberg pit stop turned the race on its head and the Silver Arrows driver was thrilled with the result.

“It has been an awesome weekend in Singapore for me,” said Rosberg, who has won the last three races since the summer break. “Yesterday with the pole lap, and today. I had a great start and a great car. Daniel tried to pull one on me with the pit stop at the end and I know it was going to be tight but I am really, really happy.

“I couldn’t come in because I had traffic, I was very slow on the lap and he would have beaten me. He whole car was on the edge, it always is in Singapore so it is all the more satisfying to win a race like that.”

Hamilton, who is chasing a fourth world title and third in a row, added: “It was a tough day today, but it always is in Singapore. This weekend has been a tricky one for me but I am glad to get some points for the team.

“I was struggling with the breaks overheating so I had to slow down and watch the other guys pull away. I was looking at different ways to get them back under control. Towards the end I got some heat in them. With everything that has gone on this year I’m still in the fight, there is a long way to go and I’ll give it everything I’ve got.”

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