Nico Rosberg celebrated his 200th Grand Prix in style with a win at the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver secured pole position on Saturday and held off a late charge from Daniel Ricciardo to win the race. The victory – along with team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s third place – means that he now leads the championship once again, the lead up to nine points.
At the start of the race Rosberg maintained the lead, with fellow front row starter Ricciardo staying in second and Hamilton third. Ricciardo’s team-mate Max Verstappen had a slow start which triggered sequence of events which led to the safety car being deployed.
Carlos Sainz went to pass Verstappen off the line and as the pair got squeezed together, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg got caught up and spun across the track and into the pit-wall. Amazingly he did not collect any other drivers but the safety car was deployed to allow marshals to pick up debris over the track.
When racing resumed Rosberg pulled away at the front but both Mercedes had to deal with brake temperature issues throughout the race. Staying out on older tyres, Rosberg also had to deal with a charging Ricciardo on fresher tyres in the closing stages of the race. Ricciardo eventually ran out of laps – Rosberg’s advantage just four tenths of a second as they crossed the line at the end.
Hamilton was eight seconds further back in third, with Kimi Raikkonen fourth and Sebastian Vettel coming from the back to finish in fifth place. Verstappen was sixth ahead of Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez, Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen.
Not for the first time this year Esteban Gutierrez missed out on points in 11th ahead of Felipe Massa, Felipe Nasr, Carlos Sainz and Jolyon Palmer. Pascal Wehrlein, Marcus Ericsson and Esteban Ocon were the last of the finishers.
Jenson Button and Valtteri Bottas both picked up damage on the first lap – Bottas a rear puncture and Button significant front wing damage. Both cars retired later on in the race with mechanical issues, joining Hulkenberg in the list of retirees. Romain Grosjean compounded a difficult weekend by failing to start the race due to brake issues which came to light on the way to the grid.