Lewis Hamilton hails Singapore GP victory as 'monumental'
Wolff describes Hamilton's qualifying lap as the best he's ever seen; Hamilton now leads championship by 40 points
By Pete Gill and James Galloway in Singapore
Last Updated: 17/09/18 11:23am
Lewis Hamilton has hailed his victory in the Singapore GP as a "monumental moment" for Mercedes.
The Silver Arrows were expected to struggle against Red Bull and Ferrari at a circuit which has traditionally punished the characteristics of their car.
But after storming to pole position, Hamilton delivered a frontrunning masterclass to claim victory over Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel - and extend his championship lead to 40 points.
"Coming here and knowing the performance of Red Bulls...if you look at the history, they have always been on the first two rows for probably the last 10 years, or at least the last eight," said Hamilton.
"And the Ferraris, at least the last five or six years, have been right there as well. They had picked up their pace and we knew that they would be spectacular here this weekend and so it was going to take something quite special for us to leapfrog them.
"I know that not a single member of the hierarchy, like James Vowles or Toto (Wolff) probably, really didn't think that was possible yesterday - maybe more of them.
"So it was really quite a monumental moment for us as a team."
Hamilton added: "Definitely didn't expect to come to Singapore with 10 points more [in the lead of the title]. But I'm very grateful for those points and for all the hard work the team have put in."
Hamilton and Mercedes hit a new high
Either side of the summer break, Hamilton has won four of the last five races and the four-time world champion believes he is driving better than ever.
"I think l am improving," Hamilton told Sky F1. "I am still learning more about the car. There is still more to come. There will be more improvements with the car and we can't change our approach - we've got to keep going hard."
While Vettel was critical of Ferrari's strategy calls in Singapore on both Saturday and Sunday, Hamilton was full of praise for his Mercedes team after their unexpected triumph at what was considered to be a bogey track for the world champions.
Hamilton said: "We knew this would be difficult but we've been working and evolving at the car, and our understanding of the tyres has helped us as well - there have been so many areas. All our team have been working tirelessly.
"I have tremendous belief in this team. I truly believe we are more united and I think I have the smartest group of guys in my team who are bringing their a-game."
Wolff: Qualy lap best I've ever seen
While Hamilton lavished praise on Mercedes, his Silver Arrows bosses were equally effusive about their driver.
The platform for Hamilton's victory was his astonishing pole position in qualifying, a lap Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has described as the best he has witnessed in the sport.
"For me it was the best lap l have ever seen in a Formula 1 car," Wolff told Sky F1. "Lewis was in control from the first moment this weekend."
And technical director James Allison said: "He turns into a complete machine at this time of year. Everything about him lifts to a level which is brilliant to watch."
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