"I think mainly Sebastian started squeezing me", Verstappen said. "I capitalised on the incident - who would have known that would happen?" The track, with its 23 corners, greatly reduces speed and was expected to favor Ferrari over Mercedes.
But the 28-year-old, who won for Red Bull this year in Baku and scored the team's last pole position in Monaco last year, believes his vehicle has an edge over Vettel's Ferrari in race conditions. The safety auto was issued to deal with the stricken Ferrari and Red Bull cars, and it returned again, when Daniil Kvyat crashed out on lap 11, and then again on lap 38 after Marcus Ericsson spun on the Anderson Bridge.
The next race takes place in Malaysia on October 1.
Vettel was on pole position, with Hamilton fifth, and everything looked set for the German to retake the overall lead he had surrendered only two weeks earlier at Monza in Italy.
"This year I stopped eating chicken and then kind of went back to it and now I've stopped again".
While Vettel avoided that second impact at Turn 1, his auto was damaged and he crashed out moments later from the lead of the race. "For sure, it's bitter but it's done", added the four times Singapore GP victor whose retirement ended a run of 18 successive points finishes.
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The result has huge ramifications for the drivers' championship as Hamilton extended his lead to 28 points, enough for him to retire from the next race and still lead the championship regardless of where Vettel finishes.
Australian Ricciardo had been confident of victory, despite missing out on pole on Saturday but could not keep up with the Briton's pace on Sunday.
"That was the most frustrating thing, frustrating not to get that first win here".
"I saw this commotion happening", Hamilton said. "I'm a little bit disappointed to miss out on the win". Jolyon Palmer finished sixth for his first points of the season, on the weekend it was announced he will be replaced by Sainz Jr. next season. The remaining points places went to Force India's Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon in fifth and tenth respectively, Williams' Lance Stroll in eighth and Haas's Romain Grosjean in ninth.
Daniil Kvyat, Marcus Ericsson (both accidents), Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen (both mechanical) joined the big names on the DNF list before the end of the race - which was shortened from the scheduled 61 laps to just 58 inside the two-hour time limit by the various safety vehicle interventions - but there was little drama out front, with the biggest question marks surrounding the point at which it was judicious to move from grooved rubber to slicks.