SINGAPORE // Lewis Hamilton eased to a floodlit victory in the Singapore Grand Prix today while Jenson Button fought through the field to extend his championship lead to 15 points with three races left. McLaren's world champion drove brilliantly around the 5.067km Marina Bay street circuit to lead from start to finish in the gruelling 61-lap race, finishing 9.6 seconds ahead of Toyota's Timo Glock.
Last year's winner Fernando Alonso was third for the embattled Renault team, reeling under a suspended permanent ban imposed for fixing the inaugural night race in 2008. While Hamilton emerged from the cockpit to kiss pop singer girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger and embrace his mechanics, his fellow Briton Button had as much to celebrate after climbing from 11th on the grid to fifth at the finish. Button's closest rival and Brawn teammate Rubens Barrichello was sixth after starting ahead of him in ninth place.
Brawn edged closer to claiming the constructors' title in their debut season as rivals Red Bull let slip a great opportunity to narrow the gap between the teams. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel had started alongside Hamilton on the front row but a drive-through penalty for speeding through the pitlane on his second stop ended any hope the German had of winning the race. He had to settle for fourth place.
Vettel's Australian teammate Mark Webber crashed at the end of the finishing straight after 45 laps, allowing Brawn to extend their lead in the constructors' title to 42.5 points with a maximum of 54 still to be won. * Reuters