Rosberg back on top after thriller in Singapore

Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg of Germany gets out of his auto after he crashed into the track wall at the start of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix.

And, after leading the championship race by 43 points, and then finding himself 19 behind, Rosberg is now eight points ahead with six rounds left.

The safety vehicle came out nearly immediately in the race due to a spectacular accident in the middle of the pack just after the start.

The Dutchman began the race fourth, but made a poor start and was in eighth when an early safety auto was called for a big crash that ended Nico Hulkenburg's race. Spain's Fernando Alonso held his nerve to win the race, but his Renault team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr later admitted that he purposefully crashed under team orders to bring out the safety auto and enhance Alonso's chances of winning.

Ricciardo too made his third stop, forcing Mercedes to consider pulling Rosberg in.

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The cars were released again at the start of lap three but, despite race control confirming three times with the clerk of the course that the track was clear of people and material, a marshal was still out there. "We knew it was going to be tight at the end, but it worked out, so I'm really, really happy", Rosberg was quoted as saying by Formula One official website. The German driver, who has won the champion in Singapore four times, finally got the fifth place.

"He took the worst part and I took the second worst part, damaging the right-hand side of my auto". "We have the tendency to say that Lewis has awesome pace and this is what we have seen with Nico this weekend - he was just blindingly fast". With Ricciardo pitting with 13 laps remaining, he 22secs to make up on Rosberg, who was forced to go to the end on his ailing soft tyres.

Daniil Kvyat has had the look of a broken man after struggling to settle back in at Toro Rosso after being replaced at Red Bull by Max Verstappen.

Rosberg started on pole in his 200th race and was keeping the Red Bull driver at arms length until the Australian pitted for fresh tyres with 16 laps to go and set about reining in the leader, taking three-second chucks out of the deficit per lap.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain stops for a tire change in pit lane during the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix on the Marina Bay City Circuit Singapore, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. Now I am going to celebrate after this, can't wait to get home and next stop is Malaysia where I will try to (win) because I am feeling good at the moment.

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