Out on to the podium, then, as the fans throng across the track to hail the drivers. 'God Save The Queen' plays out, Lewis Hamilton beams, and that's it from me for this afternoon. Thanks for your company - what a terrific season this is turning out to be!
Singapore Grand Prix - 21 September 2014
Singapore Grand Prix – Follow this F1 race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 14:00 on 21 September 2014. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Once more, the drivers are applauded to the scales by a line of women, apparently flight attendants. Vettel tells Hamilton the race was one lap short; Ricciardo comes in to say hello; and it's all very convivial.
Hamilton and Vettel shake hands, and then Hamilton pats his car as if it's a horse.
Niki Lauda on Hamilton: "He's worth his money!"
Terrific drive from Lewis Hamilton. He deserves the fireworks that are exploding across the track at the moment.
"Nice work, Lewis, great stuff," his team tell him. "Fantastic job this weekend, guys, thank you so much for all your hard work - it's really starting to pay off," he replies.
Vettel and Ricciardo take second and third, with Alonso in fourth and Massa fifth, and Vergne finally taking sixth, albeit with a time penalty.
A win and the championship lead for Lewis Hamilton!
Ten seconds left...
So we're into the final lap, with 30 seconds to go.
And Vergne, who's had an eventful evening, overtakes Bottas and moves into sixth.
Two and a half minutes left before the race times out...
Ricciardo's got two laps left to get past his team-mate - the gap is less than half a second.
Looks like this race is set to time out after that extensive safety car spell.
Ricciardo is closing on Vettel for second now! Alonso isn't far behind Ricciardo as well - only 0.7 seconds.
Another investigation for Vergne. And Maldonado is overtaken by Magnussen.
It's been an intriguing weekend when it comes to the reliability of the cars, hasn't it? The Mercedes cars are indisputably better, but they're not immune from glitches, as we've seen throughout the season - and it's taken some great driving from Hamilton to hold that lead.
Button's car is left at the side of the track - shouldn't need a safety car there, so Hamilton can start to stretch away.
Vergne skews off the track; Button reports a shut down - and Hamilton goes back into the lead!
Hamilton is right up there behind Vettel aleady, closing down and down and down and pulling further away from Ricciardo.
Hamilton's out in second, just ahead of Ricciardo and just behind Vettel. Now he has eight laps left to chase that lead!
Rosberg's there watching Hamilton's pit stop - and where he'll emerge.
And Hamilton pits!
Hamilton is now 25.276 seconds ahead of Vettel, who's 28 seconds ahead of Ricciardo. That pit stop is imminent - can he hang on just a bit longer? "My right rear is getting SERIOUSLY WARM," he warns his team, speculating on whether it might explode. His interlocuters don't seem that worried, which suggests he might be overreacting a little.
"You guys need to box me soon. My tyres are going off. I told you," Hamilton informs his team.
Hamilton's nervous about how many laps he has left. He's 22 and a half seconds ahead of Vettel - but his team want a 26-second advantage before he comes in to change his tyres.
Perez, Kvyat and Ericsson are duelling it out for 14th place, with Perez emerging ahead.
Ricciardo continues to have problems. Shame for him, such an exciting driver.
Mercedes's Twitter account is now claiming that as Rosberg is watching from the pit wall, that's a display of #teamspirit and #respect. Not that he's panicking about his championship lead erosion.
Pastor Maldonado is currently tenth. No, really, he is.
Interesting - Hamilton's sector timings are still better than Vettel's, but not as good as they had been in the previous laps. Are his tyres degrading?
Vergne into the pits as well, and Hamilton continues to draw away.
Kyvat complains to his team that he's "dying" - apparently struggling with water, just like Magnussen.
Nearly 15 seconds between Hamilton and Vettel now.
Hamilton is worried that he's being advised to try and keep his tyres on for another seven laps - just in case there's another safety car.
There's nearly ten seconds between Hamilton and Vettel now. The leader needs to build that advantage before he comes in for his final and obligatory pit stop - otherwise there'll be a lot of traffic for him to scythe through if he wants to win.
Sutil's into the garage. Both Saubers out.
Sebastian Vettel is advised to make his tyres last to the end. He is not impressed by that as a tactic, and is informed that it's what several of the field are going to be doing.
Hamilton's now clocking the fastest lap of the afternoon again, with a six-second advantage over Vettel.
Massa is told that the team want to take this set of tyres to the end. That's a long way to go.
He's nearly four seconds ahead now after a lap and a half without the safety car.
This is some great driving from Hamilton.
Hamilton is already pushing out from Vettel, who's already 1.1 seconds behind him. Ricciardo and Alonso, Massa and Bottas are separated by about two seconds.
Right. Safety car is going in, and Hamilton is ready to get going.
No further action on Sutil, we hear.
This is taking ages. Reckon they're going to reduce the number of laps?
Perez is angry that Sutil has only been given a five-second stop-go penalty so far: "Needs to be more than that. It put me up the wall." Well, looks like there's going to be another investigation, so it might yet be more.
Glad to report that Maldonado didn't injure any of his team with that ridiculous pit stop, and they're all fine.
"The steering feels a bit weird," says Valtteri Bottas. "I'll let you know if it gets worse." He sounds quite cheery.
The lapped cars are now being allowed to overtake...
Magnussen is reminded to drink water and he tells them it's too hot and it's burning his mouth. That'll be that heating problem he was reporting a few laps ago, then.
Still yellow flags all over the place.
Hamilton and Vettel are both having a little chat with their teams, being updated on what their rivals are doing with their tyres.
The chaps are scuttling about on the track, picking up the errant bits of Perez's car as quickly as they can.
Hamilton is told to look out for debris, and he tells them rather abruptly it's too late and he's already run over some.
Sergio Perez's front wing has just blown off after a touch of contact with Sutil, and it's now stuck under his car. Safety car in Singapore, yes? Yes.
Meanwhile, though, Alonso is pulling further ahead of Vettel, although he's not making up ground on Hamilton.
Hamilton is putting his foot down down; he wants to restore that somewhat larger lead that he boasted prior to the pit stops.
These pit stops on the lengthy track are having a real impact on the race standings. Alonso is four seconds behind Hamilton, with Vettel and Ricciardo behind him, as Magnussen reports to his team that he can sense burning.
"The whole steering wheel just wasn't working," says Rosberg. "The car just wasn't working at all. There was no point to continue. A tough day, really." He says coming into the pit wasn't scary - although admits it might have been for his team. "I don't think about the past so much...I'm disappointed with today, it's the reliability again and it's a weakness we have in the team...and move on."
Valtteri Bottas is now the fastest man on track this afternoon; and Vettel is behind Alonso courtesy of a switch to soft tyres.
Pastor Maldonado's been quiet today, hasn't he? You'll be glad to know he just had a rather too quick unsafe release from his pitstop.
And Raikkonen, in fifth, is being told to push as well. The chasing pack are bunching up a little, but Hamilton's lead is intact.
Massa comes in to pit again - and it's just 2.4 seconds from that Williams crew.
Vettel is told to push on and hold Alonso off.
Alonso is making a push towards Vettel now, logging the fastest lap so far.
Max Chilton is called in to pit thanks to a puncture. Must say, what a disappointing end to the weekend for Gutierrez - he drove well in qualifying and was P2 at one point.
Esteban Gutierrez is helped out of his car, and promptly throws his gloves and kicks random things in his path. He's got his glasses on and seems such a self-effacing individual.
But I must warn you all against complacency. Remember what a marathon of a race this is - we're not even a third of the way through yet.
Hamilton's lead over Vettel is now 7.7 seconds. No wonder his team are telling him he's "managing this well".
"You've got it all under control here, Lewis," his team tell him.
Toto Wolff has a quick word with Rosberg, who hasn't taken off his lid yet.
Hamilton had come round and would have lapped Rosberg while he was in the pit, but it's completely game over for the championship leader today.
Nico Rosberg throws up the Xs.
Rosberg is very slow into the pit, and his engine is silent. We're told that his engine was in the wrong mode, which was why he had no power. Can he get away again?
Good stop from Hamilton. Rosberg is told he'll have to stall the car when they do the pit stop. This is going to be fascinating to say the least.
Right, apparently Rosberg's clutch isn't working - so that'll make his stop interesting.
Hamilton's called in - box box, box box.
Vettel is into the pits; Button is told to "stick to the plan". The radio messages are so cryptic now.
Raikkonen pulls out just as Bottas comes down the lane. Rosberg's team are telling him about all the changes they're going to try to make when he comes into the pits. Can't hear his answer.
Raikkonen and Bottas are both in to the pits!
According to Mercedes's Twitter account, Rosberg's radio was out as well...
Right, our points contenders are starting to pit now. Felipe Massa is in.
Rosberg is now almost a minute behind Hamilton - lagging by 54.7 seconds. Not too long before he'll be lapped. Now, that is the kind of thing we want to listen to the team radios for...
Hamilton is 3.3 seconds ahead of Vettel at the moment - and Adrian Sutil is the first driver to make a pit-stop.
Where's Rosberg? He's down in 20th, looking to get past Ericsson.
Sebastian Vettel is told by his team that he's doing a good job on fuel so far as he keeps up the pace on Lewis Hamilton.
And Hamilton records the fastest lap so far - 1:53.035. Meanwhile, Kvyat and Vergne are urged on to attack Kevin Magnussen, sitting in ninth.
Sebastian Vettel records the fastest lap so far, in second; and Rosberg is over half a minute behind leader Lewis Hamilton.
So basically Nico Rosberg hasn't got a fully-functional steering wheel, and from the sound of his engine, there's a problem with the electrics all round.
Rosberg is trying to get past Max Chilton, and making a heck of a meal of it.
Alonso's start is under investigation for "exceeding track limits", and both Force Indias are complaining of damaged front wings. Too much drama already!
Vettel has come through on Alonso; and Rosberg is told by his team that only the gear-shift is working on his dashboard. Ouch.
Absolute flier from Hamilton, with Alonso cutting through as the Red Bulls go wheel to wheel. Rosberg has started so he's got a long afternoon in front of him.
Singapore is go!
So the cars take their places on the grid - except Rosberg, who's in the pitlane.
Kobayashi's out at Turn 8 (where Rosberg went off, randomly, yesterday), and he's out of his car - and out of the race?
And now Kobayashi has pulled up on the track as well.
Dear, dear, dear. They clearly aren't sure what that problem was and couldn't fix it in that 15 minutes before the start.
They pull away for the formation lap - and Rosberg is completely stuck on the grid.
Rosberg is told that it's an "intermittent fault" - ie they haven't fixed it. His team advise him to start manually - if he can't do that, it'll be a start from the pit-lane.
Everyone seems to be starting on the super-soft tyres. Interesting.
This really is an incredibly beautiful track. And don't forget this is a LONG race as well. Get your drinks and snacks ready - you won't want to miss any of the next two hours.
Rosberg's steering wheel has been replaced, and replaced again...
Gordon Ramsay is out on the track. No, really.
The Singapore anthem is sung and all the activity halts briefly to observe it respectfully.
This is hilarious. Niki Lauda is being interviewed live on television and being asked what's wrong with Rosberg. He has no idea, so he says, "Hang on, I'll find out," and accosts a technician.
And just as I type that, it looks like Rosberg's having a problem with his car. He was practising his start and left a lot of rubber on the track; and now they're replacing some of his electrics.
Interestingly, Hamilton suggests that Rosberg is in a more comfortable position than he is - if Rosberg crashes out today, he's still odds-on for the title, but if Hamilton crashes out, his chance may have gone.
Lewis Hamilton: "It was so close - probably one of the most exciting qualifying sessions for me...It actually feels like I'm going for my first championship, it's been so long. I've got to put myself in the best position. Now, it's real, real crunch-time."
Jenson Button starts from 11th, by the way - bad qualifying for him.
It was interesting to see Rosberg pile off down the escape route during qualifying, after his errors during the last race. Is the pressure telling?
Even so, this race is set to be fascinating. The rift between the Mercedes drivers continues to be denied - but Hamilton is now just 22 points behind his team-mate in the drivers' standings. Rosberg's anger at being pipped for pole was evident in the dying seconds of Q3 yesterday - he'll be hoping for a stunning start as he managed in Monza.
After all the chatter and rage and snideness we've heard over the radios this season, it'll be interesting to note how these new pit-to-car restrictions affect the race today - if at all. The initial prohibitions were much more stringent, and would have covered car performance, but there'll be no discussion of the driver's own displays (because, obviously, he needs to be driving the car "alone and unaided").
Good afternoon, all, and welcome to our LIVE coverage of the Singapore Grand Prix. It's a Mercedes front row on the grid once more, with Lewis Hamilton in pole and Nico Rosberg just behind him by the very finest of margins in qualifying. The Red Bulls are behind them, with Daniel Ricciardo third and Sebastian Vettel fourth; and the Ferraris and Williamses alternate behind them - Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen (unlucky in the final stages of qualifying) and Valtteri Bottas.