Sebastian Vettel wins Singapore Grand Prix to extend F1 title lead

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(CNN) — Sebastian Vettel extended his championship lead to 60 points with a commanding win at Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, claiming victory for the third year in a row at the Marina Bay street circuit and his third successive triumph of this season.

The Red Bull star, seeking his fourth consecutive Formula One title, won for the seventh time in 2013.

However, as he was after winning at Ferrari’s home track Monza, Vettel was booed on the podium following the race.

“Fortunately we keep winning so they’ve got a reason to boo, but it’s not nice,” the German said.

“As long as they keep booing, we are doing a very good job so that’s the way I see it.

“The parade lap was quite nice there were a lot of people cheering. Obviously I didn’t give them the most exciting race, but on days like this, I really don’t mind.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was less happy with the reaction from some of the crowd.

“The boy drove an unbelievable race. What we have witnessed is one of the best drives I’ve seen him produce in terms of raw pace and what he was able to deliver,” Horner said.

“So to see a driver, who has put in a performance like that and to not get the reception he deserves, is not sporting.

“He says it doesn’t affect him, that he doesn’t feel it, and he does have a broad set of shoulders. But he is a human being at the end of the day, and like anyone he has feelings.

“When you’ve driven your heart out and you are getting that reaction, to me it’s not fair and not right.”

Vettel’s closest title rival, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, battled his way up from seventh on the starting grid to finish second but was 32 seconds adrift in the only night race on the calendar.

“We knew we didn’t have the pace, that we had to invent something, and the first opportunity was at the start,” the two-time world champion said.

“This is a fantastic podium, a second place that feels like a win. Red Bull were too fast all weekend, so we have to congratulate them for a fantastic weekend, and next we have to do better.”

Kimi Raikkonen, who will join Alonso at Ferrari next year, overcame a back problem and a starting position of 13th to take the third and final podium place for Lotus.

Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber had been poised to take fourth place but suffered technical problems in the closing stages and had to retire after slipping down the field.

“We were just trying to get home at that point but then on the last lap we caught fire,” he said.

The Australian was given a lift back to the pits by Alonso, for which both were told off by the stewards — and Webber will now face a 10-place grid penalty at the next race in South Korea following his third reprimand this season.

Webber was frustrated by his car’s problems, which were explained by Horner.

“We could see with 12 laps to go that we began to lose water pressure. The water then effectively ran out at which point it is only a matter of time until the engine overheats, which is what happened on the last lap — it was cruel luck.”

Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, who had briefly led after overtaking pole sitter Vettel at the start, came through to take fourth ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton — who remained third overall.

“The start was quite hairy, I kept the inside clear, but Nico went in too deep,” Vettel said.

“I was able to get the place back, which was crucial because we had good pace, but then we had the safety car.”

Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, who will replace Webber at Red Bull next year, inexplicably ran into a barrier on lap 25 — meaning the field closed up again behind Vettel, but the German roared clear again once the safety car departed.

The advantage his speed created meant the 26-year-old was able to go to the pits and still come back out in front.

“After that again we had the pace, and the car was incredible, which doesn’t happen by accident. It was a pleasure to drive it around this crazy track,” Vettel said.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was sixth ahead of McLaren duo Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, with Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg and Force India’s Adrian Sutil claiming the other points on offer.

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