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Motor Racing

Hamilton backs Button in bid to rule the world

McLaren driver dominates in Singapore but fellow Briton extends lead in quest for drivers' title

On a great day for British drivers, Lewis Hamilton dominated the Singapore Grand Prix and then offered his best wishes to Jenson Button as his fellow countryman remained on target to succeed him as world champion after extending his points lead.

Hamilton won easily, leading from the start and withstanding brief mid-race pressure from title contender Sebastian Vettel before clinching a victory that made amends for his last-lap crash in the recent Italian Grand Prix.

"I always think a victory is the result of a collective job done from a lot of people," he said. "This was probably the busiest weekend of my life, with more appearances than ever. My Dad and my stepmother were here, and my girlfriend, and it was really great to meet Beyonce. I had a really great weekend and I'm very happy and looking forward to celebrating tonight.

"But if I was asked who was really responsible for all this, for me the one person is God. He gave us all our chance to be here and to be healthy, and blessed me with a great family around me, and for me that would be the answer."

Button, who started 11th, enjoyed a strong strategy to finish fifth, overtaking team-mate and title rival Rubens Barrichello during the final pit stop.

"It was a good day for us," he said. "I'm happy to get fifth, which is four points, and pull one off Rubens and only lose one to Sebastian Vettel. It was a good race."

Button now holds a 15-point lead with three races remaining, and Hamilton said: "He's done a good job, winning six races, good for him and the team. But don't forget that I was leading by 17 points with two races to go in 2007, and I lost it. So it will be very, very tough right to the last moment. I suggest he just keeps pushing to the last race and sees how it goes, but I wish him all the best."

Fernando Alonso took third place for Renault with none of the subterfuge that "won" him last year's inaugural street race beneath the floodlights, and the only moment of controversy came when the former champion dedicated Renault's first podium of the season to the disgraced former team principal Flavio Briatore, who recently received a lifetime ban from the sport for orchestrating "Crashgate" here last season.