The Briton maintained breathing space between him and Vettel after the restart, extending it to more than two seconds by lap 13 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Vettel was only third, with Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen also ahead of him, and on paper he faces a tall order to triumph in Sunday's race, which starts at 4.10pm UAE time. As a driver, you know immediately if a change works and in Q1 it felt like it was there and we were like 'sweet, we are going to be in this thing'. As we'd gone through the qualifying session again, the real challenge in Q1 on the ultra-soft, and then we obviously got into that last session and it was just about pulling all of the little bits you'd found through practice and trying to see if you could put it into a ideal puzzle.
In the first session of the day, Red Bull enjoyed a welcome return to the top of the timesheets after a few quiet races with Ricciardo and Verstappen securing a one-two for the team in the baking afternoon heat.
"I think it's realistic to think a podium "shoey" could come in 2020", Ricciardo told Sky F1's Paul di Resta. "Today we didn't have a chance".
"It gets your hairs standing up for a second and then it's back to business".
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However, team-mate Suárez believes titles and victories on the pitch are more important than prizes given out based on opinion. So, one day I arrived at 6 but also that time he was already there. "Now I have to get myself ready for the next game.
Verstappen was mere inches behind Hamilton as they rounded Turn 9 but the Briton stayed ahead and quickly re-asserted an authority that he never relinquished.
Hamilton's team mate Valtteri Bottas held off a prolonged late challenge from Raikkonen in the other Ferrari to claim fourth place, the pair finishing just ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who was closing on them in the final laps. Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso, who won the inaugural race here 10 years ago, was seventh for McLaren.
Hamilton was able to take avoiding action, turning left and heading down an escape road. They just avoided contact.
The championship leader had stretched his lead to around three seconds when, on lap 14, Vettel was first to pit for ultrasoft tyres, but it soon looked an ill-judged move as he rejoined behind the slower Force India of Perez.
Ferrari were favourites to win both the last two races at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix and yesterday.
Vettel's frustration increased as Hamilton rejoined in front and then boiled over as Verstappen jumped him when he too pitted for softs. Still lots of points available but with this performance, and this focus that we have as a team, I truly believe that we can deliver impactful weekends like this for the rest of the season.