While Hamilton dazzled in the Singapore spotlights, his nearest title rival was out-shone after taking another dim view on his Ferrari team's tactics.
Hamilton said: "That was a tough race. It felt like the longest race of my life and I am glad it is over. I am super-blessed.
"Ferrari put up a good fight I am not too sure where their pace disappeared to."
Hamilton led from the start and maintained the pace while Vettel, who had squeezed up to second place after a first-lap incident between two Force India teammates, came third.
Max Verstappen converted his second place on the gird into the second step on the podium but the real inquest into Ferrari's unravelling starts now.
Verstappen said: "It was not a bad race. We had our own strategy and in the end we just had to bring it home."
Vettel, who has gone so well here in the past, added: "Overall we were not fast enough and did not have the pace in the race and we tried to be aggressive in the beginning and it didn't work out.
"I had different tyres and I was not convinced I could make it to the end and pitting was not an option, so I just had to make it to the end.
"Today, the way we raced, we did not have a chance. We can only beat ourselves and we did not get everything out of our package."
Ferrari rolled the dice by calling the German in first for a pitstop, with it timed at 2.7seconds, Mercedes responded by calling Hamilton in a lap later on lap 16.
Red Bull followed suit on lap 17, yet their stop of 2.5seconds allowed Verstappen to come out ahead of Vettel, leaving the four-time world champion stuck in third.
He groaned over the team's radio: "No chance. Again we were too late. These tyres will not make it to the end."
He did but was a whopping 40 seconds behind race winner Hamilton and looking at a huge deficit in the table to the Brit.
Meanwhile, Force India will need to speak to their two drivers after Esteban Ocon was unnecessarily hit by Sergio Perez.
The Mexican protested his innocence, saying "Sorry guys there was no room. I did not see him" yet TV replays showed he was at fault.
Perez was again in the thick of it later when he inexplicably drove into Williams's Sergey Sirotkin, earning him a drive-through penalty.
Valtteri Bottas was fourth, Kimi Raikkonen was fifth and Daniel Ricciardo was sixth.
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