Hamilton snatches pole in Singapore

Ruben Ruiz
September 17, 2018

"I think it's realistic to think a podium "shoey" could come in 2020", Ricciardo told Sky F1's Paul di Resta.

"They've put up a good fight this weekend", said Hamilton.

Romain Grosjean slipped down the order and took only 13th, though was relegated behind Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll for ignoring blue flags, while Perez's promising grid position went to waste.

Hamilton earned a maximum 25 points, making the German's job tougher with six races remaining as Vettel settled for 15.

Max Verstappen of Red Bull will start on the front row for Sunday's race alongside Hamilton after coming second, 0.319sec behind the Englishman, but Sebastian Vettel could only manage third.

Vettel's pass on Verstappen into Turn Seven on the first lap came just before a safety vehicle was called after Force India's Sergio Perez pushed his team-mate Esteban Ocon into the wall on the exit of the first chicane.

Vettel could not get near Hamilton's blistering qualifying best despite having the faster auto in practice.

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Vettel will start alongside Valtteri Bottas, less than a tenth between them, though Bottas was nearly seven-tenths off his pole-sitting Mercedes teammate.

Moments later, Vettel passed Verstappen with a great move on Raffles boulevard while behind them Sergio Perez knocked his Force India teammate Esteban Ocon into the wall and out - bringing a safety auto onto the track for four laps. The team principal, Toto Wolff, called it he best he had seen and with track position on the narrow street circuit paramount it was crucial. "The tyres will not make it to the end".

Hamilton was able to take avoiding action, turning left and heading down an escape road. "Didn't have the pace in the race", Vettel fumed.

The Dutch driver finished ahead of Scuderia Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, jumping him during the pit stop window after the German passed him at the start of the race.

Putting Raikkonen on fresher tyres, potentially in clear air, and letting him set some fast laps could pressure Mercedes into pitting Hamilton earlier then they would. It was also slightly unfair how he had been held up by drivers not getting out of the way.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso came home in seventh, with Renault's Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg claiming eighth and 10th respectively, either side of Sauber's Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton's stunning pole Saturday was a record-extending 79th. Only joking. Hard to pick one on the basis of a race dominated by tyre management, but Hamilton gets it for his superlative performance in qualifying, which put him into the position to control the raceWhat happens next?

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