Singapore Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position at Marina Bay, after producing an astonishing first run in the Q3 session.
Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position in Singapore. Having successfully made it through the first two parts of qualifying, Hamilton used the HyperSoft tyres to set a 1:36.015 – a stunning laptime that went almost a second clear of anyone else at any point over the course of the rest of the weekend.
The laptime was so impressive that it almost seemed to stun the rest of the field, as none of the frontrunner improved their times on the second runs. This meant that Max Verstappen will start from P2 in his Red Bull, 0.3 seconds down on Hamilton’s time.
Sebastian Vettel will only start from P3 after Ferrari failed to hook it all up in Q3. The Scuderia attempted to get their drivers through Q2 on the UltraSoft tyre but, with Vettel only P10 after his first run in Q2, the tactic was aborted. After this, Ferrari seemed to lose their momentum a little and Vettel’s best time of 1:36.628 was a full 0.6 seconds off Hamilton’s time.
Valtteri Bottas managed P4 in the second Mercedes and 0.7 off his teammate’s time. This was enough to see off Kimi Raikkonen, who could only bring his Ferrari home in P5, 0.092 seconds off Bottas’ time.
Daniel Ricciardo finished P6 in the second Red Bull, ahead of Haas’ Romain Grosjean. The French driver only did one run in Q3, leaving it until quite late in the session. Esteban Ocon was P9 for Force India, with Nico Hulkenberg P10 in Renault.
Fernando Alonso claimed P11 for Mercedes, the first driver on the grid who can now choose their starting tyre as a result. Compatriot Carlos Sainz was P12 in the second Renault after being disgruntled by his car’s lack of grip. Charles Leclerc finished P13 and 0.7 clear of teammate Marcus Ericsson in P14. Pierre Gasly finished P15 for Toro Rosso.
Kevin Magnussen was a surprise elimination in Q1, having struggled for grip in his Haas. He finished P16, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley. Stoffel Vandoorne was knocked out in Q1 again as he could only claim P18 in his McLaren, ahead of the Williams duo of Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll in P19 & P20 respectively.