Lewis Hamilton eyes Singapore 'long game' after Mercedes upstaged

17 September, 2017, 00:12 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Lauda banking on Ferrari in Singapore

But the Milton Keynes-based outfit, who could have locked out the front row for the first time since the United States Grand Prix in 2013, were denied by a sensational one minute, 39.491 second lap by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

"I think the final lap was not great but we were quite close so I'm pretty happy with that", said the Dutch driver, who turns 20 in two weeks' time.

Singapore Grand Prix polesitter Sebastian Vettel was left surprised by his qualifying pace, saying his auto "came alive" in the final session.

Vettel took pole by more than three-tenths to Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, whilst Mercedes were a little further back with title rival Lewis Hamilton starting fifth.

Ricciardo suggested Red Bull could dominate the Singapore GP after his strong showing on Friday and still expects victory in Sunday's race, despite only qualifying third. Red Bull will still fancy their chances tomorrow as they have strong race pace. "We've been quickest in every single session this weekend but then the one that really counts, unfortunately you could just see that, once you get to that crucial part of qualifying, the drivers have extracted everything there was out of the vehicle and we just don't have that last little bit".

There were few smiles at Mercedes, with the champions arriving in Singapore fearing it would be a tough weekend but secretly hoping for better. "Seb turned it on in qualifying but I'm looking forward to tomorrow", said the Australian. "I knew we would come here with a good vehicle", Ricciardo said.

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"We know we still have to work hard to improve [in qualifying] - it is still not where Ferrari and Mercedes is".

"We made some progress from the morning and even though we were the quickest in FP1, I still wanted to get more out of the auto and the set up in the afternoon".

"You always go for it if there is a gap and it is possible", Verstappen added. "And that is Ferrari and Red Bull".

"I don't know where Ferrari have picked up that pace". I gave it everything and more.

Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne and Carlos Sainz Jr rounded out the top 10 - the latter showing Renault exactly what they will be getting when he moves from Toro Rosso for 2018.

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