Hamilton takes pole in front of Verstappen and Vettel

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Singapore, Marina Bay Street Circuitsg

Lewis Hamilton took his 79th career pole position in the qualifying session for the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix. Ahead of tomorrow’s 61-lap-long race, the Briton is in perfect position to extend his championship lead of 30 points.

The first qualifying session

The American Haas Ferrari squad opened the action of qualifying on the marvellous Marina Bay Circuit. Of the top teams, Ferrari rolled onto first on the hypersoft. To pile up a set from the softest Pirelli coumpound, Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas used a set of ultrasoft. Both of them struggled for pace on the much ’slower’ compound with the Briton in real danger of being boxed out of the first qualifying segment.

Romain Grosjean’s fourth place was a nice surprise at the end of the session. The overall fastest was Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian’s time was a reminder that the energy drink-owned team could not be dismissed and neglected out of the battle for top places after the team endured a rather woeful final practice session.

The second qualifying session
Ferrari and Mercedes were the first teams to hit the track in the second segment of the qualifying session.

The Scuderia wanted to outsmart its rivals by rolling on the ultrasoft Pirelli tyre on to the track while all the other cars opted for the much quicker hypersoft. Neither of the Ferrari drivers was able to post a brilliant time which forced them to visit the pit as quickly as possible for fresh hypersoft. Räikkönen quickly flew to the top of the leaderboard while his team-mate Vettel was dogged by huge traffic on his hot lap and went only sixth fastest.

On a circuit which may be McLaren’s best chance in the remainder of the season, Fernando Alosno failed to qulifyin inside the top ten. The Spaniard went by a whopping 0.842 faster than his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne in Q1, but he could not progress into the final segment of the qualifying session. Behind the two-time world champion, Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, Marcus Ericsson and Pierre Gasly filled up the next four places on the grid.

The third qualifying session

On his first hot lap, Lewis Hamilton set a shocking lap time of 1:36.015. The Brtion could not beat that time on his second set of hypersofts, but its was enough to secure the pole position for tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix in front of Max Verstappen.

Sebastian Vettel could only grab the third spot. Despite setting the fastest first sector on his last lap, his pace faded as the lap went on. Being two places behind his championship rival is horrific news for the German as he is already trailing Hamilton by 30 points.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarQ1Q2Q3Laps
144Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:39.4031:37.3441:36.01517
233Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER1:38.7511:37.2141:36.33414
35Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:38.2181:37.8761:36.62817
477Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:39.2911:37.2541:36.70220
57Kimi RäikkönenFERRARI1:38.5341:37.1941:36.79417
63Daniel RicciardoRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER1:38.1531:37.4061:36.99612
711Sergio PerezFORCE INDIA MERCEDES1:38.8141:38.3421:37.98519
88Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI1:38.6851:38.3671:38.32015
931Esteban OconFORCE INDIA MERCEDES1:38.9121:38.5341:38.36520
1027Nico HulkenbergRENAULT1:38.9321:38.4501:38.58818
1114Fernando AlonsoMCLAREN RENAULT1:39.0221:38.641-12
1255Carlos SainzRENAULT1:39.1031:38.716-12
1316Charles LeclercSAUBER FERRARI1:39.2061:38.747-14
149Marcus EricssonSAUBER FERRARI1:39.3661:39.453-14
1510Pierre GaslySCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA1:39.6141:39.691-13
1620Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:39.644--6
1728Brendon HartleySCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA1:39.809--8
182Stoffel VandoorneMCLAREN RENAULT1:39.864--8
1935Sergey SirotkinWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:41.263--8
2018Lance StrollWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:41.334--6