associate sponsors

Llyod
HDFC

Singapore Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel snatches pole after stunning final run; Lewis Hamilton fifth on grid

Singapore: Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel came from nowhere to seize pole position at the Singapore Grand Prix as he threw down the gauntlet to championship leader Lewis Hamilton on Saturday.

Vettel, who had struggled in practice, timed a record 1min 39.491sec at the floodlit Marina Bay street circuit ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

Formula One F1 - Singapore Grand Prix 2017 - Singapore - September 16, 2017 Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel celebrates getting pole position in qualifying REUTERS/Edgar Su - RC166A6972E0

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel celebrates getting pole position in qualifying. Reuters

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen will start fourth with Hamilton, who leads Vettel by just three points in the standings, fifth ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Verstappen, 19, had looked set to become the first teenager on pole but Vettel stormed through with two blistering laps in the final session to clinch it by three-tenths of a second.

"Yesterday was difficult, this afternoon was difficult but tonight the car just came alive," said Vettel, who looked stunned by his own performance.

Qualifying has often been crucial in Singapore, where seven of the nine races so far have been won by the driver who started from pole.

Vettel was 11th in Friday's second free practice session, and he took a chunk out of one of the circuit's walls in the final pre-qualifying run-out on Saturday.

He was just 12th in Q1, the opening section of qualifying, before improving to fourth in Q2.

But he is now in a great position to claim his fifth win in Singapore, while Hamilton will be up against it when he starts from the third row of the grid.

"I knew we had it in us. It was a bit of a struggle to get there but now I'm just happy," Vettel said.

The drivers had got off to a slow start after a fire in a Porsche Carrera Cup race before qualifying left oil on the track at Turn 20, making conditions treacherous.

"The oil seems everywhere in the final sector," complained Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat, as the early times were far slower than those seen in practice.

Williams driver Felipe Massa slid into the barriers, puncturing a rear tyre, and he was one of the five to drop out in Q1 as Verstappen and Ricciardo led the way.

The Ferraris set a quick pace at the start of Q2 as first Raikkonen and then Vettel went top before Verstappen returned to the head of the table with a time of 1:40.379.

Verstappen and Ricciardo led the Ferrari pair and Hamilton into the top 10 shoot-out, and the Dutch teenager soon gunned to 1:39.814 — before being eclipsed by Vettel's 1:39.669.

Verstappen made a hash of his final lap and Vettel lowered his time to 1:39.491, afterwards whooping and shouting to his team-mates in Italian as he celebrated pole.

"It was a shame we couldn't put it on pole. The final lap wasn't great but it was pretty close," said Verstappen.


Updated Date: Sep 16, 2017 20:43 PM

Also Watch

Watch: The true stories from Dharavi that inspired Rajinikanth's Kaala
  • Thursday, March 8, 2018 Watch: Cyrus Khan talks about Parkour, jumping across walls and why he hates sitting
  • Thursday, May 31, 2018 Unwind: India's basketball sensation Amjyot Singh has his eyes set on becoming an NBA regular
  • Monday, May 28, 2018 First Day First Showsha — Review of Solo: A Star Wars Story in 10 questions
  • Saturday, May 19, 2018 Social Media Star: Rajkummar Rao and Bhuvan Bam open up about selfie culture, online trolls

Also See