Sebastian Vettel led a dominant run in Q3 to beat the Red Bull’s to pole position by over three tenths, after Red Bull topped all sessions before Q3.
Vettel’s pole position time was a a 1.39.491, which gave him over three tenths over Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, whilst Daniel Ricciardo – who was quickest yesterday.
Mercedes, meanwhile, fell victim to being the third best F1 team – with Hamilton fifth and Bottas sixth, which will push them into ‘damage limitation’ mode.
Story of the session
As the light went green under the lights in Singapore, the Sauber’s were first to head out on their laps. Raikkonen swiftly followed on the ultra-soft tyres.
Raikkonen was first to set a lap, which was a 1.44.060, whilst team-mate Vettel went 0.620s slower in second. Alonso, who was on a maga-lap, soon went second fastest – splitting the two Ferrari’s. Vandoorne soon went fastest, until the Red Bull’s headed out – where Ricciardo pipped Verstappen to the top spot.
As the Mercedes headed out, Hamilton went second fastest, and was just 0.038s adrift of Verstappen’s leading pace. The track quickly imporved, as the Red Bill’s went first and second, once again in Verstappen’s favor, but by just 0.054s. Hamilton went third, and was 0.4s adrift of Red Bull.
As Q1 came to an end, Magnussen, Massa, Stroll, Wehrlein and Ericsson.
As Q2 got underway, Raikkonen was straight out on ultra-soft tyres for a first crack, after struggling in Q1. Raikkonen was first, who set a 1.40.999, whilst Hamilton was 0.076s adrift of the Finn.
The two Red Bull’s soon got the gremlin down, as Vandoorne beat Vettel by 0.150s, whilst Ricciardo could only manage third fastest.
If Hamilton’s pace deficit wasn’t concerning enough, Bottas – who was 1 second off the pace – was beaten by McLaren Honda’s Vandoorne.
As Q2 came to an end, Palmer, Perez, Kvyat, Ocon and Grosjean all faced elimination.
At the end of the first Q1 runs, Vettel held provisional pole by 0.1s over Verstappen, whilst Hamilton was a full half second down in fifth place.
Upon the second runs, Vettel went even faster to set a 1.39.491, which gave him pole position by 0.3s.