Vettel on track for Singapore success
LEWIS Hamilton is hoping for a miracle to dig him out of his Singapore hole after he qualified only fifth for today’s race.
Sebastian Vettel, who trails Hamilton by three points in the title race, fended off the challenge from the rampant Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo to seal pole by one-third of a second.
The Ferrari driver punched the air with delight and celebrated his 49th career pole like a win.
With overtaking virtually impossible at this 3.2mile street circuit – indeed seven of the previous nine pole-sitters have gone on to win – the German will start the race as the overwhelming favourite to move ahead of Hamilton in the title race.
His record-breaking lap of one minute and 39.491 seconds provided the best retort to both his and Ferrari’s critics after troubles in Italy last time out.
It was Hamilton who triumphed in Ferrari’s back yard, but there were grimaces on the faces of Mercedes bosses Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda as he failed to trouble the top.
“I am going to have to figure out how to pull a miracle out of somewhere,” said Hamilton. “It is difficult to know what to predict at this track.
“It is not a good racing circuit because you can’t overtake as it is very hard to follow so the race is generally a procession.
“But there is the start which can be exciting and safety cars do often come in to play here, too.
“Strategy can also be an exciting part of the race. I have just got to keep the pressure on the guys in front without overcooking my car.” Lewis Hamilton