Vet­tel on track for Sin­ga­pore suc­cess

Sunday Sun - - Cricket -

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

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