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Singapore GP: Lewis Hamilton storms to pole in qualifying

Written by  Sep 15, 2018

Lewis Hamilton produced an absolute banzai Q3 lap to claim pole position for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay.

Though Ferrari went into the session as favourites, it was actually Red Bull that led both Q1 and Q2, but when it mattered most the world champion set a stunning 1m36.015s on his first flying lap which would go unbeaten.

Max Verstappen did all he could but would finish a third of a second down in second with Sebastian Vettel once again left frustrated with his team as he could only manage third, six tenths off the pace.

Valtteri Bottas followed in fourth, just ahead of his countryman Kimi Raikkonen with Daniel Ricciardo completing the top six in his Red Bull.

A very tight midfield battle would see Sergio Perez claim seventh in an upgraded Force India that has been very competitive all weekend.

Romain Grosjean was able to split the two pink panthers in eighth, just 0.045s ahead of Esteban Ocon as Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10 for Renault.

At the start of Q2, Ferrari attempted to use the Ultrasoft tyre to make it into the top 10, but quickly Raikkonen struggled for grip while Vettel was only 10th.

Hamilton set an impressive time only to be matched by the two Red Bulls with Verstappen just ahead and Ricciardo just behind.

Eventually, both Scuderia drivers went back out on the Hypersoft with Kimi going P1 as his German teammate suffered traffic at the end of his lap but was still P6.

In the scramble to make the top 10 shoot-out, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz would just miss out in P11 and P12 as Ocon and Grosjean produced the goods on their final efforts.

The two Saubers followed as Charles Leclerc survived a brush against the wall in Turn 21 but was only 13th, one place ahead of partner Marcus Ericsson as Pierre Gasly completed the top 15.

In Q1, Hamilton was feeling the pressure as Mercedes opted to use the Ultrasoft tyre rather the Hyper but his best time would be just enough as he made it through in 14th.

Instead, it would be Kevin Magnussen who misjudged the cut-off point as the Haas driver went out in 16th ahead of Brendon Hartley in the Toro Rosso.

Stoffel Vandoorne is still yet to out-qualify teammate Alonso this season as the Belgian sat 18th with the two Williams' of Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll completing the grid.

The full grid for Sunday's race can be seen below:

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