F1: Leclerc Storms To Pole In Singapore

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Charles Leclerc celebrating his fifth career pole position under the flood lights of the Marina Bay Circuit. Image courtesy of FerrariF1.com

Charles Leclerc has stormed to his third straight pole position ahead of the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix.

Charles Stuns Singapore

Leclerc secured his fifth career pole under the beaming flood lights of Marina Bay with a stunning lap.

The young Monegasque once again beating both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel who hold 9 World-Championships between them.

Leclerc: “I’m extremely happy – it was a very good lap but there were several moments when I almost lost control! I must thank the team – they have been amazing. Yesterday was not my day but this feels great.”

Sebastian Vettel struggled on his final run, denying him a shot at pole. Image sourced from @ScuderiaFerrari via Twitter.

Leclerc’s Ferrari team-mate Vettel held provisional pole position after the first runs, putting himself 3 tenths clear of second.

Unfortunately a scruffy second run for the German proved costly as the intense track evolution allowed both Leclerc and Hamilton to improve, demoting Vettel to third on the grid.

Vettel: “The final bit of Q3 wasn’t great but sometimes that’s the way it goes. We were quick out there today and it’s always fun round here one way or another. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Mercedes On The Back Foot

Throughout qualifying Mercedes were always in the fight for pole but it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Brackley based outfit.

Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas were one second down on the Ferrari’s after their first Q3 runs, both drivers reporting a lack of grip.

This left them with significant pressure to perform on their final runs.

Hamilton who was last across the line, managed to put his W10 into second place, splitting both Ferrari drivers.

Lewis Hamilton on his way to second during Singapore GP Qualifying. Image sourced from @MercedesAMGF1.

Hamilton: “I don’t know where Ferrari picked up their pace today.”

“It was potentially not one of their strong tracks, but Charles put a great lap in. I think tomorrow we can still be aggressive.”

On the other hand, Bottas once again struggled, the Finn having to settle for a somber fifth place on tomorrow’s grid.

Ferrari’s Surge

Coming in to the weekend, Red Bull & Mercedes were tipped as the favourites due their high downforce philosophy.

However on unexpected aero upgrade from Ferrari has seemed to solve their woes on slow speed tracks.

Max Verstappen could only get his Red Bull into fourth place, the Dutchman over half a second off Leclerc’s pole time.

Max Verstappen placed his RB15 in fourth for tomorrow’s grand prix. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Considering it was his first time in Singapore and only his third qualifying with the team, Alexander Albon was a solid sixth for Red Bull

McLaren Head The Midfield

McLaren once again claimed best of the rest status as the Woking squad managed to get both cars into Q3.

Carlos Sainz putting his McLaren into seventh, the Spaniard leading both Renault’s of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg respectively.

Carlos Sainz Jr. in the McLaren garage prepping for today’s qualifying. Image sourced from @McLarenF1 via Twitter.

Lando Norris had a mixed session, with his Q3 lap eight tenths off his best in Q2.

Subsequently the rookie will start tomorrow’s grand prix in tenth.

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez qualified in 11th,  however a crash in final practice means the Mexican will be demoted to sixteenth after a gearbox penalty.

 

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