Singapore pole stuns Vettel

Niki Lauda: 'Ferrari favourites for Singapore'

Sebastian Vettel put himself on pole position to retake the Formula One lead from Lewis Hamilton after setting the fastest lap in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday.

Championship rival Lewis Hamilton, who leads Vettel by three points in the standings, could only qualify fifth as the Mercedes struggled in high downforce conditions.

Vettel is a four times victor in Singapore and the pole was also his fourth in the city state.

"I'm still full of adrenaline so maybe whatever I say doesn't make any sense", a breathless Vettel, who let out a loud whoop of joy over the team-radio, said after he stepped out of the auto.

"Yesterday was hard, this afternoon was hard but tonight the auto just came alive", said Vettel, who looked stunned by his own performance.

He then survived a light brush of the wall at the right-hander coming out from under the grandstand on his second run to improve to a 1m39.491s to take pole from Red Bull driver Max Verstappen by 0.323 seconds.

Had he been on pole, the 19-year-old would have been the youngest driver in the history of the sport to start from the top slot.

"I think I need to calm down first, for now very happy".

"I knew we had it in us".

Ricciardo suggested Red Bull could dominate the Singapore GP after his strong showing on Friday and still expects victory in Sunday's race, despite only qualifying third. Qualifying also is just constant improvement, even though the whole weekend we were a bit down on power, I don't know why we couldn't really solve it. I think we've got a good package.

When asked if he could take confidence from Mercedes' long-run pace on Friday, Bottas said: "I have to say I'm not going into tomorrow with great confidence in my pace".

Red Bull arrived in Singapore hopeful of making the strength of its RB13 vehicle show around the street circuit, expecting to draw closer to usual leaders Ferrari and Mercedes at the front of the pack.

"Here, what I've seen today, Red Bull is outstanding".

"I don't know where Ferrari have picked up that pace".

The Renault engine is known to lack power compared to Ferrari and Mercedes in Q3 mode, but Ricciardo still felt Red Bull had a realistic shot at pole.

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