Raikkonen and Verstappen take new engine parts in Singapore

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton celebrates after taking pole at the Singapore Grand Prix

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton celebrates after taking pole at the Singapore Grand Prix

Ricciardo has finished on the podium in the last four editions of the Singapore Grand Prix, including a hattrick of second places from 2015-17.

Should Ferrari lock out the front row in qualifying later on Saturday, Vettel will be a firm favourite to secure a record-extending fifth Singapore Grand Prix victory on Sunday and, more importantly, eat into his deficit to title rival Hamilton. Hartley's Toro Rosso team mate Pierre Gasly was 13th. The guys, they are responsible for the different areas, they could think, 'OK, if he's pointing the finger at Sebastian, next time it's my turn.' It's not what I want.

Vettel was the first of the front-runners to pit on lap 14 of 61 and took on a set of Ultrasofts, compared to the Softs employed one lap later by Hamilton.

It afforded him a more relaxing race than expected - heat aside - given Ferrari's advantage during practice this weekend.

Especially as Hamilton has no intention of easing up.

Pole in 2017 was set by Sebastian Vettel - he took third place this time around - with a 1:39.491 but such is the improvement between years that this time would have seen him qualify P15 in 2018.

Hamilton's wins against the odds in Hungary, Germany and Italy muddy the championship picture slightly, but in reality, Ferrari has held a performance advantage over Mercedes since the British Grand Prix in July. "I was a bit nervous going into qualifying", he said.

"I think overall we were not fast enough", he conceded.




Raikkonen lapped the 5.063 km Marina Bay Street Circuit in 1:38.699 seconds, with Hamilton just behind as the rejuvenated Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished third and fourth respectively half a second further back.

"For us it was a bit of a messy qualifying", he said.

Hartely lamented a lack of pace and conceded a tyre strategy didn't work out.

"Luckily the team had me on a great strategy and therefore managed to get me back into second place with a brilliant pit stop".

"Normally in the race you have to turn down the power", he said. "It was a tough race, we got to the end but there's no celebrations today".

It is looking increasingly like a repeat scenario for the Ferrari driver, who is in disappearing into Hamilton's slipstream.

The front three looked locked in as they spread out 10 laps from the end, with Vettel eventually crossing the line more than half a minute behind second-placed Verstappen.

Instead he lost position and crucial points, dropping back behind Verstappen having earlier overtaken him. It was something that Vettel asked to be changed ahead of his final run and Raikkonen said cost him a shot at pole. I think other people did a better job.

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