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Formula One's Hamilton chasing Singapore hat-trick but wary of Ferrari

17 September, 2017, 07:55 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
  • Singapore Grand Prix 2017 FP1 leader Daniel Ricciardo

Seven of the nine races held in Singapore since 2008 have been won from pole and Vettel knows he must make the most of his chance.

Meanwhile, Hamilton, a three-time F1 world champion and two-time victor in Singapore, will be looking for a 60th race victory of his career. "Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel waited until the final 20 minutes of the session before splitting the Red Bulls and slotting into second place".

Bottas, 28, is now in the third spot of the men's championship after getting two wins from a total of 13 races this year. Hamilton was just 0.057 seconds behind Raikkonen with Bottas nearly seven tenths behind his Mercedes teammate.

Hamilton, who took a record 69th career pole at Monza by a huge margin, never looked in contention.

Mercedes have been on pole in 66 of the last 71 races.

The pole position leaves Vettel in a strong position to regain the championship lead tomorrow with overtaking hard on this track.

Hamilton has 112 podiums to date and is second on the all-time list behind Schumacher (155). Separated by only three points, if either Vettel or Hamilton have a slip up, it could prove to be costly.

The only regular drivers yet to score are Renault's Jolyon Palmer and Sauber's Marcus Ericsson. Will Vettel take back the lead or will Hamilton take it with him to Malaysia?

The 32-year-old Englishman has won in Singapore on two occasions but has struggled in recent years, failing to get to the finish in 2015 before he ended a distant third to rival Nico Rosberg in last season's race.

"We lack the grip here", the three-time F1 champion said.

Hamilton expected Vettel to match the pace of the Red Bull duo, but the German disappointed.

Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel finished ninth and 11th respectively, 1.9 and 2.2 seconds off the pace, though a slower auto impeded Vettel's fastest lap.

Hamilton has been on pole position at both races since the summer break, and qualifying is crucial in Singapore with overtaking virtually impossible.

The lowest winning grid position was Alonso, who came from 15th place in a now-notorious 2008 race where his Brazilian team mate Nelson Piquet crashed his Renault deliberately on team orders.

He tried a second flier, but lost the rear end at Turn 10 and clobbered the wall, detaching an advertising hoarding which temporarily required the virtual safety auto to be deployed. A year ago it was deployed on the opening lap. But this is a terrible track for overtaking; it will be a long race.

Defending Singapore GP victor Nico Rosberg retired after winning last year's drivers title.

Singapore Grand Prix: Can Vettel regain lead in title race? But Vettel, who with four wins is also the most successful driver at Singapore, played down the "favourites" tag.

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