Sebastian Vettel storms to stunning pole position — Singapore Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel storms to stunning pole position — Singapore Grand Prix

Vettel charged to pole position at the Marina Bay Circuit on Saturday with a stunning performance in Q3, the German using every inch of the track to set a new lap record and oust Max Verstappen from top spot.

Red Bull had identified the race in Singapore as one of its best opportunities to challenge Ferrari and Mercedes this season, and so took power unit penalties in Italy to give itself a better chance of success.

Through the first two sessions of qualifying, it had looked like a stroll to pole for Max Verstappen but he was unable to find enough time when it mattered most to overhaul Vettel - the Dutchman forced to settle for the second place. "I love this track, the car was tricky but it came alive and was getting better and better and better as the night progressed, really happy we got it done", said Vettel.

"I'm after a dominant weekend and so far this has been a good start", said a confident Ricciardo.

Ricciardo has finished on the dais in his last three trips to Singapore, setting the fastest lap for the past two years and finishing runner-up on both occasions. The car was amazing.

"Tomorrow is a long race".

"The gap to the front two is quite big", Bottas acknowledged.

Explaining his deficit to Ricciardo, the Dutchman said: "We all know that Daniel is always very quick here".

Singaporean Minister of Trade and Industry S. Iswaran stressed the "significant benefits" that the race has generated for the country and for the sport.

The Briton heads into the weekend as the season's first back-to-back winner following his Monza triumph.

Red Bull and Renault have also been at odds over the complex hybrid technology, whose introduction in 2014 coincided with the end of their four-year hold on the drivers' and constructors' world championships.

"I got everything I could out of the car, everything and more", he added. It is also important to note that Nico Rosberg won at Singapore in 2016.

Sebastian Vettel, who is second in the title race, could manage only the 11th best time and teammate Kimi Raikkonen was ninth. "For sure I expected a bit more but obviously it wasn't".

However, last time out in Monza, a low downforce circuit, Ferrari struggled for pace all weekend and now arrives in Singapore trailing Mercedes by 62 points in the constructors' championship.

The Mercedes car was in 'diva' at this point, with Hamilton and Bottas heading into the final hot laps of Q2, split by McLaren-Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne in P6.