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Vettel Beats Red Bulls To Singapore Grand Prix Pole Hamilton Fifth

17 September 2017

But he is now in a great position to claim his fifth win in Singapore, while Hamilton will be up against it when he starts from the third row of the grid.

"I think it's more important to have the lead after Sunday night in Abu Dhabi", Vettel told reporters in Singapore on Thursday, referring to the season-ending race.

Vettel trails Hamilton by just three points in the standings, but the Mercedes driver has won three of the last four grands prix - including his crushing victory two weeks ago in Italy.

"But I am coming here with positivity, and I plan on winning this race".

"I said Ferrari could be a problem and now it's Red Bull", Mercedes' Niki Lauda explained. "I'm happy we got the vehicle where it deserved to be and we'll take it from there".

As expected, Mercedes struggled to replicate its usual performance levels throughout qualifying in Singapore, which started with Red Bull seemingly in control.

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The Red Bulls will take some beating, too. "After the last three years with some struggles that we went through together, to have time for them to make decisions. and after they take decisions, I will take mine".

The four-time champion was clearly ecstatic to snatch the pole after a hard start to qualifying which saw him down on pace.

Daniel Ricciardo was third in the second Red Bull, but could only improve by 0.022s on his second run.

Ricciardo said he was "a little envious" of Vettel's lap, adding: "But I'm still confident we will get victory".

"The vehicle was tricky but it came alive and it got better and better as the night progressed", he added. Barriers await the drivers who stray rather than run-off areas and Vettel had a brush with a barrier in the final segment of the three-part elimination qualifying that left a visible mark on the auto.

"It doesn't seem like these sort of circuits this year are a strength of Mercedes either so I think it could bring Ferrari and us really into that battle". "As I said many times whatever I do next year is because I want to win".

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Ferrari's downforce is a key weapon at the 23-corner street circuit, whose lack of long straights traditionally nullifies Mercedes' high-speed advantage and puts overtaking at a premium.

Asked whether he expected the Marina Bay Street Circuit to suit the W08 vehicle the least of the remaining tracks, Hamilton said: "I don't know, I don't know where Ferrari have picked up their pace".

There has been at least one safety vehicle intervention in every race in Singapore so far.

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg qualified seventh, and was followed by McLaren's Fernando Alonso.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz, set to move to the works Renault team next year, rounded out the top 10 for Toro Rosso.

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Vettel Beats Red Bulls To Singapore Grand Prix Pole Hamilton Fifth