Singapore GP: Charles Leclerc takes pole position

Charles Leclerc will start the Singapore GP on pole position ahead of Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton.

The session started damp after heavy rain earlier in the day in Singapore, including through FP3, but dried out as it progressed.

Here’s what went on in qualifying…

Q1

There was a mad dash for the line in the closing stages for Q1, with the track getting dryer and dryer all the time and therefore quicker and quicker.

The session started with the cars all on intermediates and ended that way too, but by the time the first period of qualifying had ended there were certainly large portions of the track suitable for slicks.

It was all about using the conditions and being on fresh tyres for the closing stages, then, and it was Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi that fell foul of the elimination, with Ocon perhaps the biggest shock given how good the Alpine had looked in practice.

Q2

The drivers stayed with intermediates for the start of Q2, with most of the track continuing to dry out bar a few remaining wet patches.

With 5 minutes to go, the Aston Martin pair of Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel rolled the dice and went onto slicks but it was ultimately a gamble that did not pay off, with both of them falling outside the top ten.

George Russell was also a surprise exit, meanwhile, with him six-thousandths of a second outside the top 10 pace. Stroll, Mick Schumacher, Vettel and Zhou Guanyu were the others to miss the cut.

Q3

At the start of Q3 most of the drivers started on soft tyres but it was Yuki Tsunoda who threw a strategic spanner in the works, with him going faster than the likes of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc on the intermediates in the initial stages to take top spot.

Lewis Hamilton delivered an impressive provisional pole time soon after, though, underlining that the dry tyres were indeed the best option to be on after all in Q3, setting us up for a great final shootout.

Down the times would tumble, with drivers sometimes going a second quicker than the previous fastest time, with the likes of Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc also posting the quickest laps in the closing stages.

Indeed, it would be the Monegasque that would take P1, with Max Verstappen told to pit when on a fast lap at the end of the session – the Dutchman will start 8th tomorrow.

The top 10, then: Leclerc, Perez, Hamilton, Sainz, Alonso, Norris, Gasly, Verstappen, Magnussen, Tsunoda.

Lights out is at 1pm UK time on Sunday for the race!

News Now - Sport News