Hamilton holding on 'for dear life' in Singapore

Lauda banking on Ferrari in Singapore

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen will start fourth with Hamilton, who leads Vettel by just three points in the standings, fifth ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas. The next closest team, Red Bull Racing, whose drivers split the two Ferraris, is also known to have a strong aero team, led by Adrian Newey, whose cars at Williams, McLaren, and Red Bull have been among the most dominant in the sport's history. I'm still full of adrenaline so maybe whatever I say doesn't make any sense but I love this track.

"We are not too far off so I can be quite happy with this qualifying", said the Dutchman of his 1:39.814 effort that secured a second-place starting slot alongside Vettel on the front row.

Ricciardo, a victor in Azerbaijan in June, also remained confident.

Red Bull arrived in Singapore hopeful of making the strength of its RB13 auto show around the street circuit, expecting to draw closer to usual leaders Ferrari and Mercedes at the front of the pack.

"We knew coming here it would be hard", Hamilton told Sky Sports F1. "Seb turned it on in qualifying but I'm looking forward to tomorrow", said the Australian. I think we've got a good package.

"I need to calm down".

"You always go for it if there is a gap and if it's possible, but if not then you just settle down and get into the race".




The Red Bulls headed out in a bid to respond, with Verstappen reclaiming top spot by just a fraction of a second.

Hamilton, who took a record 69th career pole at Monza by a huge margin, never looked in contention. "I definitely didn't anticipate Ferrari would be as strong as they were".

But Verstappen was told to return to the pits slowly after reporting that the vehicle was "shifting by itself" while Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo clipped the wall, forcing him to back out of his final attempt a low-fuel run.

"I got everything I could out of the vehicle, everything and more", he added.

Nico Hulkenberg put his works Renault F1 vehicle at the head of the fourth row of the grid ahead of Fernando Alonso's McLaren-Honda.

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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