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Sebastian Vettel claims blistering pole as Lewis Hamilton labours in P5

Vettel claims blistering pole as Hamilton labours in P5
By Alex Chick via AutoSport

16/09/2017 at 14:06Updated 16/09/2017 at 16:19

Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position for the Singapore GP with Lewis Hamilton back on the third row of the grid.

Ferrari's Vettel claimed his fourth pole under the floodlights in Singapore with a sensational lap of 1:39.491 - six tenths of a second faster than his title rival Hamilton who will start in fifth place alongside his team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Max Verstappen will start from the front row in second place, with the Dutchman's Red Bull colleague Daniel Ricciardo third and Kimi Raikkonen fourth.

All six drivers from the leading teams were on track in the final thrilling moments of the session - but only Vettel could improve his previous time as the championship momentum swings back towards Ferrari.

Singapore GP: Full qualifying result

Nico Hulkenberg was best-of-the rest in seventh for Renault, just ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso.

The second McLaren-Honda of Stoffel Vandoorne was ninth, well ahead of 10th-placed Carlos Sainz Jr.

Renault driver Jolyon Palmer missed out on Q3 after being relegated to 11th by Alonso on the second runs in the second segment of qualifying.

Palmer failed to improve on his second set of tyres in Q2 thanks to a moment at the final corner, which the team suggested over the radio cost him 10th place.

Sergio Perez complained about having "no grip at all" on his second Q2 run and ended up 12th after being unable to improve on his first-run time.

Daniil Kvyat did improve on his second run, but only by enough to take 13th ahead of the second Force India of Esteban Ocon.

Romain Grosjean, who paid two visits to the Turn 7 escape road at the end of the back straight in Q1, didn't post a time on his first run in Q2 and was unable to do better than 15th when he made his second attempt.

Kevin Magnussen was the fastest of those eliminated in Q1, having been relegated to 16th by Hulkenberg's leap up the order.

Williams driver Felipe Massa was also knocked out in 17th after a difficult session.

He didn't set a serious lap time on his first run because he clipped the wall at the exit of the Turn 20/21 right-left and suffered a right-rear puncture.

Massa then had a big moment in the fast left-hander at the end of his final flying lap, which ensured any faint hope he had of making Q2 was lost.

His team-mate Lance Stroll was 18th ahead of Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein, who also had a minor brush with the wall at the penultimate complex of corners.

Marcus Ericsson was last in the second Sauber, and will be given a five-place grid penalty thanks to a gearbox change triggered by damage suffered when he hit the wall during free practice three.

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