SINGAPORE – Formula One defending champion Lewis Hamilton of Britain (Mercedes) earned pole position on Saturday for the Singapore Grand Prix, thanks to a truly stellar lap at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
The 2018 championship leader clocked a time of one minute and 36.015 seconds, a full 0.319 seconds ahead of Max Verstappen of the Netherlands (Red Bull).
“Wow, that was a hardcore qualifying session. That lap felt like magic. I’m super overwhelmed. I’m really happy,” Hamilton said after clinching his seventh pole position of the 2018 Formula One season.
Verstappen was upbeat, saying “Honestly, this feels like a victory with the amount of problems I’ve had today!”
Sebastien Vettel of Germany (Ferrari) came third, 0.613 seconds off the pace, and will start Sunday’s race from the second row despite being fastest in the third free practice.
“Not ideal... For us it was a bit of a messy qualifying session. Not what I wanted, not what we wanted,” Vettel, currently second in the driver standings, said.
Finnish drivers Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) qualified in fourth and fifth respective, 0.687 seconds and 0.779 seconds behind Hamilton.
The Singapore Grand Prix is set to kick off Sunday.