Charles Leclerc took F1 Singapore GP pole from Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton, as Max Verstappen ended up only eighth.
The first part in F1 Singapore GP qualifying at Marina Bay circuit saw intermediate tyres for all with the track still damp despite no rain in the air. Mercedes got the ball rolling very early on as everybody took some time to find the right grip.
There were moments from multiple drivers which included Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Williams’ Alexander Albon, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. But there were no major trouble for anyone in the session.
Verstappen set the pace with a 1m53.057s from Hamilton and Leclerc in the Top 3, as there was a major fall for Alpine’s Esteban Ocon (1m56.337s) who looked solid all-through. He ended up only 18th behind Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas (1m56.083s) and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo (1m56.226s).
The Top 20 was rounded out by the Williams pair of Alexander Albon (1m56.985s) and Nicholas Latifi (1m57.532s), as replays showed a minor barrier moment for Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel. Also, Bottas was knocked out after a late lap from Haas’ Mick Schumacher.
The second part in F1 Singapore GP qualifying saw intermediate tyres again to start the session. There was a moment for Haas’ Schumacher and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, where the latter had his while he switched to soft compound to try the slicks.
Only Aston Martin drivers and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu opted to use the soft compound where the trio did make it in Q3. Ferrari’s Leclerc set the pace with a 1m52.343s lap as Mercedes’ Hamilton and Red Bull’s Verstappen rounded out the Top 3.
While Hamilton shone well, teammate George Russell was knocked out in Q2 in 11th with a 1m54.012s lap as the gamble from Aston Martin didn’t work with Stroll (1m54.211s) in 12th from Schumacher (1m54.370s), Sebastian Vettel (1m54.380s) and Guanyu (1m55.318s) – where the German had a moment on his final lap.
The final part in F1 Singapore GP qualifying saw eight drivers on the slick tyres, while AlphaTauri’s Yuki Ysunoda and Haas’ Magnussen on the intermediate tyre still. But they changed to slick compound after setting an early lap on the inters.
The fight for pole was on with Mercedes’ Hamilton throwing the challenge to both Red Bull and Ferrari drivers. The Brit was provisionally on pole with a 1m51.019 lap ahead of Verstappen and Sergio Perez, but the order kept changing until the end.
Verstappen looked to take pole on his penultimate lap with purple sectors but a wide moment in the final sector meant he had to abort and go again. He was looking good for a Top 3 finish, but was asked to pit by his team on the radio.
Despite asking why, Verstappen was told that they will discuss internally, but the likely reason could be fuel related. He ended up eighth as Leclerc (1m49.412s) took F1 Singapore GP pole from Perez (1m49.434s) and Hamilton (1m49.466s) – where the Top 3 were separated by 0.054s.
Perez missed pole by 0.022s, with Sainz (1m49.583s) ending up fourth from Alpine’s Fernando Alonso (1m49.966s), McLaren’s Lando Norris (1m50.584s), AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly (1m51.211s), Verstappen (1m51.395s), Magnussen (1m51.573s) and Tsunoda (1m51.983s) in the Top 10.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 1, 2022