Vettel turns on the style to snatch Singapore pole

Vettel timed a record 1min 39.491sec at the floodlit Marina Bay street circuit

Hamilton, whose slender three-point title lead over Vettel looks likely to be overhauled on Sunday, admits he must now play the "long game" in an attempt to work his way to the podium. 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", a breathless Vettel, who let out a loud whoop of joy over the team-radio, said after he stepped out of the auto. "The auto was tricky but it came alive and it got better and better as the night progressed, so really happy we got it done".

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

There were few smiles at Mercedes, with the champions arriving in Singapore fearing it would be a tough weekend but secretly hoping for better. But I think tomorrow if we at least jump one at the start and put some pressure on, we'll get them.

Bottas says of the deal: "I've been very impressed by the mentality, commitment and the team spirit this team holds".

"I'm happy that we got the auto where it deserved to be and then we can take it from there".

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Ferrari was tipped to dominate, only for Ricciardo to sweep both practice sessions on Friday, finishing half a second clear of the pack in FP2 and head up a one-two finish for Red Bull. "There seems to be a certain pattern that some cars go better on the slow, twisty stuff".

"The drivers extracted everything there was from the vehicle - we've been quickest in every single session this weekend, and then the one that really counts. we just don't have that last little bit", he reflected.

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

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

"I don't know where Ferrari have picked up that pace".

Nico Hulkenberg was best of the rest in seventh for Renault, with Valtteri Bottas failing to improve on his final run and ending up six tenths adrift of Mercedes teammate Hamilton.

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