Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Purple patch for Lewis Hamilton in Singapore

Purple patch for Lewis Hamilton in Singapore

Lewis Hamilton tightened his grip on securing a fifth Formula One world title by coming from nowhere to claim a stunning pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix in his Mercedes on Saturday.

Ferrari erred by opting for ultrasoft tyres on Vettel's first pit stop while Mercedes went for the longer lasting softs for Hamilton, proving to be the difference in the end.

But when speaking to Sky Sports after the race, Verstappen felt that, all things considered, he was content with second and that attempting to squeeze past Hamilton in that situation would not have been right. The British driver had nailed an extraordinary lap to take pole.

"No chance, we are again too late, " Vettel complained over team radio, taking another apparent swipe at team strategy.

Britain's Lewis Hamilton extends his F1 championship lead as he makes most of pole position in Singapore. Given the latent performance in his Ferrari, and his form at this circuit over the years, it is entirely achievable regardless of the mistake on Friday night.

"I was a little bit concerned", he said.

"It was really special, I don't think there was a bad moment in the lap, it was just ideal", he added. "So it was really quite a monumental moment for us as a team". "Definitely didn't expect to come to Singapore with 10 points more", he said.

"I think it's very close".

"It's not what we wanted today to get third".

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Asked what Mercedes is doing better than his Ferrari team, Sebastian Vettel chose not to go into detail. They still have the quicker vehicle yet are failing to exploit it and the German is becoming frustrated as the title looks to be slipping away.

They brought Vettel in on lap 14 and switched him on to the ultra-soft tyres, hoping to benefit from the rubber's extra pace on its initial laps.

It proved to be one incident on a dismal day for Force India.

Hamilton had to fend off an attack from Verstappen into Turn Seven as a result, which he just managed to do, and Grosjean was later given a five-second penalty for his misdemeanour. But the team had a great strategy and we could get back into second and basically did our own race.

"It was clear we were not fast enough in the race, we need to understand why".

A unique set of challenges makes the steamy track in the heat and humidity of Singapore's tropical climate the toughest physical test of the season.

Great performance though Hamilton's was to secure the pole in a Mercedes that, like a year ago, was generally unsuited to the track's characteristics, in reality Ferrari had presented him with an open goal.

The trio were closely-matched throughout but never seriously battled for position. From FP3 onwards I was shaking with anger and now I'm shaking with happiness.

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