- Charles Leclerc scored his third straight pole position in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday, edging out Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel with his final lap in Q3.

- Leclerc took pole despite making a couple of errors on his lap and almost losing the car, ultimately finishing 0.191s up on Hamilton. He now has more pole positions than any other driver this year (5).

- Hamilton asked Leclerc about his qualifying record this year in the post-race press conference. When he was told he was up to five in total and three-in-a-row, Hamilton replied: “S**t!”

- The result came as a surprise to Ferrari after the team struggled through practice on Friday, with Leclerc in particular citing a lack of confidence with the SF90 car around the streets of Marina Bay: “I’m very surprised because even though we knew that there were was a bit more to come we didn’t expect to challenge Mercedes or Red Bull.”

- Much of Ferrari’s improvement since the last high-downforce circuit – Hungary – was put down to the update on the SF90 this weekend, helping cure some of woes that had blighted the car through much of the season. Both Leclerc and teammate Sebastian Vettel (P3) were pleased with the package on the car.

- Hamilton was surprised by how much Ferrari had gained since Hungary, admitting he’d been focusing more on Red Bull as a threat heading into the weekend: “Of course we were not expecting to have such a strong performance from them and have that deficit to them, but they did a great job. I’m grateful that I was able to split them, only just, but we were definitely lacking pace today.”

- Vettel had sat on provisional pole after the opening runs in Q3 by three-tenths of a second, only for a scruffy second lap to force him to abandon his final lap. “Already in Sector 1 I had lost a bit then was playing catch-up,” Vettel said. “I was trying to take more and more risks throughout the lap which didn’t pay off, and then the last lap obviously didn’t come together.”

- Despite a quick first effort in Q3, Max Verstappen fell away through his second run, leaving him almost six-tenths of a second off the pole time for Red Bull. ““From my side I think already the whole qualifying we were just lacking pace,” Verstappen said. “I was not too surprised and in Q3 when everything gets turned up then you lack even more.” Teammate Alexander Albon finished sixth, two-tenths off his teammate’s time.

- Valtteri Bottas was left disappointed after finishing seven-tenths of a second off Hamilton’s Q3 time in the sister Mercedes car, albeit after being surprised when his teammate overtook him while he was preparing a final lap. Bottas appeared to be heard calling Hamilton a “shithead” over team radio after completing his lap.

- “I think Lewis didn’t know there was a car ahead of me, he thought I was just going slow for fun, but obviously it was incorrect,” Bottas explained. “Then he got ahead, so I had to slow down again. We’ve discussed that internally, to make sure there are ways to make it never happen again, basically. But, no, it was not planned.”

- Carlos Sainz led the midfield fight for McLaren in P7, with teammate Lando Norris finishing P10 in Q3 after making a number of errors on his final lap, leaving him half a second adrift. The pair were split by the Renaults.

- However, Norris may be due to gain a position as a result of Daniel Ricciardo’s anticipated exclusion from qualifying over an MGU-K power spike during Q1, which remains under investigation with the stewards at the time of writing.

- Sergio Perez will drop five places on the grid as a result of a gearbox change earlier in the day. The Mexican qualified 11th for Racing Point, meaning he will start P15 once Ricciardo’s exclusion is applied.

- Kimi Raikkonen finished 14th for Alfa Romeo following a hit with the wall in Q2, but brushed it off after the session, saying only the front wing was damaged and that he was not aware of any other impact on his result. He was beaten by teammate Antonio Giovinazzi, with both drivers set to gain two places on their qualifying spots.

- After Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko revealed the plan to keep Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso for 2020, the Russian driver said he felt no disappointment to have missed out on a return to Red Bull: “I’ve done my work. Whatever work they give me, I do it. They give me work in Toro Rosso, I'll do my job in Toro Rosso as good as possible. If they give me a job somewhere else, I'll try to do my job as good as possible somewhere else.”

- The 2019 Singapore Grand Prix gets underway at 2010 local time on Sunday (1310 BST).

 

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