Charles Leclerc pulled out a stunning lap in the closing stages of qualifying to score pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday night, beating Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

Leclerc scored his third consecutive pole position and fifth of the season after overcoming provisional pole-sitter Vettel with his final lap in Q3, turning in a final pole time of 1m36.217s.

Vettel had sat on pole by three-tenths of a second after the first Q3 runs, only to make a mistake on his final lap, forcing him to abort and return to the pits.

This opened the door for Leclerc – who claimed to have nearly lost control of his car on multiple occasions on his final lap – and Hamilton to both qualify ahead, leaving Vettel P3, 0.220s off the pole time.

Leclerc now holds more pole positions than any other driver this season, giving Ferrari a boost after a difficult Friday of practice at a track where the team was expected to struggle given the nature of its car.

Max Verstappen took fourth place for Red Bull ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, while Alexander Albon finished over a second off the pace in sixth place.

Carlos Sainz led the midfield runners in seventh for McLaren, outqualifying Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo by two-tenths of a second. Ricciardo was followed by teammate Nico Hulkenberg in ninth, while Lando Norris completed the top 10 for McLaren.

Sergio Perez fell 0.04 seconds short of a place in Q3 for Racing Point, qualifying 11th, but will drop back to P16 on the grid as a result of a gearbox penalty.

Antonio Giovinazzi outqualified Alfa Romeo teammate Kimi Raikkonen for the first time since Silverstone, finishing two-tenths of a second clear in P12. Raikkonen hit the wall on his opening Q2 lap, and was unable to claw back the gap with his second effort, finishing P14 behind Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly. Kevin Magnussen propped up the Q2 order in 15th for Haas.

Daniil Kvyat narrowly missed out on a place in Q2 after failing to improve on his final Q1 lap, leaving him 0.015s shy of Magnussen to qualify 16th for Toro Rosso. Lance Stroll took P17 for Racing Point despite only sitting a tenth off teammate Perez’s time, while Romain Grosjean struggled to 18th for Haas.

George Russell maintained his perfect qualifying record against Williams teammate Robert Kubica this season, finishing 0.3s clear in 19th as the team filled out the final row of the grid once againx.

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

 

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