Singapore GP: Raikkonen fastest in 2nd practice session

Formula One World Championship

Formula One World Championship

Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas will join Vettel on the second row of the grid. But shortly afterwards Vettel's race engineer told him: "Hamilton reports there's not a lot left of his tyres".

Fernando Alonso: "I'm really happy with seventh position".

Hamilton got the ideal start from pole position as Verstappen was slower away from second on the dirty side of the grid and saw his Red Bull come immediately under pressure from Vettel.

"We can't expect miracles tomorrow because nobody has the pace to lap the others but overall I think it's good to have pace then we see what we can do and how much we can fight".

The Briton maintained breathing space between him and Vettel after the restart, extending it to more than two seconds by lap 13 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Hamilton did have one minor scare on lap 38 when he got caught up behind some back markers and Verstappen closed right up behind him.

"Not ideal, we wanted to get pole", Vettel said. "It felt like one of the best laps I can remember feeling", the Briton added of a 23-turn floodlit circuit that he later described as "Monaco on steroids". I think it's pretty obvious what we tried to do and it didn't work and we got ourselves in trouble with the vehicle that I had to pass on track.

Vettel is also seeking a fifth world title and while he remains a huge threat in a very competitive auto, the German was disappointed not to have been able to capitalise on the dominance Ferrari had over their rivals in practice. "I said before the weekend we can only beat ourselves and today we didn't get everything out of the package".

The German has often made good starts this season and his British Grand Prix victory in July was set up by passing Hamilton on the run to the first corner.

It didn't. When Verstappen was able to subsequently pit and rejoin (just) ahead of the Ferrari - and on the softs that could comfortably make the end of the race - Vettel's attention turned to managing his tyres to avoid having to pit again. There might be something extra in the fact that maybe we weren't quick enough... The race is like to be an one-stopper so what Vettel needs to do is be within two seconds of Hamilton when the pit window opens, which is expected to be around Lap 20 or slightly beyond.

"I was a little but unlucky with the traffic, these guys [Romain Grosjean and Sergey Sirotkin] were moving and it was hard to follow", said Hamilton.

"We knew that they would be spectacular here this weekend and so it was going to take something quite special for us to leapfrog them", he said.

The need for speed: The people of Singapore are the fastest walkers on the planet, at an average of 6.15kph Hamilton's pole position in Singapore was the 200th for an English driver in F1 history.

Verstappen was the next in, nearly colliding again with Vettel into turn three.

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