Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Raikkonen: Red Bull Friday pace was misleading

Raikkonen: Red Bull Friday pace was misleading

Ahead of his 20th birthday later this month, Verstappen was aiming to become the first teenager to secure a pole position in Formula 1 in Singapore having topped the final free practice session.

Sebastian Vettel scored the 49th pole position of his F1 career for the Singapore Grand Prix after a stern challenge from the Red Bull-Renault pair of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo while Mercedes struggled with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas fifth and sixth.

Now Mercedes are braced for a Ferrari backlash at the Marina Bay street circuit.

Vettel had struggled considerably during second practice session, placing only 11th under the sticky floodlights.

Meanwhile, Ricciardo had to settle for third, 0.026secs off Verstappen in the sister vehicle, with Kimi Raikkonen fourth in the other Ferrari, two tenths further adrift. "But the races coming up I think we'll be strong".

"Of course, it is a bit distracting if you don't see the right tire temperatures, but I don't think that (Hamilton) has extracted everything from the auto that is probably possible here in Singapore", said Wolff. For Red Bull, qualifying was a double podium, Verstappen was particularly fast in this session.

But the 28-year-old, who won for Red Bull this year in Baku and scored the team's last pole position in Monaco last year, believes his vehicle has an edge over Vettel's Ferrari in race conditions. I squeezed every bit out of it and was just hoping. "They might have to carry us out of the cars tomorrow, but I'm sure we'll have a great strong race and get some big points!"

The very nature of the track means the pole is important here, and few would bet against at least one Red Bull sitting on the front row tomorrow.

"Unbelievable. I'm still full of adrenalin", he said.

In addition, at a circuit not reliant on power, they managed to get both cars inside the top 10 with Fernando Alonso to start eighth and Stoffel Vandoorne ninth.

"This year I stopped eating chicken and then kind of went back to it and now I've stopped again. During the race it will be pretty hard to pass him, so we will have to see on the first lap". I will have to try and see if I can get a good start to pick off at least one vehicle.

Nico Hulkenberg put his works Renault F1 vehicle at the head of the fourth row of the grid ahead of Fernando Alonso's McLaren-Honda.

Behind, Jolyon Palmer finished Q2 in P11 in his Renault, missing out by 0.281secs.

Eliminated in Q1 were Magnussen, Massa, Stroll, Wehrlein and Ericsson.

Daniil Kvyat did improve on his second run, but only by enough to take 13th ahead of the second Force India of Esteban Ocon.

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