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Red Bull upbeat for Singapore glory

17 September 2017

Sebastian Vettel saw off a strong challenge from Red Bull to take pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix.

But when it came to the final session of qualifying, Sebastian Vettel put together an unbeatable lap time and Ricciardo was also beaten to second place by teammate Max Verstappen.

The Ferrari driver came home with a time of 1:39.491 to give him a shot at victory tomorrow.

Vetttel was expectedly ecstatic after snatching the pole from Red Bull.

"We were obviously close with the field today and we have still got some improvements to make with the vehicle", Hamilton said.

"I definitely didn't anticipate Ferrari to be as strong as they were, I thought Red Bull would be as quick as they were". But I am at the race so I have chefs here.

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A beaming Ricciardo said after practice: "This is pretty expected, I'm not surprised, this is the way I wanted to start the weekend, but nothing is guaranteed".

Vettel cut a grim figure outside the Ferrari garage, reflecting on a night that did not go as planned.

Ferrari's engineers, both at the track and back at the factory in Maranello, had run through numerous set-ups, as test driver Charles Leclerc (who is set to win this year's Formula 2 title and will race for Sauber in F1 in 2018) undertook countless runs in the simulator. "But races aren't won on Saturdays".

Daniel Ricciardo, with six podiums in the last nine races, has looked in great form here - dominating Friday's two practice runs with then-record times and qualifying in third.

Certainly, Red Bull appear to have excellent race pace.

"It's down to us to produce a good vehicle, be competitive and then, of course, why would the drivers want to be anywhere else?" said Horner.

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

"It's the worst case for us", Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff said.

"It just highlights that we still have issues producing enough downforce and mechanical grip at a track like this, so that is an area we really need to work on".

Vettel also believed it would be a close race at the weekend and conceded he knows the Red Bulls will push him.

Red Bull had topped the timesheets in every session leading up to qualifying and had looked on course for their first front row lockout since the U.S. Grand Prix in 2013, with Verstappen also fastest in the opening two phases of qualifying. "As I said many times whatever I do next year is because I want to win".

The other McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne was ninth while Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso-Renault - who will switch to Honda power next year and Sainz will join Hulkenberg at Renault - completed the top ten.

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Red Bull upbeat for Singapore glory