Singapore Grand Prix: Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc takes pole position, championship leader Max Verstappen takes P8

Seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton took P3. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso took P4 and P5 respectively.

Ritesh PathakAuthor

Updated - 01 October 2022 08:18 PM

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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc pipped Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to take the pole position for Singapore Grand Prix. Meanwhile, seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton took P3. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso took P4 and P5 respectively. But it was a disappointing show from championship leader Max Verstappen as he could only manage a P8 finish. 

Leclerc finished .022 seconds ahead of Perez in a sensational conclusion to a wet-dry qualifying session at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Following a rain-hit final practice, conditions improved significantly during the build-up to qualifying and, while intermediates featured in Q1 and Q2, slicks were used across the board for the fastest laps of the decisive Q3 phase.

When it came to the pole position shootout, it was Leclerc who emerged on top amid a flurry of late gains as drivers pushed the limits amid ever-improving grip levels. His 1m 49.412s put him just 0.022s clear of Perez and 0.054s ahead of Hamilton.

Max Verstappen had to abandon a final lap that could have put him in the mix as he was called into the pits by his Red Bull team – leading to a sweary radio message as the reigning world champion took a lowly eighth place. 

McLaren’s Lando Norris and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly capitalised on Verstappen’s drama to take P6 and P7 respectively.  Behind Verstappen, Haas driver Kevin Magnussen and the other AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top 10.

A shock Q2 development saw George Russell drop out in 11th as he struggled to match the pace of teammate Hamilton. Aston Martin pair Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel sandwiched the second Haas of Mick Schumacher in 12th and 14th respectively, with Zhou Guanyu 15th.

Valtteri Bottas fell at the first qualifying hurdle after a late Schumacher improvement demoted him, while Daniel Ricciardo suffered his third Q1 exit in seven weekends, taking 17th. Esteban Ocon had a painful run to 18th – ahead of only Williams' pair Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi – after encountering brake issues.

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