Singapore: Lewis Hamilton tightened his grip on securing a fifth Formula One (F1) world title by coming from nowhere to claim a stunning pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix in his Mercedes, Saturday.
The Briton, 30 points clear of closest rival Sebastian Vettel with seven rounds remaining, lapped the Marina Bay Street Circuit in 1:36.015 to claim a record-extending 79th pole position, 0.319 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
“That lap felt like magic. I don’t really know where it came from,” Hamilton said after the qualifying. “It was just perfectly to the limit. It felt like one of the best laps I can remember feeling,” he added.
The Ferrari pairing of Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen had set the pace for most of the weekend but the German could manage only third place, more than half a second down, and will start alongside Mercedes’s Valtteri Bottas, who was fourth fastest.
Vettel is also seeking a fifth world title and while he remains a huge threat in a very competitive car, the German was disappointed not to have been able to capitalise on the dominance Ferrari had over their rivals in practice.