Ferrari's Leclerc stuns with Formula 1 pole position in Singapore

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc claimed a surprise third consecutive Formula 1 pole position after outpacing Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes by 0.191s for the Singapore Grand Prix

Ferrari's Leclerc stuns with Formula 1 pole position in Singapore

With Ferrari's aerodynamic upgrades giving it a significant boost in performance around a circuit that even the team expected would not suit it, Sebastian Vettel set the pace on the first runs in Q3.

But Vettel's second attempt was scruffy, resulting in him aborting to the pits, meaning Leclerc just had to improve on Vettel's previous benchmark.

After the lap, Leclerc claimed over the radio that he lost control three times on the lap in what was a superb attacking performance.

Vettel's final-run struggles allowed Hamilton to secure second place on his final lap, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen ending up fourth and almost four-tenths behind Vettel.

Valtteri Bottas was fifth for Mercedes ahead of Red Bull's Alex Albon, with neither driver able to threaten their team-mates.

McLaren led the way in the midfield battle, with Carlos Sainz Jr taking seventh place ahead of the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo.

Nico Hulkenberg was ninth in the second Renault, 0.065s quicker than the second McLaren of Lando Norris who had been as high as sixth but didn't improve enough on his last flying lap.

Racing Point's Sergio Perez jumped up to 11th at the end of Q2, but missed out on beating Hulkenberg to a Q3 spot by four-hundredths of a second.

Perez has a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change thanks to damage sustained in an FP3 crash, meaning he is currently set to start 16th.

Antonio Giovinazzi and Pierre Gasly both failed to improve on their second runs and ended up 12th and 13th respectively but both well within a tenth of Perez's time.

Gasly reported over the radio that he was struggling with the rear after completing his finaly lap, during which he grazed the wall.

Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen was 14th after setting his best time on his second Q2 run, having slapped the wall with both left-hand-side wheels on his first attempt.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was slowest of those in Q2, lapping eight-tenths behind Raikkonen.

Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat was the quickest of those eliminated in Q1 in 16th having failed to improve on his time set during the first runs.

He was up after the first sector, but lost time thereafter meaning he was unable to recover from Perez bumping him into the dropzone - although he was only 0.015s slower than Magnussen, who did make it through Q1.

Lance Stroll was 17th after only finding 0.209s on his second run in the Racing Point after several light brushes of the wall, which was enough to put him three-tenths clear of Haas driver Romain Grosjean.

George Russell had to abort his final attempt after running wide at the exit of Turn 7, although his first-run time was good enough to put him 19th ahead of Williams team-mate Robert Kubica by three-tenths.

Kubica also did not have a second attempt after just failing to start his final lap before the chequered flag.

Singapore Grand Prix starting grid

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m36.217s -
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m36.408s 0.191s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m36.437s 0.220s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1m36.813s 0.596s
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m37.146s 0.929s
6 Alexander Albon Red Bull/Honda 1m37.411s 1.194s
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 1m37.818s 1.601s
8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m38.264s 2.047s
9 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1m38.329s 2.112s
10 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m38.697s -
11 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m38.699s -
12 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m38.858s -
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m39.650s -
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Honda 1m39.957s -
15 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 1m38.620s -
16 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1m39.979s -
17 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m40.277s -
18 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1m40.867s -
19 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 1m41.186s -
20 Daniel Ricciardo Renault - -
shares
comments
How one team is getting eight more GPs of running in 2019

Previous article

How one team is getting eight more GPs of running in 2019

Next article

Vettel and Hamilton slam reversed grid idea for F1 as "bull****"

Vettel and Hamilton slam reversed grid idea for F1 as "bull****"
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Charles Leclerc
Teams Ferrari
Author Edd Straw
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021