Friday, 24 November, 2017

Verstappen: Red Bull in a promising position to fight Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel Sebastian Vettel is three points behind leader Lewis Hamilton
Vera Richards | 17 September, 2017, 00:47

Ferrari driver Vettel set a time quick enough for pole position on his first run in Q3, during which all drivers used ultra-soft rubber, with a 1m39.669s. "The final lap wasn't great but we were close so I am happy with that".

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.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen will start fourth with Hamilton, who leads Vettel by just three points in the standings, fifth ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Ricciardo, a victor in Azerbaijan in June, also remained confident.

"I still believe we can win - I'm still confident we'll get victory", said Ricciardo, who has finished on the podium in the last three straight races in Singapore and came within half a second of victory past year.

Asked if he could take comfort from the fact Singapore is likely to be Mercedes worst circuit in the title run-in, he said: "I don't know where Ferrari has picked up that pace.

We are still not where Ferrari or Mercedes is".

We knew coming here it would be hard.

"We made some progress from the morning and even though we were the quickest in FP1, I still wanted to get more out of the vehicle and the set up in the afternoon". Qualifying also is just constant improvement, even though the whole weekend we were a bit down on power, I don't know why we couldn't really solve it.

"You always hope for better but probably its realistically where we are in Singapore", said team boss Toto Wolff. If we can get a good start, hopefully we can give them a hard time.

Hamilton, who took a record 69th career pole at Monza by a huge margin, never looked in contention.

Ricciardo, who was targeting a dominant weekend for Red Bull after his Friday form, was disappointed to qualify only third with a 1:39.840. "So I needed to control the slides and the wheel slips more than I would wanted to and the pace is just slow", Bottas explained.

Nico Hulkenberg is seventh in his Renault and will start alongside the McLaren of Fernando Alonso.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz, set to move to the works Renault team next year, rounded out the top 10 for Toro Rosso.

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