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Verstappen aborts two laps in Q3 as Leclerc clinches pole in Singapore

Verstappen aborts two laps in Q3 as Leclerc clinches pole in Singapore

1 October - 15:00 Last update: 15:04
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Charles Leclerc has qualified on pole position for the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix. Max Verstappen aborted two laps in the second part of Q3, much to his confusion. The Dutchman will start from 8th place on the grid whilst Ferrari start 1st and 4th. Sergio Perez will start on the front row. 

On the inters, Tsunoda led the way after the opening set of laps and none of the soft tyre runners were able to beat him. That was until Hamilton went two seconds faster than the rest of the field on the soft tyres. The other drivers improved on the soft tyres but it was still Hamilton who led the way with four minutes to go. Hamilton couldn't hang on to his advantage as he slipped to P3 on the second run.

The track was relatively green and lacked grip compared to a usual qualifying session in Formula 1. Due to torrential rain, the W-series had to stop five minutes early and FP3 had a 30-minute delay. This rain washed away most of the rubber from Friday's running. The lack of grip meant those who were able to dial in quicker had a major advantage. 

It became one of the most fascinating qualifying sessions in terms of tyre decisions. For a long time, the track remained at intermediate levels with some drivers trying slicks and finding it difficult in Q2. But Red Bull and Ferrari started the final session on the soft tyre. Leclerc made the decsion at the very last second. 

George Russell failed to reach Q3 but aside from that the grid for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix looks normal considering the conditions. The most successful driver on this track, Sebastian Vettel, will start from 14th on the grid after a mistake in Q2 ruined a hot lap.  

Q1

Mercedes rushed down to the pit exit in advance of the green light. Russell and Hamilton were joined by a queue of other drivers suggesting rain was on the forecast or a threat of track conditions getting worse. Intermediate tyres were the choice despite the surface looking almost 100% dry on the perfect racing line. With four minutes reamining, Daniel Ricciardo sat in the drop zone alongside both Williams, both Haas drivers. Immediatly after, Magnussen jumped up to P6 on the grid sending all teams and drivers concern about track evolution. 

The latter stages of Q1 were all about asking whether the track was ready for dry tyres. Some areas, particularly in sector three, were a little bit damp. But all 20 drivers emerged on the inters within the last 90 seconds of the session. Albon had to miss qualifying last time out because he needed emergency surgery. His recovery has been remarkable for the most phyiscal race of the season, but he couldn't escape Q1. Latifi finished one place lower. 

Schumacher was last in the queue and therefore got the best track conditions. The German jumped up to P14 pushing Bottas into the drop zone. He was joined by Ricciardo and Ocon. 

Out - P16 Bottas, P17 Ricciardo, P18 Ocon, P19 Albon, P20 Latifi

Q2

There was less of a rush out of the garage for the start of this session, though the two Ferrari teammates nearly bumped into each other. Intermediate tyres were still the order of the day by all 15 drivers. George Russell had a lock up at turn eight on his first run and therefore sat in the drop zone with seven minutes remaining. Hr was joined by the Haas drivers, Tsunoda and Zhou. Vettel and Gasly sat close to the trap door. 

With six minutes remaining, the session leader Charles Leclerc asked for slick tyres. But Ferrari didn't agree. If it was a bluff, both drivers at Aston Martin opted for the soft tyres to create one of the most fascinating sessions of tyre choices. In his last trip to Singapore as a Formula 1 driver, Vettel was on the pace and looked likely to escape until he needed to use a run off zone after a mistake. 

Russell didn't manage to recover from the mistake and got knocked out by 0.006 seconds whereas Hamilton sat P2 going into Q3. Those two drivers were joined by Stroll, Schumacher and Zhou. 

Out - P11 Russell, P12 Stroll, P13 Schumacher, P14 Vettel, P15 Zhou 

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