Leclerc beats Hamilton to claim third pole position in a row in Singapore!

21-09-2019 15:00 | Updated: 21-09-2019 15:42
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
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Leclerc beats Hamilton to claim third pole position in a row in Singapore!

Ferrari star Charles Leclerc has made it three pole positions in a row since the summer break in Singapore, as the Monegasque beat Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and teammate Sebastian Vettel under the floodlights at the Marina Bay Circuit.

The 21-year-old was initially beaten by Vettel in the first run of Q3 but beat the German by two-tenths in his second and final run as he looks to make it three wins in a row for himself and Ferrari.

Hamilton was initially a full second off the pace but found an extra gear to beat Vettel to the front row, although last season's winner just didn't have the car underneath him to challenge Leclerc for pole position.

Max Verstappen, one of the dark horses for pole position heading into the weekend, just wasn't at the races, as the Dutchman put in the fourth quickest time, with Carlos Sainz leading Daniel Ricciardo in the midfield scrap in P7 and P8 respectively.


The first of the three qualifying sessions was led by a Ferrari one-two, with Leclerc setting the tone with a 1:38.014. Then, in their second run, the Mercedes duo did exactly the same, with Valtteri Bottas leading Hamilton with an impressive 1:37.317.

Carlos Sainz, who said at the start of Q1 that he was losing power, put his McLaren in P7, behind rookie teammate Lando Norris, as the papaya orange duo set the pace in midfield yet again.

Down in the elimination zone, George Russell and Robert Kubica expectedly were in P19 and P20 respectively, Romain Grosjean was in P18 as he grazed the wall on his hot lap. Lance Stroll again will be disappointed not to make it out of Q1, with SportPesa Racing Point's upgrade package as well, and Daniil Kvyat will probably not care too much in P16 as he is set to receive a grid penalty anyway.


Q2 gave us a better idea of just how close the field is at the top. Just 0.159s separated Leclerc in P1, Hamilton in P2 and Verstappen in P3, with Bottas and Vettel following suit and Alexander Albon down in P7, underneath fellow rookie Norris. Kimi Raikkonen provided some oh's and ah's as he grazed the wall. Fortunately, his Alfa Romeo was alright.

Although Vettel improved in his second run, Leclerc again pipped the German, this time by 0.070s as Ferrari ended Q2 with a one-two. No real improvements across the board apart from there, with Sergio Pérez climbing to P11 ahead of his likely grid penalty. 

It meant the end of qualifying for both Alfa Romeo drivers, with Antonio Giovinazzi in P12 and Raikkonen in P14, as well as for Pierre Gasly in P13 and Kevin Magnussen in P15. That meant both McLarens and Renaults were through to the final shoot-out in Q3.


Early in Q3, the benchmark was set by an absolutely sensational lap by Vettel. The German flew over the Singapore streets and put in a massive 1:36.437, which was over three-tenths quicker than Leclerc in P2.

However, in the second run, both Leclerc and Hamilton found a gear or two extra and beat Vettel's amazing time, as the four-time champion himself couldn't improve in the final shoot-out. 

Leclerc put in a mega 1:36.217, and Hamilton followed by just under two-tenths, beating Vettel by a mere 0.029s. Verstappen was over half a second behind the pack in P4, with Bottas almost a full second slower in P5 and Albon 1.1s off in P6.

In the midfield, Sainz reigned supreme as he beat the two Renaults to P7, as he led Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg, with Norris closing out the top ten.

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