Vettel fails to keep up with Hamilton

Cheryl Sanders
September 17, 2017

A confident Daniel Ricciardo says he expects Red Bull to convert their dominant Friday advantage into a race victory this weekend.

Ferrari had built slowly through the practice sessions on Friday but Vettel expected the auto to improve and he was second quickest to Red Bull's Max Verstappen on Saturday morning, before saving the best until last in Q3.

Formula 1's wait for its first teenager to start on pole position will continue after Max Verstappen lost out to Sebastian Vettel in the final stage of qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday night.

"We knew coming here it would be hard", he told Sky Sports F1. "I didn't think I'd be this far off". Ferrari, and especially Sebastian Vettel, had other ideas. I was fighting and trying to get a good lap, but [it was] easy to make mistakes and easy to lose lap time.

"I think Seb turned it on in qualifying but I'm looking forward to tomorrow".

Red Bull looked well ahead of their rivals over one lap and, even more promisingly, held their own on the long runs, too.

One thing is for certain though: it's certainly not to Verstappen or Ricciardo's tastes.

Many media reports had said that Renault had told Red Bull the company no longer wanted to supply the team after 2018.

Red Bull are already connected to sportscar maker Aston Martin, with whom they are developing a road auto. "If he can get on the front row, Danny Ric has to be odds-on favourite".

Despite saying he "threw the sink at it" around the demanding street circuit, Hamilton could only manage fifth on the grid as Mercedes were comfortably outqualified by Ferrari and Red Bull.

Vettel's impressive streak at the night race includes three straight wins from 2011-13 during his run of four straight F1 titles with former team Red Bull.

"I'm not going to look at the start in any different way to normal", Vettel said. Red Bull will still fancy their chances tomorrow as they have strong race pace.

"Anything beyond that is speculation, conjecture, and there will be all kinds of rumours, I'm sure, between now and then", the Briton added.

Minister Iswaran said the net cost of the race was S$135 million, with the state absorbing 60% of the cost and the private Singapore GP company shouldering the balance.

The Dutchman clocked 1 minute 41.829 seconds on the 5.065-kilometre Marina Bay Circuit. "The auto was not quite there where it should be and the Red Bulls seem to be quite a lot quicker, at least at this point of the weekend".

"It's the worst case for us", Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff said. "It is not the easiest auto to set up right".

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