Sebastian Vettel may have grabbed pole for the Singapore Grand Prix, but Red Bull are are not giving up. To say that Vettel has it in the bag is rather myopic because Qualifying is one thing, the race is a different ballgame. Red Bull certainly have the pace because they topped Q1 and Q2. Daniel Ricciardo even suggests that they have a chance of victory. Ricciardo said.“I am still confident we will get victory. We have a good package. Seb turned it on in qualifying but we will be back tomorrow. Today I will accept a little bit of defeat but there is still a lot to play for. It is on cusp of one or two stops, so it could be exciting.”
The Renault is the 3rd fastest engine behind Mercedes and Ferrari, apart from Honda. But Ricciardo felt that they had a realistic chance at pole. “I thought pole would be on but we couldn’t quite run with him [Vettel] in this qualifying,” Ricciardo added. “It is a long lap, so you gain a bit here and lose a bit there, but three-to-four tenths was quite significant.”
Meanwhile, Max Verstappen lines up in 2nd alongside Vettel with Ricciardo and Raikkonen behind him. The Flying Dutchman was hampered by a gearbox issue but a steering wheel change fixed that. He will be hoping that the issues will not resurface during the race.
“It is a shame we couldn’t put it on pole,” Verstappen said. “The final lap wasn’t great but we were close so I am happy with that. “Qualifying was a constant improvement, even though the whole weekend we were down on power, lost a bit of top speed, so to be second here is very promising. “We know we still have to work hard to improve [in qualifying] – it is still not where Ferrari and Mercedes are.
Max has often been called out for aggressive driving but he insists that he can fight with Vettel. He invoked a variation of Senna’s famous line “If you no longer go for a gap that already exists, you are no longer a racing driver”. But Max admits that if the move cannot be done immediately, he can settle down, as it is a long race.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Bottas could only get as high as the 3rd row on the grid.
So… Who will win the Singapore GP? place your bets, grab your snacks and find the comfiest chair. This is going to be a wild ride, Brace Yourself.