Charles Leclerc will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole position after Max Verstappen had to abort his final flying lap at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Rain earlier in the day meant the track was still drying as the drivers headed out for the first part of qualifying. Several had spins early on, but all were able to avoid contact with the barriers.
A Fernando Alonso spin late in Q1 brought out the yellow flags, forcing some of the field to back up on the final flying laps, while Esteban Ocon’s hopes of progressing were dealt a blow when he suffered a braking issue.
In Q2, Lance Stroll was then first of the drivers to try to make the switch to slick tyres, but the Canadian struggled for grip and had to use one of the runoff areas, as did his teammate Sebastian Vettel.
Mercedes kept both of their drivers on the mediums, and while Lewis Hamilton had enough pace to progress to the top 10, George Russell couldn’t find enough speed.
Verstappen appeared to be in contention for pole position as he looked to set his final lap of the session, but his team called him into the pitlane, preventing him from completing the lap. It’s understood the decision was due to concerns he wouldn’t have enough fuel left in his car to provide a fuel sample to the scrutineers.
The move left the reigning champion down in eighth, while Hamilton couldn’t match Leclerc’s pace, but he did do enough to secure his first top three start of the season.
Provisional qualifying result:
1 Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
5. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
6. Lando Norris (McLaren)
7. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
8. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
9. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
10. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
11. George Russell (Mercedes)
12. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
13. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
14. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
15. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)
16. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
17. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
18. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
19. Alex Albon (Williams)
20. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)