Lewis Hamilton Takes Pole Position With Stunning Lap – Qualifying Report And Driver Interviews

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Lewis Hamilton Takes Pole Position With Stunning Lap – Qualifying Report And Driver Interviews

Race Weekend: 2018 Singapore Grand Prix

Session: Qualifying

It’s probably the most talked about lap this year and there’s a good reason for it – it was just stunning. That’s right – Lewis Hamilton delivered despite the Ferrari’s being considered as “the ones to look out for” in Singapore by setting a lap time that no one else could beat – even on their final runs in Q3.

Leaving everyone speechless, there’s no denying that this lap will be one of Lewis Hamilton’s greatest laps and below, you can see what drivers had to say following the Qualifying session earlier today.

You can click Qualifying Press Conference Singapore to see what the top 3 drivers had to say the media too.

DRIVER INTERVIEWS

MERCEDES

Lewis Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton: “That lap just started perfect and it just kept going – it felt magical, it felt like one of the best – if not the best lap I’ve ever done.”

“It’s what my brother and me would call a ‘sexy lap’. I only had that one lap in me today, I just couldn’t go any faster afterwards.”

“This track is all about confidence, confidence in your braking points and the stability of the car, you only have a few laps to build your steps towards it.”

“As soon as you lose it, it’s very hard to build back up to it. So I’m grateful that I had the extra two laps on the HyperSofts in Q2 as I could try and understand the tyre a bit more.”

“In Q3, it really felt like each corner was on the limit, but no more, I didn’t have any wheel spin or any of that.”

“I think the races have generally been quite strong for me this year, so I hope this will continue tomorrow. I’m going to work hard tonight to make sure the start is good.”

“After that it will be all about looking after the tyres; making the HyperSofts last long won’t be easy, but we’re all in the same boat, so it should be interesting.”

“The Ferrari’s and the Red Bulls in particular had good long-run pace, so we have a fight on our hands tomorrow. But I’m just so grateful that we did a better job today and so grateful for the support from everyone in the team today; this journey that I’m on with Mercedes and the entire team is just a remarkable experience.”

Valtteri Bottas

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Valtteri Bottas: “P4 is obviously not ideal, I can’t be happy with today’s result, everything was going pretty well from FP3 all the way up to Q2, but then the others could find big chunks in Q3 and I couldn’t, I just didn’t really feel the track improvement.”

“Lewis put in a great lap, but seven tenths is obviously a big gap, so I will need to have a look and analyse what exactly the issue was.”

“The long-run times between Ferrari, Red Bull and us looked fairly comparable, so it’s a shame I couldn’t qualify higher and attack from the front row.”

“We are definitely more competitive here than we were last year. The car has been improved and we also chose the right set-up direction. So I’m optimistic for tomorrow; it’s a new day and at least one Ferrari will start behind me.”

“We still have a long race ahead of us and I will push hard to try and get ahead of Sebastian. With three teams in the mix, everything is possible.”

“It’s difficult to overtake on this track, so both the start and the strategy will decide who wins this race.”

Toto Wolff – Team Principal

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Toto Wolff: “That was an incredible, horrible session – just a rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish! We nearly dropped out in Q1 after sticking to the UltraSoft tyre, which was a nerve-wracking wait to make sure we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot at the first opportunity.”

“Then Lewis produced one of the most incredible qualifying laps I have witnessed to take pole position.”

“I just have to say a big thank you to all the team back at base in Brackley and Brixworth, who have worked so hard to understand our problems at this circuit and to improve on our weaknesses.”

“It’s incredibly encouraging to see the step forward in understanding we have made, with Valtteri splitting the Ferraris and Lewis right at the sharp end of the grid by a healthy margin.”

“Now we need to put aside the happiness from today because we haven’t scored any points yet this weekend. The real job comes on Sunday and, like we have seen in recent races, the balance can swing very quickly.”

“We will keep our heads down, focus on the job and make sure we deliver tomorrow.”

FERRARI

Sebastian Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel: “Our laps today were not ideal and all in all, our qualifying session was not as good as it could have been. I think we didn’t take the best out of the car.”

“We didn’t have a smooth session, that’s it. The gap seems big but it’s partly because this is a very long track, so I am not worried. I think Lewis had a very good lap but he was not impossible to beat.”

“Obviously, it’s always better to start from the front row, but I think tomorrow it will be fine. The car is good, so I believe we can stay with the group of the cars in front and then we have two hours of racing to work something out.”

“You never know what can happen. Obviously, we should have done better because we had all the ingredients, but today we didn’t put them all together.”

“I’m not completely upset because third is not a disaster, but for sure we wanted to qualify on pole and that was up for grabs today. However, we now turn the page and see how we can fight tomorrow.”

Kimi Raikkonen

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Kimi Raikkonen: “This qualifying was a bit more tricky than we expected. In general, we struggled to ‘switch on’ the tyres straightaway and make them work as easily as it had been all weekend; so I was a bit surprised.”

“Things can change quickly from practice to qualifying, that’s why there’s no reason to look at the lap times in practice, especially in places like this.”

“The end result obviously is not great; this is the kind of circuit where if you get everything right your lap can be very good, but if you have some difficulties, the time difference gets big very quickly.”

“Tomorrow will be a long day, everybody seems to be quite close to each other; it will be a long, tough and a hectic race as it is usually many things happen here.”

“We’ll try to make the right decisions and the right calls.”

Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen

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Max Verstappen: “Today was the best qualifying session I’ve had in Formula 1. Given the engine drive ability issues we faced in Practice and Qualifying, I was very surprised to bring it home in P2.”

“My Q3 lap was really good and we made progress with the set-up in every session which meant that the car felt great at the end. The main step was finding quite a bit of front grip as this helped us a lot in Q2 and Q3.”

“Around here, if you feel it was a good lap with a few mistakes, it usually translates to front row – even with the odd false neutral we managed to be on the front row so Im really happy.”

“If we can take a metre against Lewis at the start and get in the lead, there’s a good chance of a win as it’s a hard track to pass on – you still need luck with Safety Cars but as always, I will try and do my best – I can certainly say that I have put myself in a good position to try.”

Daniel Ricciardo

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Daniel Ricciardo: “It was a strange session and I was surprised that we lost so much pace in Q2, we made some changes in FP3 and Qualifying and initially the car felt really sweet.”

“Everything we changed seemed positive and I thought we would get quicker and quicker as the track evolved but we just lost pace as the session went on so I don’t have any answers to why that happened and it’s really frustrating.”

“Even with the two attempts in Q3, we just couldn’t improve so I felt like I was doing everything right but the lap time wasn’t showing it.”

“It was strange and frustrating but hopefully we can find some answers.”

MCLAREN

Fernando Alonso

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Fernando Alonso: “We have been quite competitive all through the weekend and here in Qualifying, the result is good – we got back to our normal competitiveness and I’m happy about that.”

“We knew that we were borderline on the Q3 cut-off but starting the race from ninth or 10th on the Hypersoft tyres can be a big disadvantage tomorrow as the tyres seem to have a lot of degradation.”

“I’d rather be in 11th with free choice of tyres and hopefully that is something we can benefit from. It would only be worth being in Q3 if we were fifth or sixth.”

“In 10 years of racing here, there has been a 100% record of Safety Car periods and we need to be ready for that in case there’s an opportunity or a window to stop and change the tyres.”

“it’s a long and challenging race tomorrow and we need to stay focused and fight for the points but first, we need to see the chequered flag – reliability wise as we haven’t been too strong recently and that’s something we need to change.”

Stoffel Vandoorne

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Stoffel Vandoorne: “My last run on the new tyres was really messy – from my side. I touched the wall about four times and I think that we should have been in Q2 as that’s when the track is the best but it’s a shame.  I think overall, the car has been OK so that’s good.”

“I tried to squeeze everything out of the car but when you do a bit too much – you then overheat the tyres and the lap time doesn’t come towards you. Here, in Singapore – it’s all about Qualifying.”

“I think our pace is usually a little bit better here than Qualifying – we’ve known that since the start of the year but here it’s very difficult to overtake so we will have to have a good strategy – the key will be to see what the hyper soft tyres can do and to see how long we can make them last.”

“At least now, we have free tyre choice so hopefully, we can gamble the last bit.”

“Anything can happen here in Singapore and there’s 100% chance of a safety car so there’ll probably be one at some point!”

ALFA ROMEO SAUBER

Marcus Ericsson

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Marcus Ericsson: “It was an interesting day for us. In FP3 it was rather difficult and we were not satisfied with our performance. Nevertheless, we headed into qualifying feeling confident and the first session ran smoothly and I was happy with my performance.”

“Unfortunately, Q2 didn’t go as we planned and didn’t go as we wanted it to – I felt good in the car but we couldn’t seem to improve enough to make it through to Q3.”

“The fight in the midfield is very tight and we will have to focus on tyre management and a good strategy to get a positive race result – I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Charles Leclerc

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Charles Leclerc: “It was a positive day overall. We made some improvements between FP3 and Qualifying and we fought our way to Q2.”

“We extracted the maximum out of our car which is always the main target and we can be satisfied with our performance. We have a long tricky race ahead of us and the high temperatures will be a good challenge which I cannot wait to discover.”

Paddock Photos

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