Singapore, Oct 1 (EFE).- Monaco’s Charles Leclerc, driving for Ferrari, finished first on Saturday in the Singapore Grand Prix qualification trials at the Marina Bay raceway, coming in ahead of Mexico’s Sergio Perez, with Red Bull, who finished second.
Leclerc grabbed the coveted pole position for the 17th time in his career, his ninth such achievement of the year, covering the 5,603 meters of the Singapore course in a top time of 1 minute 49.412 seconds, just 22 milliseconds ahead of Perez, known as “Checo,” and 54 milliseconds ahead of British seven-time world F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, driving for Mercedes.
It was Hamilton’s first top-three grid placement so far this season.
During the final qualification session, eight of the final 10 drivers on the track were in the lead at some point during the trials, but ultimately it was Leclerc who emerged on top.
Spaniards Carlos Sainz (with Ferrari) and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso (with Alpine) garnered the fourth and fifth spots for Sunday’s race, where Holland’s Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who is comfortably ahead of the rest of the pack in the standings, could mathematically clinch this year’s title.
Verstappen will start in the eighth slot at Marina Bay on Sunday, after aborting his last lap in the qualification phase, presumably due to being low on fuel.
Britain’s Lando Norris (McLaren) will start sixth, from the third line, at the side of Alonso.
Beside Verstappen, from the fourth line but ahead of him, will be France’s Pierre Gasly, in seventh place, with Alpha Tauri.
Denmark’s Haas driver Kevin Magnussen will start in ninth while Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri), who finished tenth in the time trials, will start Sunday’s contest from the fifth line.
In the 11th through 20th spots will be – in order – George Russell, Lance Stroll, Mick Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Zhou Guanyu, Valterri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi.