Vettel admits he "peaked too early" after missing out on pole

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco rounding Turn 3 during last night's qualifying for the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix. He set the best time of 1:36.217 despite losing control three times during his flying lap. ST

Many thought it would be a battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen for pole position on Saturday, however, the five-time world champion could only manage second, while the young Dtuchman couldn't beat Sebastian Vettel's time and is in fourth on the grid. "Oh my god! I lost control, I think, three times during the lap".

"Very, very close. It was as much as I could get out the vehicle, and I'm happy to be on the front row in the mix with them".

"It's very good to see (Ferrari) on pole on a track like this, where we really expected to struggle".

And Hamilton admitted that while it was known Ferrari were bringing an upgrade for their vehicle to Singapore, he didn't expect it to result in a boost in performance that would see them have two drivers in the top three. After his first-ever F1 victory in Spa at the Belgian GP, the 21-year-old Leclerc became the first Ferrari driver to win the Italian GP since Fernando Alonso in 2010.

"I don't know where Ferrari picked up their pace, it's not usually one of their circuits", Hamilton said.

"Charles obviously put some great laps in".

While Hamilton already has eight wins this season, his last came at the Hungarian GP in early August.

His relief could be, in part, down to his bad experience in Singapore in his rookie Formula One season a year ago, when he crashed his Sauber into the wall during practice after misjudging the exit from the Anderson Bridge turn.

The Monegasque, 21, victor of the last two races in Belgium and Italy, saw off Hamilton by 0.207 sec. Another victory in Sunday's night race would move the Briton a step closer to his third straight championship and sixth overall, one shy of Michael Schumacher's record of seven titles. His last victory was at the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix.

Hamilton still has a considerable lead in the driver standings going into the race at Singapore, after he has collected 284 points so far this season.

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