Formula 1Other

Charles Leclerc claims his ninth Pole Position of the season at the Singapore GP

4 Mins read
Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc secured his ninth FIA Formula 1 World Championship pole position of the season around the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore as Max Verstappen on his birthday weekend could only manage eighth on the grid for tomorrow’s race after aborting his second run and being told by his Oracle Red Bull Racing team to pit on his third run due to running low on fuel.

Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez will line up on front row of the grid behind Leclerc with Lewis Hamilton putting on an impressive display throughout qualifying to put himself and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team on the second row in third position.

Q1: Williams out, Surprising exit for Esteban Ocon

Before qualifying had begun, Hamilton had been summoned to the stewards for wearing a nose stud which the FIA made clear a few months ago that drivers would not be allowed to wear any kind of jewellery while out on track. This has been ongoing between Hamilton and the FIA for a little while now as the British driver luckily avoided a fine but Mercedes were fined twenty-five thousand euros even though the team claims he wasn’t wearing any jewellery.

All the drivers started the first round of qualifying on the intermediate tyres as Verstappen went quickest in the first session with a 1:53.057 outpacing both Hamilton and Leclerc who were over three tenths behind the Dutchman.

The first round of qualifying saw a surprise exit for BWT Alpine F1 Team’s Esteban Ocon who complained of braking issues on his second run which may have meant that he had to lift and cost on his final lap which would have affected his time as he’ll be starting tomorrow’s race in eighteenth.

Behind the Frenchman for tomorrow’s race will be both Williams Racing drivers Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi who were both knocked out as they couldn’t improve on their first run times.

It is an achievement in itself though that Albon is even racing this weekend following an operation where he had his appendix removed three weeks ago and why he was replaced by Nyck de Vries at Monza, as he faced a race against the clock to be fit for the Singapore which, he has been able to do.

More disappointment for Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo who were the last two drivers to be knocked out of the first round of qualifying as they will start from sixteenth and seventeenth place tomorrow.

Q2: Shock exit for George Russell, Aston Martin out, AlphaTauri through

Leclerc went quickest in the second round of qualifying with a 1:52:343 as he edged out both Hamilton and Verstappen by over three tenths.

But, the main talking point of the second round of qualifying was Russell’s shock exit as he could only manage eleventh on the grid for tomorrow’s race, missing out on a place in the final round of qualifying by just 0.006s.

With around six minutes to go in the session, Leclerc told the Ferrari team that he wanted to put slicks on as he felt the track was drying up however, the team over-ruled him and put him on a fresh pair of intermediate tyres.

Lance Stroll was the first driver to go out on slicks with the soft tyre for his second run. However, they did not pay off for the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team drivers who struggled to get temperature on the dry tyres and which subsequently, knocked both Stroll and Sebastian Vettel out of the second round of qualifying with Stroll even going off track at one point near the end of the session as he was unable to get warmth into his tyres.

Haas F1 Team’s Mick Schumacher and Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN‘s Zhou Guanyu were also knocked out of the second round of qualifying but there was some good news for the Haas team as Magnussen made it into the final round of qualifying and so did both Scuderia AlphaTauri drivers Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda who put in great lap times to make it into the top ten.

Q3: Leclerc on Pole, Verstappen starts tomorrow’s race from eighth

For the final round of qualifying, eight of the ten drivers went out on the soft tyre apart from Kevin Magnussen and Yuki Tsunoda who both decided to stick on the intermediate tyres once again.

After the first run, Lewis Hamilton was on for provisional pole position until the Monegasque driver came back on his second run to topple Hamilton with a 1:49.412 which saw the Scuderia Ferrari driver claim his ninth pole position of the season.

Max Verstappen on the other hand had a poor end to qualifying as he was struggling in the final sector at the Singapore Grand Prix which led to him aborting his second run in an attempt to go for one more push lap however, near the end of the lap, he was told by the team to come into the pit lane as he needed to have at least one litre of fuel in his car in order to comply with regulations which leaves him eighth on the grid for tomorrow and with a lot of work to do.

Perez will line up on the front row with Hamilton and Carlos Sainz behind him on the second row. Fernando Alonso earned himself a fifth-place start for tomorrow’s race alongside McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris in sixth place. Gasly will start in seventh place on the fourth row alongside Verstappen. Magnussen positioned ninth with Tsunoda completing the top ten.

116Charles Leclerc MONScuderia Ferrari1:54.1291:52.3431:49.412
211Sergio Perez MEXOracle Red Bull Racing1:54.4041:52.8181:49.434
344Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:53.1611:52.6911:49.466
455Carlos SainzSPAScuderia Ferrari1:54.5591:53.2191:49.583
514Fernando Alonso SPABWT Alpine F1 Team1:55.3601:53.1271:49.966
64Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1:55.9141:53.9421:50.584
710Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri1:55.6061:53.5461:51.211
81Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1:53.0571:52.7231:51.395
920Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 Team1:55.1031:54.0061:51.573
1022Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri1:55.3141:53.8481:51.983
1163George RussellGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:54.6331:54.012
1218Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team1:55.6291:54.211
1347Mick SchumacherGERHaas F1 Team1:55.7361:54.370
145Sebastian Vettel GERAston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team1:55.6021:54.380
1524Zhou GuanyuCHIAlfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN1:55.3751:55.518
1677Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN1.56:083
173Daniel Ricciardo AUSMcLaren F1 Team1:56.226
1831Esteban Ocon FRABWT Alpine F1 Team1:56.337
1923Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1:56.985
206Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:57.532
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I am 21 years old and a big fan of Formula 1 and Chelsea FC. I write articles for The Checkered Flag and The Chelsea Social. I am a UCFB Graduate in Sports Business and Sport Broadcasting and aspiring to work in the Sports Industry.
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