Vettel takes Singapore pole, Ricciardo 3rd

Lauda banking on Ferrari in Singapore

Max Verstappen has said he will not be changing his attacking style at all as Red Bull prepare to have a say in the latest chapter of the Mercedes and Ferrari title battle.

But he is now in a great position to claim his fifth win in Singapore, while Hamilton will be up against it when he starts from the third row of the grid.

The Dutchman followed up on an encouraging Friday - as Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo topped both practice sessions - to lead the way in final practice before posting the fastest time in the first two segments of qualifying. "I said the Ferrari could be a problem, and now it's Red Bull", Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda told Sky Sports television.

"I knew we'd come here with a good auto".

"We know we still have to work hard to improve [in qualifying] - it is still not where Ferrari and Mercedes is".

"You might have to carry us out of the cars tomorrow but I'm sure I'll have a very strong race and get some big points".

"We made some progress from the morning and even though we were the quickest in FP1, I still wanted to get more out of the vehicle and the set up in the afternoon. I threw the sink at it and squeezed every bit of it".

"I definitely learned lots from the long runs, we tried a lot of different things because, actually, my target was for much more laps than I actually did".

Qualifying got off to a slow start after a fire in a Porsche Carrera Cup race left oil on the track at Turn 20, making conditions treacherous.

Verstappen and Ricciardo led the Ferrari pair and Hamilton into the top 10 shoot-out, and the Dutch teenager soon gunned to 1:39.814 - before being eclipsed by Vettel's 1:39.669.

With four times world champion Vettel three cars ahead and favorite for his fourth Singapore success on Sunday, Hamilton will be hoping for damage limitation before returning to more favorable tracks.

Speaking afterwards, Verstappen said: "It's a shame we couldn't put it on pole but we were quite close".

There was a flurry of activity when the session was restarted, with Vettel setting the fastest first and second sectors to go quickest with a 1m41.901s, 0.348s quicker than Verstappen.

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