Red Bull confident victory still in their grasp

Lauda banking on Ferrari in Singapore

Daniel Ricciardo expects 'tight' three-way Singapore scrap

Vettel, who lost the lead to Hamilton at the previous race in Italy, is a four times victor in Singapore and the pole was also his fourth in the city state as well as the 49th of his Formula One career. In Q3, Vettel snatched the initiative from the Red Bull drivers with two stunning laps, meaning three cars will start between the lead Ferrari and Hamilton.

Hamilton, whose slender three-point title lead over Vettel looks likely to be overhauled on Sunday, admits he must now play the "long game" in an attempt to work his way to the podium.

Ricciardo, a victor in Azerbaijan in June, also remained confident.

Bottas says of the deal: "I've been very impressed by the mentality, commitment and the team spirit this team holds".

"We are not too far off so I can be quite happy with this qualifying", said the Dutchman of his 1:39.814 effort that secured a second-place starting slot alongside Vettel on the front row. "It's hard to know what to predict at this track".

As expected, Mercedes struggled to replicate its usual performance levels throughout qualifying in Singapore, which started with Red Bull seemingly in control.

"I'm happy that we got the vehicle where it deserved to be and then we can take it from there".

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. "I know the challenge tomorrow will potentially be stronger from Ferrari and Mercedes, but I'm confident we can stay there". The auto was tricky but was getting better, better and better. We definitely didn't anticipate Ferrari would be as strong as they were, I thought Red Bull would be as quick as they were but we remained hopeful. "And that is Ferrari and Red Bull". "So I needed to control the slides and the wheel slips more than I would wanted to and the pace is just slow", Bottas explained.

"I think I did just not as much Sebastian", Verstappen conceded.

Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne and Carlos Sainz Jr rounded out the top 10 - the latter showing Renault exactly what they will be getting when he moves from Toro Rosso for 2018.

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