Sebastian Vettel claims blistering pole as Lewis Hamilton labours in P5

Lauda banking on Ferrari in Singapore

But the Milton Keynes-based outfit, who could have locked out the front row for the first time since the United States Grand Prix in 2013, were denied by a sensational one minute, 39.491 second lap by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. I think we can actually do very long stints, that's maybe why the pace was quite slow.

A recurring theme of qualifying in 2017 has been Mercedes' and Ferrari's ability to unleash greater performance from their power units in Q3, while Red Bull has often fallen back down the order in the final part of qualifying.

Vettel heads into Sunday's race looking to restore the championship lead he lost in Monza, with closest title rival Lewis Hamilton starting from fifth as Mercedes struggled around the tight and twisty Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Ricciardo suggested Red Bull could dominate the Singapore GP after his strong showing on Friday and still expects victory in Sunday's race, despite only qualifying third. "I love this track, the vehicle was tricky but it came alive and was getting better and better and better as the night progressed, really happy we got it done", said Vettel.

"I'm after a dominant weekend and so far this has been a good start", Ricciardo said.

"And if I tried to push harder than it would get even worse, so it's been a little bit of a confusing weekend so far for me".

"I got everything I could out of the auto - I got everything and more, I literally threw the sink at it".

"We knew today would be tough but I didn't anticipate Ferrari would be as strong as they were".

Red Bull arrived in Singapore hopeful of making the strength of its RB13 vehicle show around the street circuit, expecting to draw closer to usual leaders Ferrari and Mercedes at the front of the pack.

"You always go for it if there is a gap and if it's possible", Verstappen said.

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

"I don't know where Ferrari have picked up that pace", he added.

Nico Hulkenberg was best-of-the rest in seventh for Renault, just ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz, set to move to the works Renault team next year, rounded out the top 10 for Toro Rosso.

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