RACE DEBRIEF

    Denied their second one-two of the season in qualifying, Ferrari nevertheless have plenty of reasons to look forward to Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettel confident of mounting a serious challenge – even if he missed out on a chance to join team mate Charles Leclerc on the front row.

    It was Lewis Hamilton who spoiled the Scuderia’s party at Marina Bay, having split the Ferraris with a Q3 lap to go second – just 0.029s faster than Vettel – on Saturday. Vettel had a “tiny wobble”, which caused him to abort his last flying lap, but still expects a strong performance from the Scuderia in the race.

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    “The final attempt should’ve been better,” said Vettel after qualifying. “Overall the car was making sense, I was feeling good and I was able to improve run by run, so maybe I peaked a bit too early – I think the track was probably a bit faster at the end.

    Sebastian Vettel: Pole and second row 'absolutely' positive for Ferrari

    “Obviously we had a tiny wobble so [there was] no point finishing the lap because I was already quite a bit behind, but yeah, puts us in a good position for tomorrow,” he added.

    Vettel wasn’t the only driver to make a mistake on his qualifying lap, team mate Leclerc admitting he did so three times and McLaren’s Lando Norris calling his mistake a “brain fade”, and the four-time champion remains confident that Ferrari's pace should pay dividends on Sunday.

    “Absolutely, I mean yesterday it didn’t look at all like that, I think yesterday was maybe not the cleanest day, plus we were able to trim the balance today so it came towards us.

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    “If it’s the same feeling in the car as it was today, then the race pace will be a lot better than yesterday, which I think we will also need because yesterday we were quite a bit slower than Mercedes and Red Bull,” he said.

    And while he missed out on pole, out-qualified by team mate Leclerc for the eighth race running, Team Principal Mattia Binotto had words of support for Vettel.

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    “I think [it’s] a shame for him because he did a fantastic first attempt, first run, I think he was doing well in the second up to the last sector… but overall I think he has proved again today that he can be very fast and that is important.

    “He could’ve done better, but I think it’s important for him to know that he can be very, very fast. He knows, but it’s a matter of confidence.”

    Vettel, of course, has solid form when it comes to the Singapore Grand Prix. No other driver has had as many podium finishes – seven – here. And only Hamilton has matched his four victories around the famous floodlit streets.

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