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Red Bull's Ricciardo sets early Singapore pace — Motor racing
16 Setiembre 2017, 11:15 | Crisanna Felipe
F1: Hamilton takes the lead with Monza win
Daniel Ricciardo, who topped both P1 and P2 for Red Bull, will start from third on the grid after managing to edge out the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who will go from fourth on Sunday.
Vettel trailed home in third place, more than half a minute behind the Briton, and lost the overall lead he had enjoyed all season with Hamilton now three points clear and seven races remaining.
Red Bull consider the Singaporerace as one of their best venues to secure a second victory of the season following Ricciardo's success in Baku in June.
"We were obviously close with the field today and we have still got some improvements to make with the car", Hamilton said.
"It's not going to be the easiest of weekends, but man I'm coming with positivity and with the plan of winning this race", said Hamilton. "Seb turned it on in qualifying but I'm looking forward to tomorrow", said the Australian. For the first time in 2017 the German does not lead the drivers' championship but is widely expected to still be the man to beat on Sunday.
Saying he feels he "absolutely" has a good chance of securing pole position on Saturday, Ricciardo is further encouraged by the potential he feels in the car and by his race pace. If I perform well, there's going to be no problem, and we can have a long future together. The car was amazing.
"You can't overtake on this track, and the cars are wider so positioning is definitely very important". "With that in mind, his results have been probably even more impressive".
Ferrari looked off the pace in the Free Practice sessions, with Vettel in particular only managing P11 in FP2 as Ricciardo finished fastest.
Ricciardo had already crushed his lap record from last year by nearly five seconds in the afternoon's first practice, and then went two seconds quicker in the second practice.
The gap between the Englishman and team-mate Hulkenberg in second qualifying 0.83secs, illustrating why Renault have decided to drop Palmer for next season and replace him with Sainz. But Vettel, who with four wins is also the most successful driver at Singapore, played down the 'favourites' tag. "As I said many times whatever I do next year is because I want to win".
Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is clearly feeling the heat in Singapore - the Mercedes driver moaned repeatedly about the 32°C weather at the Hugo Boss meet-and-greet session poolside yesterday at the Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore.
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