Lewis Hamilton: "I could not get any more out of the car"

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Sebastian Vettel showed his mastery of the Marina Bay circuit to take pole position Saturday for the Singapore Grand Prix, while championship rival Lewis Hamilton struggled throughout and finished fifth.

The Red Bull drivers had been fastest all weekend but Vettel found some extra pace in final qualifying to take pole.

"I don't know when they went to bed, probably around lunchtime". And three behind the Red Bulls.

"I believe Singapore won't be our only chance but is one of our best chances of a win in the second half of the season", said Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

"I love this track. But then the conditions this evening helped us and the vehicle really came alive as the track improved".

Ricciardo finished second on the Singapore podium a year ago, and he merely smiled when asked about the possibility of staving off the Mercedes and Ferrari challenge come race day.

"If we look at Budapest and Monaco, for example, we have been struggling", Bottas said. He threw the Ferrari at the track, taking huge speed into the 23 slow corners that define Marina Bay and he executed it to within inches of the walls, including just kissing one.

"Tomorrow is a long race and these guys [Red Bull] are very quick". "Every year it's been hard for us generally. I'm sure it will be close tomorrow but how it will be exactly I don't know".

After leading FP3, Q1 and Q2, Verstappen looked in good shape for pole, but ultimately could not match Vettel's stunning final effort in Q3.

This is pretty expected, I'm not surprised, this is the way I wanted to start the weekend. "We'll see what happens after Turn 1".

And Ricciardo offered: "I'm a little envious today".

In addition, at a circuit not reliant on power, they managed to get both cars inside the top 10 with Fernando Alonso to start eighth and Stoffel Vandoorne ninth.

Bottas, although just one place behind Hamilton with a sixth-place qualifying spot, was seven tenths of a second behind his teammate - a country mile in Formula One terms.

Asked whether he expected the Marina Bay Street Circuit to suit the W08 vehicle the least of the remaining tracks, Hamilton said: "I don't know, I don't know where Ferrari have picked up their pace. I knew we had it in us but we had to get there". I gave it everything today but I could not get any more out of the vehicle, I squeezed it until it was dry.

The key will be trying to leapfrog at least one auto right at the start, and Hamilton said that anything can happen.

Nico Hulkenberg put his works Renault F1 vehicle at the head of the fourth row of the grid ahead of Fernando Alonso's McLaren-Honda.

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