F1: Leclerc takes pole for Singapore GP as Verstappen closes lap

Associated Press

Saturday, October 1, 2022 18:38
Last updated: about 36 minutes ago

Max Verstappen was gunning for pole position at Saturday’s Singapore Grand Prix, but his Red Bull team aborted his lap with seconds left in qualifying due to fuel problems, leaving Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on pole instead.

“Why? Why? Why?” Verstappen asked when told to go to the box before unleashing a taunt.

He soon found out why.

“They told me to box and I realized what would happen. We ran out of fuel,” Verstappen told Sky. “It’s incredibly frustrating and it shouldn’t be… at least we need to track it through the sessions and know what’s going wrong. should have kept.”

Verstappen wins but starts eighth Starting 14th on the grid this season in Belgium.

He was clearly Leclerc at the time split, but Red Bull called him in as he was about to fall into fuel limit regulations. Drivers may be disqualified if they do not have enough fuel left in their tanks. This means starting from the bottom.

Still, he was clearly dissatisfied with what had happened.

“I am not at all happy at the moment. Of course it is always a team effort and I know I can make mistakes and the team can make mistakes but it is never acceptable. No,’ he said.

Leclerc took his season-leading ninth pole position, finishing .022 ahead of Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez and .054 ahead of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

“It was incredibly close. It was a really exciting session,” said Hamilton. “Really clean qualifying session. It was very difficult to perfect that lap.”

Perez is confident he can challenge for victory.

“Tomorrow we have a chance to attack Charles from the start. We’re going to win,” said Perez. “It’s very disappointing that we didn’t get two hundredths of a second, but in the end I think they did a great job. I’m very happy.

However, Verstappen’s grid position would hurt his chances of winning the title on Sunday on a street track that is difficult to overtake.

“I didn’t think I could get pole position, but it paid off and I’m really happy,” said Leclerc. “It was really, really special. All qualifying on street tracks is maxed out.”

Leclerc called it “it’s only a matter of time before Max wins the title”.

Verstappen has a 116-point lead over Leclerc and will only be able to clinch his second consecutive title if he scores 22 more points than his most realistic challenger, Leclerc.

He must win on Sunday to clinch the title, as well as two other scenarios involving Leclerc. If Verstappen wins, Leclerc could finish inside the ninth place behind him. If Verstappen wins and gets his points bonus for the fastest lap, Leclerc could finish inside eight places behind him.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner responded with anger after an altercation between teams over Red Bull’s alleged breach of the 2021 budget cap.

Hamilton was also summoned to appear before the stewards for possible jewelery violations shortly after the conclusion of the third practice session at the Marina Bay circuit.

The seven-time F1 champion has been cleared after being investigated for alleged violations of Chapter III Appendix L of the FIA’s International Sporting Code, including a ban on wearing jewelry. Hamilton’s Nose The subpoena relating to his studs was previously removed by Hamilton when the FIA’s jewelery ban was applied.

Hamilton explained to the stewards before qualifying began that he had to retain the stud due to complications related to a blood blister on his nose. , the steward accepted his explanation after reviewing the footage.

Meanwhile, two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso will join Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in fifth place in Sunday’s 350th F1 race.

McLaren’s Lando Norris was sixth, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly seventh, Verstappen, Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) tenth.

Williams driver Alex Albon entered the race just three weeks after being hospitalized with appendicitis and then suffering from respiratory failure, qualifying 19th.

He exited Q1 alongside Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon. Bottas starts his 16th, Ricciardo his 17th and Ocon his 18th.

Early on Saturday, Leclerc led a rain-hit third and final practice ahead of Verstappen. Half the session was lost as the marshals swept the water off his 5 km (3.1 mi) track.

Halfway through Q2, some drivers changed to faster slicks, while others stayed on intermediate tyres. Mercedes his driver George Russell started 11th after being knocked out in his Q2 against his four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin). F1: Leclerc takes pole for Singapore GP as Verstappen closes lap

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