Charles Leclerc secured a hat-trick of pole positions to put his Ferrari at the front of grid for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix.
Formula One's man of the moment continued his dazzling form under the thousands of bulbs that light up the Marina Bay Street Circuit to see off Hamilton's late salvo by just 0.191 seconds.
Vettel had been on provisional pole, but aborted his final run and will start from third with Hamilton splitting the Ferrari cars.
Final Positions after Qualifying:
Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1min 36.217secs
Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:36.408
Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:36.437
Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:36.813
Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:37.146
Alexander Albon (Tha) Red Bull 1:37.411
Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:37.818
Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:38.095
Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:38.264
Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:38.329
Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:38.620
Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:38.697
Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:38.699
Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:38.858
Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:39.650
Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:39.957
Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:39.979
Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:40.277
George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:40.867
Robert Kubica (Pol) Williams 1:41.186
Not since 2011 has Lewis Hamilton had this few pole positions
By round 15. Despite his dominance of the championship this year, that tells you that a) there is increased competition on one-lap pace around him and b) he has not really been fully on his game this year on Saturdays.
And on that note, I will leave you. I'll be back tomorrow about midday for the race liveblog. See you then and thanks for joining me.
That is Charles Leclerc's fifth pole position of the season
Hamilton has four. Bottas has four. Verstappen has one and Vettel has one. When was the last time Lewis Hamilton only had four poles after 15 rounds? It has to be 2013. Even then, his first year at Mercedes, they were very quick in qualifying and I think he had four by then. Let me check...
That lap says an awful lot about Leclerc
And also the state of play at Ferrari. Vettel put in a brilliant lap in the first part of Q3 but made a mess of his second run. Leclerc needed to make up more than three-tenths of a second to dislodge Vettel. In the end he made up pretty much an entire half of a second with a lap that was on the ragged edge. He said he thought he'd lost it three times. What a driver this guy is turning out to be.
Well, that was a surprising result
Ferrari came here with a new upgraded aero package. Traditionally they have been quick on the low downforce tracks and after victories in Monza and Spa everyone really thought they'd struggle here. But they didn't. Talk on Sky Sports F1 about what this means for the rest of the season (i.e. Ferrari will be in contention at tracks where they were not expected to be) but I am not so sure. Singapore (as Mercedes boss Toto Wolff just said) is a strange track and it's quite of point-and-squirt 90 degree turns. Still, to be this competitive at a track like this is a very good sign for them.
Vettel reacts to third place
The final attempt should have been better. I was feeling good and was able to improve run by run. Maybe peaked a bit too early. I had a tiny wobble and there was no point finishing the lap. It puts us in a good position for tomorrow. I think it should be a good race, so let's see what the tyres will do if we are able to push the full two hours of if we have to manage.
Hamilton reacts to his front row
I don't know where Ferrari picked up their pace today. They did a great job, Charles obviously put some great laps in. I gave it absolutely everything I had. It was as much as I could get out of the car and I am really happy to be on the front row. Tomorrow we can be aggressive.
Leclerc reacts to pole position
I am extremely happy about today. It was a very good lap but there were some moments where I thought i lost the car. I would like to thank the team so much for what they have done. The team have done an amazing job to bring the package we needed. We brought some new bits that worked properly that was good to see. It's not always the case. We had a very tough Friday. I didn't feel comfortable in the car. But we worked quite hard and today paid off.
Renault found some time there. Albon improves to get closer to Verstappen. Decent.
CHARLES LECLERC TAKES POLE POSITION FOR THE 2019 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX!
Hamilton finds enough time to get on the front row!He's within two tenths of Leclerc's time and nudges Vettel down to P3. Will he rue the sloppy lap at the end of Q3? Surely.
That's Leclerc's third consecutive pole and that is the most impressive of the lot. At a track where they were not expected to compete, when he had to find several tenths to beat Vettel and he did it. By two tenths. He's very happy about it. "I lost control I think three times on that lap!" he says.
Q3 - Leclerc topples Vettel
Vettel doesn't improve in the second sector, either and gets a bit of a wobble on but saves it! Leclerc is 0.085s up on Vettel's time...Vettel abandons his lap after the mistake. Verstappen doesn't improve, what can Leclerc do?
He finds BAGS of time in the final sector and takes pole by 0.220s! Mercedes are NOWHERE as they complete their laps...
Q3 - Leclerc quickest in sector one
Vettel is a tenth down in S1, Verstappen hasn't improved either, he's 0.3s away so you'd think he'll struggle to get pole but could improve his time. Leclerc takes a couple of tenths out of the quickest time in S1!
Q3 - Mercedes trying a contrary strategy here
Will it pay off? Poor track position cost them a little on their last runs but Ferrari and Vettel in particular just had it hooked up. Anyway, Mercedes are finally out and will have plenty of time.
Vettel begins his hot lap...
Q3 - Drivers emerge from the garages for final runs
No danger of any of them not crossing the finish line in time as two weeks ago. Still 3.5 minutes on the clock. It's around a two minute out lap. Mercedes stay in the garage and will be coming out last by quite a long way, this could be interesting...
Q3 - Top 10 and gaps
Vettel even touched the wall at one point. You can't see Mercedes making up that time now. Where has the performance gone? Have Ferrari been sandbagging? Even with a couple of dodgy out-laps for Mercedes that does not explain a second gap.
Q3 - Vettel absolutely flying
Ferraris quickest in the first sector, Vettel has it by a tenth over Leclerc! How is he in the second sector? He's up by a mile! This is vintage Vettel! He sets a 1.36.437...Bottas is a whole second away! Leclerc is 0.3s down! Verstappen 0.380 down. That is SOME lap by Vettel.
Hamilton only fourth, just ahead of Bottas in fifth. Albon a whole 1.5s away from Vettel and 1.1 from Verstappen. He is ahead of both McLarens in P7 and P8, though.
Q3 - First runs underway
Bottas stuck behind two McLarens and not very happy about it. He clears one of them but can't get through the other one, so backs off before his hot lap.
12 minutes to go. No red or yellow flags yet in qualifying, which is quite surprising.
Looks like a five-way shoot-out for pole
Who has it? Ferrari, unpredictably, look difficult to beat here but if anyone can do it you would say Hamilton has the chops to do it but Bottas has not been too far behind him, either. Verstappen looks a bit too far behind but he's on this. Alex Albon, unfortunately, is not.
Q2 - Classification and gaps
Not a big margin from P10 to P13 there. Perez only a small distance away from making it through. Giovinazzi and Gasly not far off either. Important for Giovinazzi to out-qualifying Raikkonen again, too.
Q2 - Final runs underway
And plenty of slowing down, jockeying around for their hot laps. Vettel looking sharp in sector one, the quickest of anyone at all. Hamilton not too quick there, however...
Vettel improves in the second sector as well, but still a little slower than his team-mate. Can he improve on his final lap? Yes, he can. He goes quickest! By two tenths. Will it last? Hamilton can't improve, Leclerc, though finds time in the final sector to go top! By 0.070...
Where has this Ferrari pace come from? Is it genuine?
Down the field it's all quite predictable as Perez, Giovinazzi, Gasly, Raikkonen and Magnussen are eliminated meaning Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren and Renault go through with both drivers.
Wouldn't be great if Albon qualified behind a midfield car
It is his first time around this track in an F1 car but the problem was that Gasly was mixed up in the midfield way too often. If they are to keep Albon on then he needs to improve on that.
Q2 - Top 10 and gaps
Drivers in the drop zone:11. GIO 12. GAS 13. PER 14. RAI 15. MAG
Q2 - Verstappen on his hot run
What can he do? A so-so first sector but the quickest second sector. The final sector is decent enough to split the Mercedes! Nice. Albon, meanwhile is nearly a whole second off the pace, slower than Norris by a few tenths but ahead of Sainz. Raikkonen slams into the wall on exit but carries on. It was a brush, but a big one.
Q2 - Bottas again quicker than Hamilton in sector one
But Leclerc is quicker than both of them, by a couple of tenths at least. Mercedes a bit stronger from S1 onwards, though. Hamilton again gains a smidgen of time on Bottas in S2, as Leclerc falls back...
Bottas posts his time first but Hamilton finds a tenth in the final sector to go quickest. What can Leclerc do? He's 0.131 up on Hamilton! Vettel, though, can only go P4, 0.375 off his team-mate. Lando Norris doing well in P5, only 0.642s of the top. Nice work.
Q2 - Bottas and Hamilton out early
On the softs. Clean track and they should have enough pace on these first runs not to run again in this session.
15 minutes to go. Five drivers to lose out, 10 to go through to Q3. Think you'd be looking at Ferrari, Mercedes making it comfortably through plus Max Verstappen. Albon could be borderline. Then both McLarens and perhaps one or two Renault. Gasly looked quick in Q1, there's a chance of for him here.
Albon has not had it hooked up this weekend at all
And he was a way off Verstappen in Q1, too. Still, two more sessions of qualifying to go and plenty of time to find. How many races does he have to prove himself? This and another two or three you'd think before they make a decision. A couple of poor weekends could see him return to Toro Rosso for 2020.
Q1 - Top 10
Grosjean clunked the wall on that lap which probably cost him a chance of getting into Q2. So, Mercedes ran again and topped the session, neither Ferrari or Red Bull did two runs but in the end they all comfortably made it through.
Q1 - Drivers eliminated
Q1 - Final runs underway
Magnussen trying desperately to get himself into Q2 and he's just about up in sector one but I can't see him getting through here, as it happens. He needs to find an awful amount of time. Albon is only a second away from dropping out but I think he will be safe, to be honest. Magnussen does improve, going up to P12! Track evolution is huge, here...
Racing Points now in danger, can Grosjean get out? No! He's out in Q1! Stroll fails to get out, Kvyat cannot improve on his time, stays P15 but Perez could knock him out...and he does!
Q1 - Mercedes out again and going for it
Bottas flying on his second run, he will surely, absolutely complete this lap. Hamilton is a couple of tenths down on the Finn in sector one but a smidgen up in sector two. Alex Albon, in ninth, is not coming back out and he won't get another lap in. His is potentially in danger there. Anyway, Hamilton and Bottas both improve on the softs with Bottas leading Hamilton by 0.248s...
Q1 - Four minutes to go
Are Mercedes going to run again? Are they safe on those times? They are out on the softs, both of them, so it looks like they are going to attempt a run, even if they do not complete it. Seems that they are saving soft tyres for another time.
Q1 - Classification after the first runs
Drivers in the danger zone: RAI, GRO, MAG, RUS, KUB
Q1 - Ricciardo goes P10
And Vettel moves up to P2 but 0.360 behind Leclerc ahead. Looks like Racing Point and Haas are struggling again. Adjusting for the tyre types, Mercedes are quickest here.
Q1 - Drivers in the danger zone
Magnussen, Russell, Kubica, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo.
Q1 - Nine minutes to go
Top 10 and gaps
Gasly quicker than Albon...
Q1 - Leclerc quickest by A LONG WAY
His 1.38.014 is a whole 0.6s ahead of both Mercedes and 0.526s ahead of Max Verstappen. Crucially, though, Leclerc was on the soft tyres, Mercedes on the mediums. Verstappen, too, on the softs. Still looking decent for Mercedes then. Albon down in P7, nearly half a second away from Verstappen...
Q1 - Bottas goes quickest
But I doubt that'll be for long as Hamilton isn't too far behind him. Oh, I'm wrong. Hamilton can only post a time within 0.1s of his team-mate. Strange. Did he hit traffic?
Q1 - 14 minutes to go
Carlos Sainz has no power, he says. Technical issues have hampered McLaren this year. He seems to have sorted the problem, though. Also, last post, I say Saubers, I of course mean Alfa Romeos. Even if it is, really, the Sauber team. Anyway, I think that's the first time I have done that this season...
SAINZ ��: "I have no power"
Not what you want just a couple of minutes into Q1 ��
But it looks like a temporary issue as he heads off on what looks like a flying lap #F1#SingaporeGPpic.twitter.com/nH2cnYIzzY
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 21, 2019
Q1 - 16 minutes to go
No surprise to see Kubica as the first man out, followed by the Saubers and Sergio Perez. Both Mercedes out on medium tyres.
18 minutes to go. Nobody out. Being a street circuit the track evolution is huge here. And it's a long track so, in theory, plenty of space out there. In theory, I say. Remember what happened in Monza two weeks ago...
30 degrees at 9pm
It might be approaching 2100, but it's still very hot and very humid in Singapore ��
And this circuit is ready to push these drivers to the extremities of their mental and physical capabilities #F1#SingaporeGPpic.twitter.com/yjCRvsDY0T
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 21, 2019
Having an F1 race at night is pretty cool
But have you seen the British Touring Car Championship night races of the 1990s. No floodlights, only headlights. In a field in Norfolk.
— BTCC in the 90s (@1990sBTCC) July 30, 2017
We are 10 MINUTES away from the start of qualifying
What is going to happen? I predicted a Max Verstappen win earlier in the week, which would probably require a Max Verstappen pole position. But I am not feeling all that optimistic about that outcome right now.
Other news this weekend...
Robert Kubica is to leave Williams at the end of the season. It is probably the right call for both parties. Kubica returned to F1 this year after a lengthy absence and is lucky to be driving at all after an horrific rallying crash in 2011 which nearly cost him his right arm and his life. He has, to date, scored his team's only point of the 2019 season but that was a rare good moment in a year of difficult moments. Williams have comfortably been the slowest team this year and Kubica, too, has been comfortably slower than his younger and more inexperienced team-mate George Russell.
The fact that he even got back to F1 is astounding, though.
Daniel Ricciardo: Lewis Hamilton is my friend but also complex and hard to read
"Lewis is cool [but] ... I guess he is complex,” the Renault driver said. “I have always had positive interactions with him, but I am not silly and I can see how people have other opinions. Whether it is his lifestyle, or that sometimes he can be quite reserved and you don’t get much out of him."
It's a big weekend for this guy, Alex Albon
It's the first race since his move to Red Bull where neither he or team-mate Max Verstappen has a grid penalty. So it's the first time to be able to directly compare them. Albon has largely done everything he could have at the moment but now is the time he will be judged. What does he need to do to get that Red Bull seat for 2020? To be close to Max Verstappen, really. And that is a tough ask. At worst, though, he will go back to Toro Rosso for a second season. Who, then, would be at Red Bull? Well, Nico Hulkenberg is free...and Sebastian Vettel could choose to walk away from Ferrari, too...
Driver standings after 14 rounds
Are we really two-thirds of the way through the 2019 season? Where did that go?
An update on the condition of Juan Manuel Correa
By Phil Duncan, in Singapore
Formula Two driver Juan Manuel Correa is out of an induced coma but faces a "race against time" to undergo a major operation on his legs. Correa, 20, broke both his legs and sustained spinal cord damage in a 160mph crash which killed Anthoine Hubert at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium last month.
A statement released by the American's family read: "As of today, Juan Manuel Correa has been removed from the ECMO machine, life support and taken out of induced coma.
"While this is great news and a major step in the right direction, he is still in a race against time.
"Juan Manuel is conscious, but not fully yet awake. Doctors report that this will take a few days. They have also stated that Juan Manuel is fragile and still vulnerable medically speaking and that he remains in the Intensive Care Unit. His condition has been upgraded from critical to serious.
"The medical priority for Juan Manuel now shifts from the lungs to the leg injuries that were sustained more than two weeks ago and have not been addressed since the initial emergency intervention the day of the incident.
"Doctors are in a race against time to perform a pending major surgery in order to minimise risk of irreversible injuries to his right lower extremity but can't proceed until lungs are ready to withstand a lengthy operation."
Correa underwent a four-hour emergency operation in Liege before he was transferred to a London hospital where he was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome. He was placed in an induced coma a fortnight ago. Hubert, 22, was killed when he hit the barriers at Eau Rouge and rebounded back on to the circuit before Correa collected his car at high speed.
Sergio Perez shoved it in the wall in final practice
Ruining his rear end, as it were. A lot of work for the mechanics who are under a lot of pressure to get the car out for qualifying.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 21, 2019
Not ideal. Even less ideal is the five-place grid penalty he gets for changing the gearbox.
This eye-cam from a Sebastian Vettel lap is well worth watching
A post shared by FORMULA 1® (@f1) on Sep 20, 2019 at 10:11am PDT
Final times after third practice
Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1min 38.192secs
Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:38.399
Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:38.811
Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:38.885
Alexander Albon (Tha) Red Bull 1:39.258
Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:39.366
Carlos Sainz Jr (Spa) McLaren. 1:39.507
Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:39.709
Nico Hulkenburg (Ger) Renault 1:40.118
Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:40.153
Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:40.209
Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:40.339
Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:40.953
Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:40.985
George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:41.156
Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:41.169
Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:41.494
Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:41.542
Robert Kubica (Pol) Williams 1:41.954
Daniil Kyvat (Rus) Scuderia Toro Rosso No Time Set
Good afternoon F1 fans
And welcome to our coverage of qualifying for the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix. This is now the 12th edition of F1's first night race and it's a track and location that usually delivers. The races haven't been too bad over the years, either, with plenty of crashes and controversy and, of course, some brilliant - and plenty of terrible - driving.
This year we come to the 15th round of the season with Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in charge of the drivers' and constructors' championships. It will take something truly remarkable for either of them to be toppled, in truth. Still, the individual grands prix have been excellent since the French Grand Prix back in June. Ferrari finally got their act together after the summer break and have won both races, in Belgium and Italy since. I say Ferrari, I mean Charles Leclerc, who drove brilliantly both times to hold off a charging Mercedes.
Coming into this round, Ferrari were expected to struggle and most educated guesses would have put them as the third fastest team behind Mercedes and Red Bull. It kind of seemed that way in the first two practice sessions, with Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton being the class of the field, but looking at the results and times from final practice this morning (or evening Singapore time) it seems like Ferrari could be closer to the front than we think, with Leclerc topping the timesheets with a 1.38.192, Hamilton just over two tenths behind.
As ever, it's likely that Mercedes have some pace to burn but, saying that, Valtteri Bottas and Vettel have struggled to match their team-mates. Bottas ended first practice yesterday in the wall and has generally complained about something being off in the car. McLaren had a decent final practice as well, with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris finishing in P7 and P8 respectively, well off the leading pace but comfortably ahead of the Renaults in P9 and P10.
In short: there's a lot still to discover before qualifying. I'll be here to take you through it all, as ever.