Moments later, Vettel passed Verstappen with a great move on Raffles boulevard while behind them Sergio Perez knocked his Force India teammate Esteban Ocon into the wall and out - bringing a safety auto onto the track for four laps. We needed a mega out lap and I did what I could but it wasn't enough. Although Stoffel initially lost a position and dropped down to 19th after the early Safety Car, both he and Fernando were able to push hard during their long first stints, gradually picking off their competitors and moving up the field as the cars ahead pitted one-by-one. "Today we didn't have a chance".
"We rolled the dice today and made a decision to pit early, I was quicker than the guys in front being on the hypersoft".
"I think we can find a good balance for the evening - obviously that's when qualifying takes place - so it's important to learn from today".
Charles Leclerc had a disappointing weekend up as far as race day, and then managed to impress in his Sauber. "What we tried to do was get to first position and get ahead, but Lewis was too quick". Yet in qualifying, Hamilton was almost one second faster than sixth-placed Kimi Raikkonen.
His win at the Singapore Grand Prix was the culmination of a weekend when he put together moments of nearly transcendent skill and a ruthless execution when it mattered that was untouchable.
"The only thing I can say is it was a great qualifying, I think the best I have ever done and also the auto was working really well".More news: The Ottawa Senators Trade Erik Karlsson To The San Jose Sharks
"I think it was trickier than we expected but then this is what can often happen between qualifying and practice", Raikkonen told media after qualifying.
"We knew coming here that the characteristics of this track would suit our package". A visibly disappointed Vettel could manage no better than third fastest after again having his preparations for the crucial lap interrupted by him trying to guide Ferrari's pit lane operations. "I'm really happy with it".
"Normally in the race you have to turn down the power", he said.
Hamilton's stunning pole Saturday was a record-extending 79th.
At the front of the field race leader Hamilton continued to control the gap to Verstappen in second, the pair delicately navigating their way through some recalcitrant lapped traffic that briefly threatened to hand the Dutchman an opportunity to make a pass for the lead, but behind them Vettel had fallen back significantly as he attempted to nurse his ultrasoft tires to the end. Verstappen held position, Vettel dropping to third. "Because they did great and that's why they are on pole by quite a margin".
Time is running out for Vettel, who realistically has to win in Russian Federation in two weeks' time if he is to get back into title contention.