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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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Leclerc in pole position at the Singapore Grand Prix, Verstappen 8th

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Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) took pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday, where Formula 1 world championship leader Max Verstappen (Red Bull), who will have a first chance at the title, will start 8th. Leclerc, 2nd in the championship 116 points behind Verstappen, will start ahead of the Mexican Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) and the Briton Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) for this 17th race out of 22 this season, at night on Sunday at the Marina Bay circuit.

Spaniards Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) will be fourth and fifth on the starting grid for the first Grand Prix in Asia after two seasons of absence due to the pandemic.

A tricky qualification for pilots

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On a drying track, after heavy rains during the day on Saturday on the Singapore skyscrapers, this qualification was very tricky for the pilots. And the decisive tire choices. “Qualifying was very, very tricky. In Q3 (last part of qualifying, editor’s note), we didn’t know what to do, we opted for the soft tire at the last moment”, explained Leclerc.

It is the 9th pole of the year for Leclerc, more than any other driver, and the 18th of his career at 24 years old. “I made a mistake on my last lap so I didn’t think I would get pole but it was enough in the end,” he added.

Called back to his stable, Verstappen was furious

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Enough because Verstappen, who set out to beat him in the dying seconds, was called back to the pits by his team at the very last moment. A decision that infuriated the Dutchman, at the time unable to explain the choice of his team. “We will explain to you later”, we slipped into the headset. A decision that could be explained by a lack of fuel at the end of the session, which could have cost the defending champion a disqualification.

Even starting 8th, Verstappen preserves his first chance of title in the city-state. In the event of victory, Verstappen must cross his fingers that Leclerc finishes ninth or above and Pérez fourth or above (without getting the fastest lap point) – or fifth or if the Mexican has the fastest lap point.

If he wins with the fastest lap point, Verstappen would even be titled if Leclerc finishes eighth, and Pérez fourth.

Source: Europe1

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