The Australian clocked 1 minute, 40.852 seconds under the floodlights, and that was enough to convince him that he can clinch a second win of the season and sixth of his career on Sunday.
It was widely believed that Singapore Grand Prix will end for good this year due to declining interest and attendance, as well as complaints of disrupted business due to extensive traffic restrictions in the city due to the event. But notwithstanding that success, this is a circuit we have found difficult to master with its combination of short, sharp corners, relatively short straights and bumpy surface. Both McLarens made it to Q3, proving yet again that they are able to perform on the slower tracks. The focus is weighed heavily on the drivers championship, making this weekend prime time for a Raikkonen win.
"It's still better than the original contract I had", he said.
"We knew coming here it would be difficult", he told Sky Sports F1.
"It's generally been close everywhere we go, even when it's 'this one will suit Mercedes', or 'this one will suit Ferrari'". Hamilton also retired from the lead of the 2012 race, his last in Singapore for McLaren. Lewis Hamilton has been on the top of the podium twice around the Marina Bay circuit.
Another key takeaway heading into the weekend is both Vettel and Hamilton have won multiple times at Singapore.
After dismal performances in several races this season, most notably the Italian Grand Prix, Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner announced that he would be putting new engines in the car.
A crucial round it is indeed for the Scuderia, with the element of doubt surrounding their championship aspirations being raised after back-to-back defeats at Spa and Monza. Sometimes, characteristics like this are simply in the DNA of a car. "But we didn't see Ferrari's true hand and Mercedes always hold a little bit up their sleeves".
"I'm not here to finish third".
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, though, the four-time champion was refusing to buy into the hype.
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