Ferrari claims 'boredom' was the real victor at Singapore Grand Prix

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates after securing pole position for tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix

SINGAPORE-Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest practice time for the Singapore Grand Prix on Friday but the Finn's teammate, Sebastian Vettel, suffered a frustrating start to the weekend in his bid to overhaul championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

Sunday's race will be hard to win from the second row but Vettel said he would do all he could to eat into Hamilton's championship lead.

Vettel is also seeking a fifth world title and while he remains a huge threat in a very competitive vehicle, the German was disappointed not to have been able to capitalise on the dominance Ferrari had over their rivals in practise.

It is looking increasingly like a repeat scenario for the Ferrari driver, who is in disappearing into Hamilton's slipstream.

The German said he "didn't have a chance" as he finished a distant third at the Marina Bay Street Circuit to fall 40 points behind race victor Lewis Hamilton with just six grands prix of the 21-race season remaining.

Instead he lost position and crucial points, dropping back behind Verstappen having earlier overtaken him.

"I definitely didn't think I'd come to Singapore with 10 points more [added to his standings lead], but I'm very grateful".

"I think the approach I have is working really well, so I don't see the point in changing, " Hamilton said after his seventh win of the season and 69th in F1.

"It's not ideal obviously, we wanted to get pole and didn't", said Vettel.

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Red Bull's Max Verstappen remained a lingering threat for much of the race - and reeled in Hamilton as they encountered lapped cars mid-race - but ultimately settled for a fine second place.

"For us it was a bit of a messy qualifying", he said.

Hamilton was able to take avoiding action, turning left and heading down an escape road.

They brought Vettel in on lap 14 and switched him on to the ultra-soft tyres, hoping to benefit from the rubber's extra pace on its initial laps.

Vettel then botched qualifying in Hungary, again in the rain, as Hamilton took pole and won to stretch his series lead.

"Sebastian made it to the podium in third spot and Kimi [Raikkonen] was fifth, meaning Scuderia Ferrari finished where it started".

Vettel's frustration increased as Hamilton rejoined in front and then boiled over as Verstappen jumped him when he too pitted for softs.

Once he had fended off Verstappen's attack, Hamilton cruised to victory, the Dutchman held at arm's length, and Vettel cruising similarly behind. "So it was really quite a monumental moment for us as a team". By contrast, Vettel has two wins, a second, a third, a fourth and one retirement.

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