Lewis Hamilton starts fifth as Max Verstappen dodges Singapore GP penalties

Max Verstappen sent offer to quit Red Bull and join F1 rival keen to be his team-mate

Lewis Hamilton will start today’s Singapore Grand Prix six positions ahead of Max Verstappen following the Dutchman’s horror show in qualifying. The latter finds himself in unfamiliar territory down in 11th place after failing to reach Q3 for the first time this year.

Verstappen was then controversially spared three penalties by the FIA despite impeding Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant during the session. He also got away with staying still at the end of the pit lane queue in Q1 after the light had turned green, meaning that he dodged the prospect of being dropped even further down the grid.

Carlos Sainz will line up on pole position today after coming out on top in qualifying for the second Grand Prix weekend in a row. He will be closely followed off the line by George Russell, who managed to split the two Ferraris with an impressive final lap in Q3.

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Horner baffled by Red Bull horror show

Red Bull boss Christian Horner was at a loss to explain why Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were knocked out of qualifying in Q2 yesterday afternoon.

He said: “It’s very, very confusing to have dropped the amount of pace that we have.

“The car is just not responding to changes. You can hear this understeer, oversteer, braking issues, it’s like we haven’t managed to get the tyre into the right working window.

“Usually when you see a gap that big is because the tyre just isn’t fundamentally working now. We’ve tried different things with setup, we’ve tried different preparations and it’s just not happening.”

Sainz expecting tight battle

“I think the Mercedes and Lando we are all going to have similar race pace,” says pole-sitter Carlos Sainz on Sky Sports F1.

“Even Fernando, I think if he manages to get past the Haas, will be in our race.

“It will all be about strategy, tyre degradation, safety cars, when to pit and not pit. Singapore is quite a special one and it will be an interesting one.”

Potential tyre strategies

It seems as though a one-stop strategy will be the way to go today, but which starting tyre will be the popular choice?

Stroll to miss today’s race

Lance Stroll will not be taking part in today’s Singapore Grand Prix after being left ‘sore’ following his massive crash in Q1 yesterday.

The Canadian driver managed to climb out of his car unaided after smashing into the barriers at over 110 miles per hour.

However, he is still feeling the effects of the crash and will sit out today as a result.

It means that Aston Martin will only be running one car, with reserve driver Felipe Drugovich unable to race after not taking part in at least one practice session or qualifying.

Qualifying report

Carlos Sainz managed to grab pole position in yesterday’s qualifying session after Max Verstappen was sensationally knocked out in Q2.

The Dutchman struggled in practice and failed to improve in qualifying as both Red Bull drivers suffered early exits for the first time since 2018.

There was a huge accident just seconds before the chequered flag in Q1, with Lance Stroll losing the rear end of his Aston Martin before smashing into the barriers just metres before the finish line.

Sainz went on to claim the spoils at the end of Q3 ahead of George Russell, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton.

Catch up on the full story from qualifying HERE.


Hello and welcome to Express Sport‘s live coverage of what should be a highly intriguing Singapore Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz will line up on pole position for the second race in a row, with George Russell starting just behind to give Mercedes a real chance of victory.

Max Verstappen, meanwhile, will need to slice his way through the grid from 11th to stand any chance of extending his winning run.

We’re just an hour away from lights out and will be keeping you updated with all the action as it happens.

Who will come out on top on the streets of Marina Bay?

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