Lewis Hamilton reached pole position at the Singapore Grand Prix in his Mercedes with a red-hot 1min 36.015sec at the Marina Bay street circuit on Saturday. Max Verstappen of Red Bull will start in the front row of Sunday's race with Hamilton after finishing second, 0.319 seconds behind the Englishman, but Sebastian Vettel could only be third. "That felt like magic," said an enchanted Hamilton of his round-robin record, which was a staggering 3.4 seconds faster than last year's pole effort.
"It was really special, I do not think there was a bad moment in the lap, it was perfect," he added.
"I do not know where it came from, but everything was completed, it's one of the best laps I can remember."
Vettel, of Ferrari, who is 30 points behind Hamilton in the title race with seven races to go, was disappointed with his best effort of 1: 36.628.
"Obviously it's not ideal, we wanted to get the pole and we did not," Vettel said.
"It was a messy qualifying session and it was too time-consuming, so we did not get anything better than the third," he added.
"There were a lot of other cars but you can not blame that, both laps were not good, I think we have a good car, so let's see."
Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas will join Vettel in the second row of the grid.
Kimi Raikkonen was fifth in the second Ferrari and Daniel Ricciardo, who has been runner-up in the last three years in Singapore, was the sixth fastest in his Red Bull.