Red Bull Racing had led every practice session as well as Q1 and Q2, but Vettel improved by more than a second between Q2 and Q3 to claim pole by 0.323 seconds.
Polesitter Sebastian Vettel appeared unaware of his team-mate's presence to the left of fellow front row starter Verstappen and, in moving over to cover the young Dutchman into turn one, pincered the Red Bull, forcing it to clip the rear of Raikkonen's Ferrari.
A replay showed fluid streaming out of Vettel's damaged sidepod after Turn 1 and it is likely it caused him to lose the rear of his auto and hammer his Ferrari against the concrete wall.
"I think all in all the whole weekend was good progression, getting better and better". If you feel the vehicle is coming alive, you can do what you want to.
"I am going to have to figure out how to pull a miracle out of somewhere".
"It's just a shame we couldn't put it on pole", Verstappen said.
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"I brushed the wall quite severely out of turn 19", the German told reporters after qualifying at the narrow and twisty Marina Bay street track.
"So there's two, for sure, opportunities and then one potential one if there is a safety vehicle", he said. "So I can be quite happy with this qualifying".
Ricciardo maintained that winning the race would be the only acceptable result for him. "We struggled yesterday and we had no idea what would happen today". Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas went on to complete the podium. The safety vehicle was issued to deal with the stricken Ferrari and Red Bull cars, and it returned again, when Daniil Kvyat crashed out on lap 11, and then again on lap 38 after Marcus Ericsson spun on the Anderson Bridge. Concerned that his team had not taken advantage of a free stop under the SC to recover Kvyat's Toro Rosso, the Briton eventually made just one stop, fewer than all his rivals, as Mercedes made full use of the inters before swapping to ultrasofts on lap 29.
Esteban Ocon rounded out the points paying positions in tenth place for Force India after being locked in an ongoing battle with the two Haas drivers and Felipe Massa.
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