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Hamilton downbeat after Singapore qualifying, F1 points lead at risk

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Lewis Hamilton was left downbeat after qualifying fifth for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday, while Formula 1 championship rival Sebastian Vettel swept to pole position.

Mercedes arrived in Singapore wary of its chances given the tight and twisting nature of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, better-suiting the rival cars from Ferrari and Red Bull.

Qualifying went largely as expected, with Vettel grabbing pole ahead of Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, with Kimi Raikkonen sat fourth.

Hamilton finished over six-tenths of a second off Vettel in Q3, and was disappointed – although not surprised – that Mercedes’ traditional struggles in Singapore were continuing.

“Every year it has been relatively difficult for us in Singapore, so we knew that we would come here and it would be tricky,” Hamilton said.

“I thought Red Bull would be as quick as they were, but I didn’t anticipate Ferrari to be that strong. I gave it everything today but I could not get any more out of the car, I squeezed it until it was dry.

“There are no points for today, so we will focus on doing the best job we can tomorrow and remain hopeful.”

To make matters worse for Hamilton, a lack of overtaking opportunities in Singapore will make progressing up the order a challenge, giving Vettel the chance to overturn the three-point deficit at the top of the drivers’ championship.

“This is a horrible track for overtaking. It will be a long race,” Hamilton said.

“I will have to try and see if I can get a good start to pick off at least one car.

“Sebastian has Verstappen next to him, so anything can happen at the start.”

The Singapore Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET on Sunday.

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

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