Hamilton takes pole position in Singapore
Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for the Singaporean GP after the earlier practice session were dominated by Sebastian Vettel. Pastor Maldonado is a surprise in second place while World Champion Sebastian Vettel will start from third on the grid.
At the start of qualifying, both ambient and track temperatures are 29°C, but both are expected to drop a bit as we approach the pole deciding laps. No rain is expected anytime soon.
The first men on track are Pérez, Kobayashi and both Lotus cars. RAikkonen however spun his car already at turn 4 but managed to resume safely. Everybody starts on the soft tyre, knowing that the super soft is wearing out extremely quickly around this track.
6 minutes into the session, the track has become more crowded and Alonso has put in the fastest time, faster than Maldonado, Di Resta, Raikkonen and Grosjean.
Hamilton meanwhile is struggling to get a decent lap in, missing the braking point at turn 1, and the next lap flying over the kerbs through the chicane that is turn 10. One lap later it is a clean one and immediately goes a full second faster than Alonso's fastest time thus far. Moments later Button moves up into second but with a less impressive time.
With 6 minutes left on the clock, Vettel also posts a time and is immediately up in second spot. Webber follows suit and slots into 3rd.
This moments also triggers a switch to super soft tyres for most of the drivers. Raikkonen is the first and goes fastest on his first attempt, beaten soon by Di Resta and then his teammate Grosjean as well.
Senna also attempted to improve but hugged the wall with his right rear wheel and subsequently backed out of his lap as there was no real threat to knock him out anymore. This means Kobayashi is out and will start from 18th on tomorrow's grid. Along with him are Petrov, Kovalainen, Glock, Pic, Karthikeyan and De La Rosa.
At the start of Q2, Raikkonen is the first man out, checking what is left on the super soft tyres he used to set his fastest lap in Q1. His team mate meanwhile was out early as well and slid his left rear wheel into the tyre wall in turn 14. The Lotus seemingly had no damage as the Frenchman could simply continue with his qualifying.
At the same time, Alonso goes fastest, 2 tenths ahead of Webber.
8 minutes from the end, Senna retuns to the pitlane after hitting the barriers yet again. His right rear suspension failed on impact with just 2 corners left he managed to make it back into the pitlane. That marks the end of the session for the Brazilian of course.
Just when the yellow flags for Senna were gone, Hamilton came along and set the fastest lap of the session so far, now also running on the super soft tyre. That is 1 tenth faster than Vettel, who is followed by Button, Alonso, Webber, Raikkonen, Rosberg and Maldonado.
In the closing minutes, everyone except for Hamilton, Vettel and Button are out again to try to make sure they progress to Q3.
Grosjean immediately moves up to 3rd while Di Resta and Maldonado also sure their spots into Q3. The final man to improve is Schumacher as he moves up into P9, just ahead of Nico Rosberg. That pushed out Hulkenberg, along with Raikkonen, Massa, Pérez, Ricciardo, Vergne and of course Senna who was looking at the mechanics trying to fix his car.
At the start of Q3, only the Mercedes cars are out on the soft tyres. Others are opting for the super softs while Alonso and Grosjean meanwhile stay in the pits for a bit longer.
Button is the first to cross the finish line but his time is immediately improved by Hamilton. Vettel crossed the line 10 seconds later but was unable to match either of the McLarens.
All other cars that went out returned to the pitlane before setting a time, meaning that with just 4 minutes to go there's only 3 times on the clock.
With 3:15 to go, Alonso gets out of the box, followed by Webber.
Grosjean at that time is out on a flyer and just nearly managed to kep his car out of the wall through turn 9.
While Maldonado then posts the second fastest time, Alonso moves into third. Webber is unable to match those times and is right behind them.
Hamilton's lack of improvement during his second flyer is therefore not a problem as he secures another pole position for McLaren.
|3||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:48.240||1:46.791||1:46.905||14|
|6||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:48.028||1:47.667||1:47.241||18|
|7||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:48.717||1:47.513||1:47.475||17|
|11||12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:49.547||1:47.975||-||12|
|24||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Hrt-Cosworth||1:53.355||-||-||7|