McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the night-time F1 Singapore Grand Prix as he shrugged off mediocre practice sessions to post the fastest time around the Marina Bay circuit. Sebastian Vettel will start alongside him on the first row with Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber taking up the second row positions. Rubens Barrichello crashed at the fag end of Q3 while being fifth fastest but following a gearbox change, he will drop down to tenth on the grid. Fernando Alonso will start from fifth place alongside Timo Glock with Nick Heidfeld, Robert Kubica and Heikki Kovalainen complete the top nine.
Q2 threw up some surprises as Nico Rosberg topped the timesheets and championship leader Jenson Button couldn’t manage a quick enough lap and went down along with the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, Williams of Kazuki Nakajima, Toyota of Jarno Trulli and Toro Rosso of Sebastian Buemi. Rubens Barrichello, despite a gearbox change, is two places ahead of Button and that could be a crucial factor in the championship stakes.
Q1 saw the Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi join the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari, the Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella & the Renault of Sebastian Grosjean in getting relegated. The high downforce nature of the track doesn’t suit the Force India cars and after two high-flying races, they find themselves at the back of the pack again.
At a circuit thought to be favouring the Brawn GP cars, both the Red Bulls are ahead of them and right at the top of the grid as well…and if they finish that way, the championship battle is again going to be pepped up…for sure the Constructors’ Championship battle. McLaren’s ascendancy was again prominent and so was Ferrari’s lack of pace but that’s understandable since they’ve admitted not bringing any updates to this race whatsoever.
With ESPN/Star Sports choosing to give prominence to Soccer & Cricket telecasts, the Qualifying session was not shown Live and I had to resort to the BBC Sport’s live text updates. It’s so not exciting to see who lapped the Singapore Marina Bay circuit fastest amidst some text and tabular graphics! But something’s better than nothing and I hope to catch the delayed telecast of the Qualifying session later tonight.