Lewis Hamilton continued his recent good run and took a comfortable pole position for Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay circuit as he wheeled around his McLaren quickest of all in Qualifying. Pastor Maldonado was surprisingly second fastest for Williams ahead of the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel.
Jenson Button will start fourth with Championship leader Fernando Alonso fifth, Paul Di Resta’s sixth, Mark Webber in the second Red Bull seventh and Romain Grosjean’s Lotus in eighth. The two Mercedes of Michael Schumacher & Nico Rosberg did not elect to run in Q3 and will start ninth and tenth on the grid.
McLaren & Red Bull were consistently quick in the earlier practice sessions and even though Alonso was up in the top times during practice, the Ferrari didn’t have the pace to beat them to pole. Mercedes did get a raft of updates to their exhaust systems which improved aerodynamic efficiency but they too weren’t as quick as they’d have liked.
Q1 saw the usual suspects of HRT, Marussia & Caterham getting eliminated along with the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi. Q2 saw Bruno Senna clatter into the wall at turn 21, damaging his rear suspension and was the first retiree of the session and soon joining him were the two Toro Rossos, the second Sauber of Sergio Perez, the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, the Ferrari of Felipe Massa and surprisingly, the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen.
With both his closest championship rivals ahead of him, it will be a stern test for Alonso to get maximum points out of Sunday’s race and he’ll be hoping for a good start off the line plus a clever strategy from Ferrari to rein in a good result.