N after three best times in free practice, Sebastian had to fight Vettel was beaten for the first time this weekend in qualifying for the Singapore GP. The world champion missed Lewis Hamilton's pole position lap by more than half a second. The Briton is right at the front for the second time in his career in Singapore.
'After I had a few problems with the traffic before, I managed to put the fast lap together perfectly in the end,' he beamed 2008 World Champion. He secured McLaren's fourth consecutive pole position. That last happened in 1999. Hamilton is also in good spirits for the race. 'It won't be easy with the tires. We had some good long runs in training. I hope we're well prepared.'
Maldonado between Hamilton and Vettel
Beside Hamilton suddenly brought Pastor Maldonado into play in the last section of qualifying. The street circuit specialist got everything out of his Williams and is on the first starting lap as a reward. With four and a half tenths behind Hamilton, the second pole position of the year after Barcelona was out of reach for the Venezuelan.
'We kept improving through the free practice sessions,' beamed Maldonado afterwards. 'In qualifying, the balance was perfect.' Vettel, on the other hand, was a little disappointed. 'The weekend went well before. The car was actually good enough to get right up front. The others have improved significantly. We haven't. But the race here is long. A lot can happen there. Third place is a good starting point. '
After two victories in the last three races, Hamilton wants to continue hunting down World Cup leader Fernando Alonso in Singapore. There was support from team-mate Jenson Button, who pushed the Spaniard to fifth on the grid. Alonso shares the position in the third row of the grid with Paul di Resta, whom he was only able to leave behind by 25 thousandths of a second.
On row four, Mark Webber is in the second Red Bull and Romain Grosjean in the Lotus. The Frenchman celebrated a successful comeback in Formula 1 after he had to watch in Monza because of the start-up crash in Spa.
Mercedes foregoes Q3 run
The fifth row on the grid shines silver in the night of Singapore. Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg did without one in Q3timed lap, which gave them the right to choose tires for the start. But it probably wouldn't have gone much further forward.
'We only went out briefly once to force the others to do timed laps and thus commit themselves to the tires. Since we didn't do a complete lap , we can choose the tires and that was our strategy, 'explained Schumi. Rosberg added: 'Starting tomorrow with fresh tires is a small opportunity for us to move up a few places.' Qualify final. Schumi, of all people, had kicked him out of Q3 at the last second. 32 thousandths were missing from Hülk, who thus also lost the team-internal duel against Paul di Resta.
Raikkonen and Sauber not in the top ten
In addition to Hülkenberg, a few other prominent pilots were eliminated early . Kimi Raikkonen, who is in third place in the World Championship standings, has to start a chase from starting position twelve. Felipe Massa also lost the Ferrari team duel again significantly. Only 13th place for the Brazilian.
The two Sauber had to give up prematurely as well. Sergio Perez, who finished on the podium in Monza, only starts the race from 14th place. Team mate Kamui Kobayashi complained about inaccessible oversteer and was even thrown out in Q1. Two races ago at Spa, the Japanese was still on the front row.
Bruno Senna also finished early. The Williams driver touched the wall in the last sector and in Q2 just dragged himself back to the pits with a broken suspension and a flat tire. A fast lap, however, was no longer possible. He will start the race on Sunday in 17th place.
Glock hindered by Webber
Timo Glock was once again only able to achieve his regular 21st place. After the first practice sessions on Friday, it looked like he might attack the Caterhams. In qualifying, however, two and a half tenths were missing from Heikki Kovalainen. The fact that he missed most of the third training session with a gas sensor problem was certainly not helpful.
'It's a shame when you have such a good Friday and then the qualification goes so badly' , Glock then complained. 'We weren't able to test very much this morning and had to go back to yesterday's setup, which worked well. I made a lot of small mistakes on the first fast lap because I started the tires too slowly. On the second, things went better at first , but in the end I ran into Kovalainen. '
In addition, Glock was stopped by Mark Webber. 'He came out of the pits right in front of me when I started a fast lap.' The FIA stewards opened an investigation into the Australian. After analysisof the data, however, the referees waived a penalty. Webber was only cautioned because he shortened the chicane in the run-out lap, which has been banned since last season.