Hamilton comfortably takes Singapore GP pole position

Lewis Hamilton has taken his fifth pole position of the year at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Hamilton comfortably led both Q2 and Q3, while Sebastian Vettel was unable to maintain his pace from the practice session. Pastor Maldonado impressed hugely with second, while championship leader Fernando Alonso is down in 5th.

Q1

As expected, the huge gap between the softs and super-softs caught out a few drivers. The Lotuses were both forced to expend a set of options in order to secure their place in Q2.

After hitting the wall in Friday practice, Bruno Senna again clipped the barriers, but got away with it, taking 17th.

Fastest laps were exchanged between Vettel and Hamilton, before Grosjean topped the timesheets on the super-softs.

Further back, Kamui Kobayashi was knocked out of Q1 for the first time this year.

Drivers knocked out of Q1:

18) Kamui Kobayashi – 1:49.933

19) Vitaly Petrov – 1:50.846

20) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:51.137

21) Timo Glock – 1:51.370

22) Charles Pic – 1:51.762

23) Pedro de la Rosa – 1:52.372

24) Narain Karthikeyan – 1:53.355

Q2

Again, Senna was involved in an incident with the walls – and didn’t get away with it this time. The Williams driver smashed his rear suspension at turn 21, and was out of Q2.

Romain Grosjean also spun and hit the barriers, but was able to continue after checks.

Again, the battle up front was between Vettel and Hamilton, with Lewis winning out by a tenth of a second.

The last-gasp scramble saw Nico Hulkenberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez all eliminated, while Michael Schumacher just pipped his way into the final qualifying session.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Nico Hulkenberg – 1:47.975

12) Kimi Raikkonen – 1:48.261

13) Felipe Massa – 1:48.344

14) Sergio Perez – 1:48.505

15) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:48.774

16) Jean-Eric Vergne – 1:48.849

17) Bruno Senna – N/A

Q3

Most cars exited the pits at the start of Q3, but only Hamilton, Vettel and Button actually set laps.

The Mercedes drivers made a brief appearance, but soon dived into the pits, indicating that they would be starting on the prime tyre.

Vettel’s next attempt was able to put him past one McLaren, but a 1:46.362 from Hamilton put him well ahead of the Red Bull. Sebastian was further surprised, when Pastor Maldonado put in an excellent lap to put him second on the grid.

Fernando Alonso was never on the frontrunners’ pace, and lined up 5th. The same went for Mark Webber, who starts a disappointing 7th, behind Paul di Resta.

With only a slight improvement from Vettel in the dying seconds, it was an easy pole position for Lewis Hamilton – even if he clipped the wall on his final attempt.

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