Tag Archives: Singapore GP

Vettel eases to Singapore pole position

Sebastian Vettel will start from P1 on the Singapore Grand Prix grid for tomorrow’s race. The Red Bull driver was so fast today, he sat out the final few minutes of Q3, as his rivals attempted – and failed – to beat his time.

Nico Rosberg will join him on the front row, setting up an interesting duel for the Grand Prix.


The super-soft tyre was almost 2 seconds faster than the medium compound, so the challenge for the top teams in Q1 was to see which could make it through without using the softer tyre.

Eventually, only Vettel, Webber and Romain Grosjean managed to do this, although the Lotus driver only scraped through by 0.2 seconds. The Red Bulls, meanwhile, were 6th and 7th, indicating how fast they were this weekend.

Felipe Massa sat in 18th place for part of the session, before his final lap pushed Paul di Resta into the drop zone. The Scot has now been knocked out of Q1 5 times this year. He was joined by Pastor Maldonado, as well as the usual suspects.

Drivers knocked out of Q1:

17) Paul di Resta – 1:46.121

18) Pastor Maldonado – 1:46.619

19) Charles Pic – 1:48.111

20) Giedo van der Garde – 1:48.320

21) Jules Bianchi – 1:48.830

22) Max Chilton – 1:48.930


Kimi Raikkonen had been suffering from back pain on Saturday, presumably from the many bumps on the Singapore street circuit. This problem seemed to only get worse in qualifying, and Kimi was visibly uncomfortable in the car on his Q2 flying lap. While he did set a time, it was well off what was required to get into Q3, and he will line up 13th.

Nico Hulkenberg was disappointed to line up 11th, and must have been even more aggrieved to see Esteban Gutierrez break into Q3 for the first time this season.

An immensely quick lap time from Vettel – 0.8 seconds faster than anyone else – laid down an ominous gauntlet for his challengers in Q3.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Nico Hulkenberg – 1:44.555

12) Jean-Eric Vergne – 1:44.588

13) Kimi Raikkonen – 1:44.658

14) Sergio Perez – 1:44.752

15) Adrian Sutil – 1:45.185

16) Valtteri Bottas – 1:45.388


Vettel set his fast lap surprisingly early in Q3, and a 1:42.841 was definitely not unassailable. Nevertheless, he peeled off into the pits, and after a few minutes of deliberation, decided not to head out onto track again. This left 8 other drivers scrambling to beat his time, while Gutierrez sat out the session.

However, Nico Rosberg threatened to snatch an unlikely pole, going only 0.091 seconds slower than Sebastian. While Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean had impressed in previous sessions, neither of them could pull it off either. Grosjean will line up 3rd, with Hamilton 5th, and Mark Webber sandwiched in between them.

Ferrari’s woes continued, with Massa and Alonso never even remotely close to the frontrunners in 6th and 7th places. Jenson Button called off a strategy to run on the prime tyres only, and he took a decent 8th place ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.

While Red Bull must have been worried in the final few minutes, Vettel seemingly had another tenth or two in the bag in Q3. Whether he can hold off the fast-starting Rosberg and Grosjean in the race is another matter altogether.

Points standings after Singapore Grand Prix

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Fernando Alonso 194
2 Sebastian Vettel 165
3 Kimi Raikkonen 149
4 Lewis Hamilton 142
5 Mark Webber 132
6 Jenson Button 119
7 Nico Rosberg 93
8 Romain Grosjean 82
9 Sergio Perez 66
10 Felipe Massa 51
11 Paul di Resta 44
12 Michael Schumacher 43
13 Kamui Kobayashi 35
14 Nico Hulkenberg 31
15 Pastor Maldonado 29
16 Bruno Senna 25
17 Jean-Eric Vergne 8
18 Daniel Ricciardo 6
19 Timo Glock  0
20 Charles Pic  0
21 Vitaly Petrov  0
22 Heikki Kovalainen 0
23 Pedro de la Rosa 0
24 Narain Karthikeyan 0

Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 Red Bull-Renault 297
2 McLaren-Mercedes 261
3 Ferrari 245
4 Lotus-Renault 231
5 Mercedes AMG 136
6 Sauber-Ferrari 101
7 Force India-Mercedes 75
8 Williams-Renault 54
9 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 14
10 Caterham-Renault 0
11 Marussia-Cosworth 0
12 HRT-Cosworth 0

Webber demoted to 11th after illegaly overtaking Kobayashi

Mark Webber is the second driver to fall prey to the stewards today, after being handed a drive-through penalty after the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was deemed to have overtaken Kamui Kobayashi off the track, which became a 20-second time penalty after the race had ended.

The stewards noted a “minimal” use of the run-off area, but it was still enough to earn a penalty:

"Notwithstanding that the distance by which car two left the circuit was minimal, 
advantage was gained hence a breach did in fact occur. Such a breach has 
consistently attracted a drive-through penalty."

Webber has dropped to 11th place, which promotes Sergio Perez to 10th position.

Schumacher handed 10-place grid penalty for Suzuka

Michael Schumacher has been given a 10-place penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix in two weeks time.

Schumacher caused the second safety car period of the Singapore GP, after locking up and slamming into Jean-Eric Vergne, taking both drivers on the spot.

This is the second time Schumacher has made such a blunder this year. The first was in Barcelona, where the Mercedes driver took out Bruno Senna during braking at turn 1.

The stewards noted that Schumacher had misjudged his braking, due to his brakes being cooler after the previous safety car stint:

"The driver admitted the collision was his error due to the failure to anticipate 
the braking performance
of the car with lower tyre grip following a safety car period.

The penalty takes into account that this is the second similar offence by the 
driver this season."

Hamilton disaster hands Vettel Singapore win

Sebastian Vettel has claimed a comfortable Singapore Grand Prix win, ahead of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

Lewis Hamilton was set to take the win, but a gearbox failure left him out of the running. Two safety cars in close succession bunched up the field halfway through the race, which led to some excellent racing after a dull first half. Here is what happened:

At the start, Hamilton retained his lead, while Vettel and Button demoted Maldonado to 4th. Further back, there was embarassment for Caterham, as Heikki Kovalainen clashed with teammate Vitaly Petrov, forcing Petrov to pit for a new front wing. Felipe Massa suffered a puncture before the end of the lap.

A huge amount of drivers cut the first two corners, causing a mass investigation by the stewards. Replays showed that Webber, Rosberg, Senna and Ricciardo all may have gained an advantage.

The Mercedes drivers, starting 9th and 10th, were instructed to cool their tyres, causing a train of cars to form behind them. Despite the advantage of DRS, Kimi Raikkonen in 11th was unable to pass them before the pit stops.

Mark Webber surprised many, by pitting prematurely on lap 9, despite having no drop-off in lap times. The rest of the field ignored this move, and the Red Bull was relegated to 19th place.

By lap 10, tyre degradation became the main issue, as Sebastian Vettel began losing a second to Hamilton in front, and 2 seconds to Button behind. Unsurprisingly, he swiftly pitted, taking on the prime tyres like his teammate. He emerged in 12th, and wasted no time in getting past Sergio Perez.

Up front, Hamilton reported something felt wrong with his right-rear tyre, and pitted on lap 12. Now only two places behind, Vettel made another pass, this time on Kimi Raikkonen. After staying out a few laps more, Button eventually pitted, and came out well behind the battling duo.

Nico Hulkenberg was one of the few who decided to start on the prime tyre. He had made his way up to 6th, but was ordered to allow teammate Paul di Resta past, who was on a fresher set of tyres. Nico, along with Sergio Perez, both pitted on lap 19.

The race was soon turned on its head, after Lewis Hamilton suddenly suffered a gearbox failure on lap 24. Vettel eased into the lead, noticing a plume of smoke coming out of the McLaren. Lewis was forced to retire, delivering a crushing blow to his championship hopes.

With Vettel now leading, teammate Webber was struggling in 6th, failing to make an impression on the race. Again, he was the first to take on a new set of tyres.

Both Maldonado and Alonso pitted on lap 30, with Pastor just keeping a slender lead over the Ferrari. Interestingly, the Williams took on the super-soft tyres, while Alonso was on the softs.

The two began to battle it out, running side-by-side through some corners, but their fun was cut short after a crash by Narain Karthikeyan. The safety car was deployed, causing all the frontrunners to pit, and cutting the gap between Vettel and Button. The Force Indias ended up 4th and 5th, with Hulkenberg having only stopped once.

While still under safety car conditions, a disaster loomed for Williams, as Maldonado suffered a hydraulics problem, and was forced to retire.

On the restart, the frontrunners all held their positions, while Sergio Perez lost two positions. Mark Webber pulled an impressive move on Nico Hulkenberg, but his fun was cut short, as the safety car was called out again. Similarly to last year, Michael Schumacher had a complete brain fade, slamming into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne, taking both cars out on the spot.

Webber, Perez and Hulkenberg all took the opportunity to stop again. Vitaly Petrov’s race was completely ruined at his pit stop, stopping at the end of the pit lane and being pushed back to his pit box.

At the second restart, Grosjean shut the door on his own teammate at turn 1, nearly causing an embarassing crash. Felipe Massa put an incredibly brave move on Bruno Senna, nearly spinning, but just about taking the position. Only a few laps later, he was easily past Daniel Ricciardo for 8th place.

After their close call, the Lotus team intervened in the Grosjean-Raikkonen battle, instructing Romain not to hold his teammate up. Sergio Perez attempted a move on Hulkenberg for 13th, but clipped his front wing off the Force India. Mark Webber put a move on Kamui Kobayashi, who then immediately clashed with Hulkenberg like his teammate, giving Nico a puncture and taking off a second Sauber front wing.

As the race hit the two-hour limit, Mark Webber made a late dash to take 10th from Bruno Senna, but was unable to take 9th from Daniel Ricciardo.

Up front, Button was unable to match Vettel’s pace, so the Red Bull cruised to only his second win of the season. Fernando Alonso took a comfortable 3rd, while Paul di Resta took an excellent 4th place. Nico Rosberg was quiet in 5th, while Felipe Massa climbed all the way up the grid to take 8th.

Vettel now leaps up to second in the championship, but Alonso’s lead continues to grow over his rivals.

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.


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


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


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.

Singapore GP practice: Vettel leads in varying conditions

Sebastian Vettel has emerged as the early favourite for this weekends’ Singapore Grand Prix, topping both practice sessions.

The first session began on a damp track, but quickly dried out, and the drivers soon took on slick tyres. Here is today’s report:

First practice

Water off the racing line, as well as leaves scattered across the track, signalled a difficult start to FP1 for the drivers. Intermediate tyres were the way to go in the opening few minutes.

However, once Kamui Kobayashi blitzed the timesheets on slicks, others scrambled to put on the dry compound.

The times tumbled throughout the session, with Vettel eventually winning out, by 0.049 seconds to Lewis Hamilton. Jenson Button was over 8 tenths off his teammate.

Pastor Maldonado took to the run-off area several times, but still impressed with 5th. Ma Qing Hua made another appearance in the HRT, finishing 1.4 seconds off Pedro de la Rosa.

Times from FP1:

Pos  Driver                Team                  Time              Laps
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1:50.566          24
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1:50.615  +0.049  15
 3.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1:51.459  +0.893  17
 4.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:51.525  +0.959  20
 5.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1:51.576  +1.010  20
 6.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1:51.655  +1.089  19
 7.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1:51.658  +1.092  24
 8.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1:51.943  +1.377  21
 9.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:52.275  +1.709  24
10.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1:52.296  +1.730  19
11.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1:52.629  +2.063  25
12.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1:52.716  +2.150  16
13.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1:52.839  +2.273  23
14.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1:53.028  +2.462  20
16.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:53.080  +2.514  17
17.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:53.189  +2.623  25
18.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:53.227  +2.661  25
19.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1:54.908  +4.342  20
20.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1:55.091  +4.525  16
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1:55.335  +4.769  22
22.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1:55.760  +5.194  22
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1:56.656  +6.090  21
24.  Ma Qing  Hua          HRT-Cosworth          1:58.053  +7.487  20

Second practice

Bruno Senna disrupted many teams’ plans, after crashing out at turn 19. He clipped the barrier exiting the corner, skidded and damaged his suspension, and stalled on the racing line at turn 20. The red flag was deployed for several minutes, and Senna took no further part in proceedings.

Kimi Raikkonen – who was unhappy with his car’s pace all day – was forced to abandon his high-fuel run, after a hydraulic issue. Like in FP1, he finished 12th.

Further down the grid, Timo Glock produced a stellar lap to finish only 2 tenths off Jean-Eric Vergne.

Again, Vettel was fastest on the super-soft tyres, this time by 0.3 seconds to Button.

Times from FP2:

Pos  Driver                Team                  Time               Laps
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1:48.340           27
 2.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1:48.651  +0.311   24
 3.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:48.896  +0.556   26
 4.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1:48.964  +0.624   26
 5.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1:49.086  +0.746   28
 6.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1:49.300  +0.960   30
 7.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1:49.339  +0.999   31
 8.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:49.790  +1.450   32
 9.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:50.039  +1.699   28
10.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1:50.161  +1.821   23
11.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1:50.263  +1.923   23
12.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1:50.345  +2.005   24
13.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1:50.636  +2.296   32
14.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:50.791  +2.451   26
15.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1:51.122  +2.782   28
16.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1:51.450  +3.110   21
17.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1:51.452  +3.112   11
18.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:52.004  +3.669   31
19.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1:52.218  +3.878   29
20.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1:52.576  +4.236   27
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1:52.863  +4.523   27
22.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1:52.936  +4.596   25
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1:54.448  +6.108   25
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1:54.514  +6.174   30

Points standings after Singapore Grand Prix

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 309
2 Jenson Button 185
3 Fernando Alonso 184
4 Mark Webber 182
5 Lewis Hamilton 168
6 Felipe Massa 84
7 Nico Rosberg 62
8 Michael Schumacher 52
9 Vitaly Petrov 34
10 Nick Heidfeld 34
11 Adrian Sutil 28
12 Kamui Kobayashi 27
13 Paul di Resta 20
14 Jaime Alguersuari 16
15 Sebastien Buemi 13
16 Sergio Perez 9
17 Rubens Barrichello 4
18 Bruno Senna 2
19 Pastor Maldonado 1
20 Vitantonio Liuzzi 0
21 Jerome D’Ambrosio 0
22 Heikki Kovalainen 0
23 Narain Karthikeyan 0




Jarno Trulli

Pedro de la Rosa

Timo Glock

Daniel Ricciardo

Karun Chandhok




Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 Red Bull-Renault 491
2 McLaren-Mercedes 353
3 Ferrari 268
4 Mercedes GP 114
5 Renault 70
6 Force India-Mercedes 48
7 Sauber-Ferrari 36
8 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 29
9 Williams-Cosworth 5
10 Lotus-Cosworth 0
11 HRT-Cosworth 0
12 Virgin-Cosworth 0

Massa: Hamilton “not learning” and “can’t use his mind”

A furious Felipe Massa has struck out at Lewis Hamilton for their collision in today’s Singapore Grand Prix.

Lewis hit the back of Felipe’s car during Turn 7, leaving Hamilton with a broken wing and drive-through penalty, and Massa with a puncture.

Massa was livid, particularly after them nearly colliding in qualifying:

"My thoughts is that again, I told you yesterday, he cannot use his mind. Even in 
qualifying, so you can imagine in the race."

And after having his race ruined by the McLaren driver, Felipe didn’t mince his words on their collision:

"I was on the straight and he touched me, not even when he was on my side. He 
touched me when he was behind me.

Then, when I got to the end of the braking, my tyre was already punctured. For 
sure it was a big, big problem for my race. And he paid for that as well, so 
what can I say?

How many races this year he did this? He went in the wrong direction and he paid 
and he never learned. The FIA is looking for sure for that, because he is doing 
that so many times.

I think he is not learning. I tried to speak to him after we wait, but he didn't 
listen to me. I called him two times, but he didn't listen to me, he [walked] past 
me. He didn't even look to me.

I called him to speak, but when I show him, I said, 'very good job, well done'. 
Like that you will win many championships!"

Regarding the last paragraph of that quote, when Felipe went to speak to Lewis in the driver’s pen, Hamilton responded “Don’t touch me again” after Felipe grabbed his arm.

While Martin Whitmarsh defended his driver’s actions, I feel that Lewis must calm down on the racetrack if he is ever to win another world championship. Countless crashes and mistakes in 2011 have possibly resulted in the worst year of Lewis’ F1 career.

Lewis has been racing at the highest level for 5 years now, and silly rookie mistakes should be well ironed out by now.

Vettel leads Webber in Singapore qualifying

Sebastian Vettel will start from pole position, ahead of teammate Mark Webber, for the Singapore Grand Prix.

Vettel only set 1 lap in Q3, and a slow final sector meant Webber failed to beat his teammate. Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were 3rd and 4th, with Fernando Alonso 5th.


Renault were well off the pace in Q1

Renault were well off the pace in Q1

Sebastian Vettel’s early benchmark for his rivals was a 1:47.137 on the prime tyres. Lewis Hamilton pipped the Red Bull by 0.1 second, with Button a further 0.02 seconds ahead.

Sebastian quickly improved on the McLarens by half a second. With a Ferrari struggling for control, Fernando Alonso went 4th. Replays showed Lewis Hamilton locking up and sliding wide at Turn 7. His teammate complained to his team about chronic understeer on his car.

Several drivers, including Sergio Perez and Paul di Resta, were the first to go onto the super-soft tyres. Perez went 7th, with Di Resta 9th.

Vitaly Petrov pulled himself out of the drop zone on his final lap, but only just. His teammate Bruno Senna promptly moved into 15th, pushing Vitaly back into 18th position.

Heikki Kovalainen once again beat Jarno Trulli, while at HRT, Ricciardo beat Liuzzi, whose 5-place grid penalty from Monza proved completely ineffective.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Vitaly Petrov – 1:49.835

19) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:50.948

20) Jarno Trulli – 1:51.012

21) Timo Glock – 1:52.154

22) Jerome D’Ambrosio – 1:52.363

23) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:52.404

24) Vitantonio Liuzzi – 1:52.810


Kobayashi failed to set a time

Kobayashi failed to set a time

Mark Webber was the first out on super-softs, but suffered slight understeer, setting a 1:45.651. This allowed Button and Vettel to better Mark on their first runs.

However, the session was abruptly halted, as Kamui Kobayashi crashed at the triple chicane. The Sauber made a mistake at the first kerb, then the second launched Kobayashi into the barriers.

After a 5 minute delay, the session resumed. Felipe Massa went 5th, with Nico Rosberg just behind the Ferrari in 6th. Lewis Hamilton suffered a puncture on his final run, but his previous times were enough to let him into Q3.

Bruno Senna improved to 11th, but decided not to make a final run. Sergio Perez and Paul di Resta diced for 10th, with the Force India making it through to Q3. Barrichello and Maldonado were 12th and 13th, with the Toro Rossos 14th and 16th.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Sergio Perez – 1:47.616

12) Rubens Barrichello – 1:48.082

13) Pastor Maldonado – 1:48.270

14) Sebastien Buemi – 1:48.634

15) Bruno Senna – 1:48.662

16) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:49.862

17) Kamui Kobayashi – No time set


A massive queue emerged as the frontrunners battled for position on their first flying laps, with Lewis Hamilton nearly clashing with Felipe Massa. The McLarens went 1st and 2nd, with Webber 3rd. Vettel was up next, blasting the rest of the field away by 4 tenths of a second.

As most cars went out for their final run, Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and both Force Indias opted to stay in the pits.

Nico Rosberg was nowhere near the top teams, 1.6 seconds off the pace. Felipe Massa took 6th place, with Mark Webber taking 2nd. Jenson Button snatched 3rd off Hamilton, and Alonso could only manage 5th.

A poor final sector was the deciding factor between the Red Bulls, and Webber once again will start behind Vettel on the grid.