Sebastian Vettel secured his eleventh pole position of the season in Singapore today – an ideal start to a weekend where he could wrap up his second drivers' championship.
Mark Webber will start alongside his team-mate on another all-Red Bull front row. McLaren make up the second row with Jenson Button in third and Lewis Hamilton in fourth.
Fernando Alonso, a two-time winner at this circuit, could qualify only fifth. Felipe Massa was sixth and Nico Rosberg was seventh.
Michael Schumacher, Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta did not set a lap time during Q3, and will line-up eighth, ninth and tenth on the Singapore grid.
The spread of lap times between the fastest and slowest cars in Singapore this weekend meant that the top teams – Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes – could get by in Q1 without using the faster super-soft Pirelli tyre. Sebastian Vettel, using only the soft tyre, was the quickest driver at this early stage with a time of 1:46.397.
Bruno Senna put in a good lap at the end of Q1, knocking Renault team-mate Vitaly Petrov down into eighteenth place and out of the session. Heikki Kovalainen was the best of the new teams, who will line up two-by-two on the grid tomorrow. Vitantonio Liuzzi qualified twenty-fourth and last, rendering the five-place grid penalty given to the Italian in Monza completely pointless.
The drivers from the top teams all switched to the super-soft tyre for the beginning of Q2. All, that is, except Lewis Hamilton, who decided to do his first run on the slower soft tyre. Those out early in this stage of qualifying managed to complete one lap before Kamui Kobayashi brought the session to a halt. The Sauber driver had become airborne over the kerbs of the chicane, and buried his car into the wall.
Vettel had just got his flying lap finished before the red flags came out, and his time of 1:44.931 went unbeaten throughout Q2. In fact, it was over half a second better than anyone else could manage.
The session resumed with 9 minutes and 41 seconds remaining but the drama continued as the clock ticked down towards the end of Q2. Hamilton picked up a right-rear puncture while running eighth and was forced to pit, unable to push himself any higher up the grid. Luckily for the Brit, nobody could challenge his time, and he made it through into the top-ten shoot-out.
Sergio Perez almost managed to sneak through into Q3, but was knocked out right at the end of Paul di Resta, who joined his team-mate in the final part of qualifying.
Perez, Rubens Barrichello, Pastor Maldonado, Sebastien Buemi, Bruno Senna, Jaime Alguersuari and, of course Kobayashi, all dropped out.
The cars were queuing at the end of the pit lane for the start of Q3, with Jenson Button heading the line of cars. There was jostling for position between Felipe Massa and Hamilton on the out-lap, with the McLaren driver eager to get ahead of the Ferrari man.
Button was the first across the line with a time of 1:44.928. Alonso was next to set a time, but could manage a 1:45.518. Hamilton then beat them both with a 1:44.809 but Vettel then went and trounced the lot of them with a time of 1:44.381.
These pole-contenders then headed straight back to the pits for another set of super-soft tyres, although, Hamilton chose not to go out for a second lap, instead choosing to save their remaining set of super-soft tyres to counteract the set lost from the puncture in Q2.
Mark Webber went up to second on the grid with his second lap, and Button went up to third. With Hamilton still in the garage and forced to settle for fourth, Vettel had no need to complete his second run, and returned to the garage with another pole position in the bag.
Singapore Grand Prix 2011: Qualifying Result
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:44.381||12||Report|
|2||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull||1:44.732||14||Report|
|8||7||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes||No Q3 Time||11||Report|
|9||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India||No Q3 Time||14||Report|
|10||15||Paul di Resta||Force India||No Q3 Time||14||Report|
|14||18||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso||1:48.634||11||Report|
|16||19||Jaime Algerusuari||Toro Rosso||1:49.862||10||Report|
|17||16||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber||No Q2 Time||8||Report|
|19||20||Heikki Kovalainen||Team Lotus||1:49.835||6||Report|
|20||21||Jarno Trulli||Team Lotus||1:50.948||6||Report|
|21||24||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing||1:51.012||7|
|22||25||Jerome D'Ambrosio||Virgin Racing||1:52.154||6|
|107% qualifying time||1:52.810|