Skip to content

Vettel cuts it fine in securing pole position for Singapore GP

Sep 21, 2013, 10:08 AM EDT

AUTO-PRIX-SIN-F1 Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel has continued his good form at the Singapore Grand Prix by securing pole position for tomorrow’s race, but he was very nearly pipped to the post by fellow countryman Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes.

Vettel had dominated practice earlier today, but the advantage he enjoyed in qualifying was just 0.091 seconds come the checkered flag in Q3. However, it was enough to hand him his fifth pole position of the season at a track where he has won twice before.

Title rivals Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton could not match the pace of the defending champion, with teammate Mark Webber also falling three-tenths short of Vettel’s pace. Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez both enjoyed good days as they both made the top ten, but Paul di Resta will undoubtedly be disappointed to have dropped out in Q1 once again.

Despite the gap between the prime and option tires being over 1.5 seconds per lap, the majority of the field ventured out on the slower medium compound at the beginning of Q1. Pastor Maldonado was the first to post a time, but he was soon overthrown by both Mercedes drivers with Nico Rosberg establishing his dominance by going eight-tenths faster than his teammate early on. Fernando Alonso’s struggles continued with a big lock-up at turn one before going P2, whilst Kimi Raikkonen looked to do as well as possible despite suffering from back pain. Lower down the grid, Sauber, Caterham and Marussia all went straight onto the super-soft tire in an attempt to secure a place in Q2, with Nico Hulkenberg immediately going fastest by almost a whole second. Red Bull bided their time, eventually sending Webber and Vettel out with just eight minutes remaining in the session, but they proved their pace to go P1 and P3 respectively. Hamilton was having none of it though, responding to go fastest of all on the option tire, followed by Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez at the head of the field. Felipe Massa was the big name in the dropzone as the checkered flag fell, but he improved late on to secure a place in Q2 and dump Paul di Resta out of qualifying along with Maldonado, both Caterhams and both Marussias.

Fighting through the pain, Raikkonen was the first to set a time in Q2, but he was soon edged out by both Mercedes drivers, Alonso and Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg, with the latter hoping to repeat his run to P3 at Monza. Once again, Red Bull played the waiting game, eventually sending Vettel and Webber out on the super-soft tire for the first time in qualifying. The defending world champion immediately stamped his authority on proceedings, going almost a second quicker than previous leader Rosberg. Webber joined him at the front, albeit eight-tenths down on his teammate. In the final flurry of times following the checkered flag, Esteban Gutierrez was the surprise name in the top ten, finishing an excellent seventh for Sauber. His teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, was less fortunate, dropping out in Q2 along with the injured Raikkonen. McLaren’s decision to go for just one timed run worked for Jenson Button as he made it through in P10, but Perez could only finish fourteenth. Jean-Eric Vergne, Adrian Sutil and Valtteri Bottas filled out the dropzone.

Red Bull bucked their own trend in Q3 by sending their drivers out early. Vettel laid down the first marker, a full six-tenths quicker than closest-rival Rosberg whilst Button completed an outlap and two sectors before returning to the pits. With two minutes remaining, nine of the ten runners came out to set a lap with Vettel getting out of his car, believing that he had done enough. However, his confidence nearly proved costly, with Rosberg coming within just 0.091 seconds of his compatriot. Romain Grosjean put in an impressive lap to finish P3 ahead of Webber and Hamilton. Felipe Massa will undoubtedly have a chip on his shoulder, having outqualified teammate Fernando Alonso with the Ferrari’s lining up P6 and P7 ahead of Button, Ricciardo and Gutierrez, with the Sauber driver failing to set a time.

Vettel has given himself the best possible chance of securing his third consecutive win in Singapore, and following dominant performances in Belgium and Italy, picking up a seventh win of the season under the lights at Marina Bay would surely put him out of reaching distance in the drivers’ championship.

Latest Posts
  1. NASCAR AMERICA: Tuesday Round-Up (VIDEO)

    Jul 29, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    NASCAR America

    The impact of the Jeff Gordon Era; a family affair at Indy for the Dillons; thoughts on the Homestead tire test in August.

  2. JGR’s Brickyard penalties in line with similar ’08 penalty for Edwards, Roush

    Jul 29, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT

    Denny Hamlin AP

    Carl Edwards, Jack Roush and crew chief Bob Osborne were severely penalized for a missing oil tank container lid after Edwards’ win at Las Vegas six years ago.

  3. Denny Hamlin’s team hit with big penalties after Brickyard infraction

    Jul 29, 2014, 5:41 PM EDT

    Pocono 400 - Practice Getty Images

    No. 11 crew chief Darian Grubb suspended for six races, fined $125,000; No. 11 car chief Wesley Sherrill suspended for six races; Denny Hamlin loses 75 championship points, but still in position to make the Chase.

  4. High 5: Chip Ganassi Racing’s win streak at Mid-Ohio (VIDEO)

    Jul 29, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Honda Indy 200 Getty Images

    A look back at Ganassi’s half-decade of dominance at the old-school road course in the Ohio countryside.

  5. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 p.m. ET

    Jul 29, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    NASCAR America

    Coming up today: The Top 5 wins of Jeff Gordon’s career; “Scan All 43″ for the Brickyard 400; reaction to Ty Dillon’s Nationwide win at Indianapolis.

  6. NASCAR AMERICA Minute: Where is Jeff Gordon among NASCAR’s greats? (VIDEO)

    Jul 29, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 Getty Images

    Richard Petty and David Pearson were joined on Sunday by Jeff Gordon as the only Sprint Cup drivers to win at least 90 races at NASCAR’s top level.

  7. Susan G. Komen honors Pippa Mann as its rookie-of-the-year; Mann also auctions helmet

    Jul 29, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    PippaKomenAward

    Between a few days in Texas and auctioning off her race worn Indianapolis 500 helmet, it’s been a busy couple of weeks for Pippa Mann and the Susan G. Komen organization.

  8. Chase-eligible teams – but not drivers – allowed at Homestead tire test

    Jul 29, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT

    Advocare 500 - Practice Getty Images

    Chase-eligible teams will have to send a driver not qualified for the post-season to an Aug. 26 tire test at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

  9. IndyCar flashback: Looking at telemetry from Robby Gordon at Mid-Ohio, 1994 (VIDEO)

    Jul 29, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    RobbyDakar AP

    IndyCar heads to Mid-Ohio this week. Here’s how telemetry readings from the track looked 20 years ago.

  10. Caterham, ex-employees to pursue legal action against each other

    Jul 29, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Qualifying Getty Images

    After a group of laid-off employees from Caterham announced their intent to pursue legal action against the team’s new owners, Caterham has said they’ll push for a lawsuit against the ex-employees over “gross misrepresentation of the facts.”

  11. Q&A: Kevin Healy on Milwaukee IndyFest activation heading into Wisconsin State Fair

    Jul 29, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Milwaukee IndyFest 225 - Day 2 Getty Images

    MotorSportsTalk catches up with Milwaukee IndyFest general manager Kevin Healy of Andretti Sports Marketing for a primer on the level of IndyFest promotion you’ll see at the Wisconsin State Fair, which starts Thursday.

  12. Red Bull’s Horner: “We’ve overachieved in many respects”

    Jul 29, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    Christian Horner AP

    It’s been a character-building season for the defending World Champions, but things are looking up for Red Bull going into the summer break.

  13. PWC: Charity efforts and comebacks afoot for Mid-Ohio round

    Jul 29, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    WC

    Two charity cars and three comeback efforts highlight the Pirelli World Challenge weekend at Mid-Ohio.

  14. IndyCar: Hawksworth on the doorstep of breakthrough with BHA

    Jul 29, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    HawkMidO Getty Images

    English rookie Jack Hawksworth has impressed more often than not during his first IndyCar season, and could bag his first win before the year’s out.

  15. Reports: Ecclestone could pay to settle corruption case

    Jul 29, 2014, 10:05 AM EDT

    File photo of F1 chief Ecclestone testifying at district court in Munich Reuters

    Reports Tuesday indicate Bernie Ecclestone could attempt to pay his way out of his corruption case.

  16. Report: Ecclestone says no to standing restarts in 2015

    Jul 29, 2014, 9:49 AM EDT

    GERstart Getty Images

    Bernie Ecclestone speaks out against standing starts, and wants them gone for 2015 before they even get the chance to debut.

  17. What’s next for Roush Fenway Racing?

    Jul 29, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    RFR2015 Getty Images

    Roush Fenway Racing faces a period of uncertainty with its younger lineup for 2015, alongside Greg Biffle.

  18. The F1 points scoreboard at Hungary, 2014 versus 2013

    Jul 29, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    HUNStart AP

    There have been some massive rises and falls in the F1 points tables comparing the 2014 standings post-Hungary to the 2013 ones.

  19. IndyCar working to reduce hand/wrist injuries among drivers

    Jul 28, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Firestone 600 - Practice Getty Images

    Among the possible options: A new steering damper, a thumb/wrist brace adapted from motocross, and energy-absorbing material for steering wheels.

  20. NASCAR AMERICA: Monday Round-Up (VIDEO)

    Jul 28, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

    NASCAR America

    Jeff Gordon reflects on fifth Brickyard victory; Joe Gibbs Racing starting to peak; the impact of Carl Edwards’ exit from Roush Fenway Racing.

Today on NASCAR AMERICA

More from NASCAR America

It's the Jeff Gordon era

Featured video

Inside the Hungarian GP
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. McMurray (1067)
  2. D. Hamlin (1007)
  3. A. Almirola (921)
  4. T. Bodine (909)
  5. K. Busch (828)