The Singapore Grand Prix has a fair bit of magic about it. For one, it’s a street circuit. We like street circuits. For another, it’s F1 racing under lights in the depths of the night. We also like that.
Qualifying is especially important for this race because, as with Monaco, overtaking isn’t easy and being behind slower cars for any amount of time can destroy a driver’s chances of a points finish.
So, without further ado, here’s qualifying as it happened…
Round 1 – Petrov knocked out as Renault fail to deliver
The first round of qualifying saw the usual crop of Lotus, Marussia Virgin and Hispania filling the final six places on the grid but, unusually and for the first time this season, Lotus Renault GP driver Vitaly Petrov joined them in being knocked out in round 1. Renault are indeed struggling – they removed upgrades planned for Singapore after overheating problems and will no doubt have their work cut out to turn the weekend around.
Knocked Out: 18th – Petrov, 19th – Kovalainen, 20th – Trulli, 21st – Glock, 22nd – d’Ambrosio, 23rd – Ricciardo, 24th – Liuzzi
Round 2 – Kobayashi takes off and bows out in style
A hectic second round saw the red flag fall with 9 minutes remaining after Kamui Kobayashi took off over the famous Singapore kerbs and binned his Sauber into the wall.
Thankfully he was ok, but he’ll be down in 17th for the race tomorrow. Kamui’s team mate Sergio Perez nearly squeezed into the top 10, but ended the session in 11th after Paul Di Resta snaffled the last Q3 spot to join his team mate Adrian Sutil in the final round.
Lewis Hamilton had an eventful session, rolling into the pits towards the end with a rear puncture. Thankfully for him his best time secured him a place in Q3 along with his team mate, the Red Bulls, the Ferraris, both Mercedes cars and the aforementioned Force India drivers.
Knocked Out: 11th – Perez, 12th – Barrichello, 13th – Maldonado, 14th – Buemi, 15th – Senna, 16th – Alguersuari, 17th – Kobayashi
Round 3 – Vettel edges closer to title glory with yet another pole position
Sebastian Vettel’s first flying lap was enough to secure pole position, his 11th in 2011. During the second run, Webber managed to grab 2nd place and Button 3rd, pushing Hamilton down to 4th. Neither of the Force India drivers took part in the final round of qualifying, in order to allow them to start on their choice of tyre and save a set of the soft tyres.
Ferrari had nothing left to throw at McLaren and Red Bull, taking 5th and 6th with Alonso and Massa respectively. Rosberg again out-qualified Schumacher to see Mercedes GP line up 7th and 8th.
The Starting Grid for Sunday: