Lewis Hamilton has claimed the 37th pole position of his Formula 1 career with a brilliant final flying lap in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix. In an incredibly closely fought session, the Mercedes driver edged out his chief title rival and teammate Nico Rosberg by just seven-thousandths of a second. Daniel Ricciardo was less than two-tenths of a second back in third place.
The Mercedes duo kept relatively quiet during all three qualifying sessions, giving false hope to the likes of Ferrari and Williams. It wasn’t until the final lap where both Hamilton and Rosberg demoted provisional pole sitter Ricciardo down to third.
Rosberg had early signs of trouble when on his first flying lap in Q1 he had a minor brake failure, sending him into the exit road at Turn Eight.
The Red Bull’s showed that they will be competitive come tomorrow’s race, with Ricciardo just under two-tenths behind Hamilton’s fastest lap. Sebastian Vettel was just behind in fourth, however had a scare in Q1 when he left his run late and was held up by Daniil Kvyat, compromising his lap. Fortunately he still had enough time to complete another lap to get him out of the drop zone.
Ferrari failed to capitalise on the promise they showed throughout the weekend. With Fernando Alonso topping the final practice session many expected him to challenge the Mercedes for a top two position, or even the Red Bull’s, however he came just short of Vettel’s time, a mere five one thousandths of a second off the German.
His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen also found himself struggling after good performances in practice. He will line up seventh on the grid, over two-tenths slower than Alonso.
Daniil Kvyat impressed for Toro Rosso, making it into Q3 while his team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne struggled behind in 12th position.
The Force India Drivers failed to make an impact with both Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez failing to make Q3, after displaying glimpses of pace earlier on in the session. The pair was split by Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez, who again out-qualified Adrian Sutil after dropping out in Q1 due to a lack of power.
After struggling throughout the weekend, Romain Grosjean came close to passing the Force India of Perez but a problem with the engine prevented him from completing his last flying lap. He ended up in 15th position, just over two-tenths behind Perez.
Jules Bianchi will start from 19th after qualifying a second faster than Kamui Kobayashi in the Caterham and his team-mate Max Chilton.
2014 Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix – Qualifying Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:45.681||17|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:45.688||+ 0.007||19|
|3.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:45.854||+ 0.173||12|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:45.902||+ 0.221||15|
|5.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:45.907||+ 0.226||16|
|6.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:46.000||+ 0.319||20|
|7.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:46.170||+ 0.489||14|
|8.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:46.187||+ 0.506||18|
|9.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:46.250||+ 0.569||18|
|10.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:47.362||+ 1.681||21|
|Q3 Cut-Off: 1:46.926||Time||Gap*||Laps|
|10.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:46.943||+ 1.118||12|
|12.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:46.989||+ 1.164||14|
|18.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:47.308||+ 1.483||13|
|20.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:47.333||+ 1.508||9|
|13.||Sergio Pérez||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:47.575||+ 1.750||13|
|15.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:47.812||+ 1.987||14|
|Q2 Cut-Off: 1:48.143||Time||Gap**||Laps|
|17.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:48.324||+ 1.639||6|
|18.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:49.063||+ 2.378||8|
|19.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:49.440||+ 2.755||7|
|20.||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||1:50.405||+ 3.720||8|
|21.||Max Chilton||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:50.473||+ 3.788||7|
|22.||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||1:52.287||+ 5.602||5|
* Gap to fastest Q2 time of 1:45.825 by Nico Rosberg
** Gap to fastest Q1 time of 1:46.685 by Kimi Raikkonen
Images via XPB Images