Hamilton Edges Out Rosberg For Pole

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Lewis Hamilton took pole at the Singapore Grand Prix, mere miliseconds ahead of his team-mate, and front row companion, Nico Rosberg.

Suffering a time loss due to a lock-up at turn 1 on his flying lap, Hamilton was behind Rosberg after the second sector, leaving it to a strong third sector to secure his sixth pole position of the season. Rosberg, who felt that he had done enough to start from the front, responded only with “dammit” when his team informed him of the qualifying results.

But although they started from the front of the grid (for the seventh time in fourteenth Grands Prix), their early-season dominance was nowhere to be seen as they fought off challenges from Daniel Ricciardo who was looking to take his first pole position in front of huge numbers of Australian ticket holders in Singapore. The cheer from the crowd when Ricciardo took provisional crowd was so loud, it blocked out the sound of the cars and goes to show the popularity of the two-time race winner.

His team-mate, the four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel continued what has now become the norm as he qualified behind the other Red Bull car. Fernando Alonso will start tomorrow’s race from fifth on the grid, a position he has occupied thirty-four times in his career, more times than anyone else. Although Alonso stood as Mr Singapore for several years due to his apparent stronghold over the circuit, he could not challenge the Mercedes or Red Bull drivers, all of whom start ahead of him.

Meanwhile, Alonso’s team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, was looking particularly strong and topped the opening qualifying session. Looking threatening to Mercedes, he went out in Q3 only to lose power mid-lap and crawl back to the pits, meaning he will start the race from seventh.

Massa and Bottas also looked like they could put in a genuine challenge for the front row, but, although Massa was the fastest driver after the first flying laps, they finished down the order; Massa sixth and Bottas eighth.

Jenson Button missed out on Q3 by only .017s and admitted to locking up during his lap. Romain Grosjean put no foot wrong but still missed out, qualifying twelfth and venting his frustration with the team after climbing from his cockpit. Sutil blamed an apparent lack of power for being knocked out in Q1 while Pastor Maldonado offered no excuses for not making it out of the first session.

Provisional Qualifying Positions:

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Nico Rosberg
  3. Daniel Ricciardo
  4. Sebastian Vettel
  5. Fernando Alonso
  6. Felipe Massa
  7. Kimi Raikkonen
  8. Valtteri Bottas
  9. Kevin Magnussen
  10. Daniil Kvyat
  11. Jenson Button
  12. Jean-Eric Vergne
  13. Nico Hulkenberg
  14. Esteban Gutierrez
  15. Sergio Perez
  16. Romain Grosjean
  17. Adrian Sutil
  18. Pastor Maldonado
  19. Jules Bianchi
  20. Kamui Kobyashi
  21. Max Chilton
  22. Marcus Ericsson

Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG F1 Team.

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Filed under F1, Qualifying Report

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