Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel has resumed his reign at the top once again, as he pipped his rivals in the dying seconds of what was a close contest to take pole position for the FIA Formula One 2013 Singapore Grand Prix tomorrow. The reigning World Champion initially looked under pressure after deciding not to set a final flying lap in Q3 and his closest Championship rivals scored some impressive lap times to make him sweat, but ultimately Vettel was unstoppable and the other drivers in contention failed to pinch first place on the grid from him.
Mercedes’ driver, Nico Rosberg finished off the best of the rest who attempted to threaten Vettel’s hold on the top spot but he had to settle for second place and the German will line up alongside his fellow countryman when the race gets underway tomorrow.
Lotus Renault’s Romain Grosjean was also part of the battle for pole position as the final seconds ticked down on the clock as Q3 came to a close. The French man put in a solid performance when it mattered most and he will start from third place on the grid. Grosjean’s team mate, Kimi Raikkonen was not quite so lucky in qualifying as he did not make it through to Q3 and could only manage 13th place for himself as a starting point for the race tomorrow.
Vettel’s team mate, Mark Webber was another driver who fought to try and spoil the celebrations when pole position looked wrapped up early on prior to the rest of the top 10 completing their laps. The Australian could not match the blistering pace of his team mate though and he will begin the race from fourth place.
Rosberg’s team mate, Lewis Hamilton also looked like he had his sights set on a front row seat on tomorrow’s grid but he was left trailing Vettel as well and will start the race from fifth place alongside Ferrari’s Felipe Massa who grabbed sixth place for himself.
The Brazilian driver pipped his team mate, Fernando Alonso to the post in Q3 and the Spaniard will begin the race from seventh place as a result. Alonso will be accompanied by McLaren’s Jenson Button on the fourth row of the grid, after the Englishman showed good form in Q1 and just got into Q3 by the skin of his teeth, as there was a last minute dash to get into Q3 and the all-important top 10 shootout in which he qualified in eighth place.
Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo made it through to Q3 but finished the last part of the session almost at the tail end of the most desirable slots on the grid for tomorrow as he completed the proceedings in ninth place.
The final top 10 position to start the race tomorrow will be taken up by Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez, who made a surprising appearance in Q3 after finishing Q2 with an impressive performance.
Outside of the top 10 positions for tomorrow’s grid there were some inevitable and shocking casualties, who dropped down the field from the spots they more often than not take up. Aside from Raikkonen’s early exit from qualifying at the end of Q2 already mentioned, the Finnish driver will also be joined by Button’s team mate, Sergio Perez, the Force India duo of Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta and the Williams drivers, Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas, who were among those who failed to make the grade for a top 10 position to begin the race from tomorrow.
Vettel’s provisional pole position may have momentarily been in doubt as his closest Championship rivals looked set to possibly bring any early celebrations to a swift end. Vettel fortunately appeared streets ahead to give him a sufficient enough gap with his hot lap that topped the timesheets and eventually prevented anyone else from stealing his favourite spot on the grid.
Today’s qualifying session certainly provided some last minute excitement and a tight battle between the top Championship contenders hoping for the pole position spot. If similar nail biting action features in the race tomorrow as well, it will definitely be one to watch as misplaced drivers make their way through the field, in addition to Vettel being on a charge to take another race victory in the hunt for his 4th consecutive Drivers’ title campaign and the 22 drivers tackle the challenging Marina Bay circuit all at once under the lights.