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Formula One: Hamilton on top in scintillating Singapore qualifying!

Home / Formula1 / Formula One: Hamilton on top in scintillating Singapore qualifying!

Lewis Hamilton has taken a crucial pole position in qualifying for the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix! At an event where the pole sitter has won 4 out of 6 times, Hamilton edged team-mate Rosberg by just 7 thousandths of a second to take P1 on the grid. The rest of the field seemed to have made a marked step up on the streets of Singapore. The top 9 cars were all within a second of each other, with Daniel Ricciardo taking 3rd place; much to the delight of the crowd.

Q1:

Adrian Sutil, Sauber, Singapore, 2014The 2 second gap in performance in the two tyre compounds ensured that every car would have to make a run on the super soft tyre to seal themselves a place in the second qualifying session. This gap was highlighted near the beginning of the session. Hamilton had been fastest, with Rosberg making a brief trip into the run-off zone, when Esteban Gutierrez went just a tenth slower on the faster compound. Red Bull even elected not to do a single run on the slower, instead going straight to the super-softs. Ricciardo went fastest for a moment, before being beaten by Hulkenberg and then Raikkonen. The Iceman would end the session fastest; with this being the first time that Kimi has topped a session this year.

Hamilton would have to settle for 3rd, seemingly struggling on the faster compound compared to his rivals. It started to seem possible that a non-Mercedes powered car could be on the pole for the first time this year.

The usual suspects in the Caterham and Marussia cars were eliminated in the first session. They were joined by Pastor Maldonado and Adrian Sutil, the latter of which being pushed into the drop-zone by late improver Romain Grosjean.

Out in Q1:

17 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’48.324
18 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’49.063
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’49.440
20 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’50.405
21 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’50.473
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’52.287

Q2:

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Singapore, 2014The potential battle for pole position seemed ever more likely during the second qualifying session. Lewis Hamilton held the top spot for a majority of the session, but the two Ferrari drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, were only a few hundredths behind. Nico Rosberg was also at risk and had to make an extra run at the end of the session to guarantee his place in the top 10 shootout; thus hindering his previous efforts to save tyres for the race. He did manage to top the times easily by 4 tenths of a second, despite being held up by Sebastian Vettel, but he could fall foul during the race tomorrow due to his team-mate having an extra set of Pirellis.

The battle to make it into the top 10 shootout was very tight, with Jenson Button just missing out by 17 thousandths of a second. He was joined by Jean-Eric Vergne, the two Force Indias, Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean. The Lotus driver was very upset on his run back to the pits, as he heavily criticised the Renault engine in his car for its lack of power.

Out in Q2:

11 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’46.943
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’46.989
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’47.308
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’47.333
15 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’47.575
16 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’47.812

Q3:

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2014The battle for pole position seemed to be between the Mercedes and Ferrari cars, but after the first run it was Felipe Massa’s Williams who was on provisional pole. Kimi Raikkonen was taken out of the battle before he really had a chance to show what he could do. The drivers were gearing up for their final runs when Kimi was told to come back to the pits after the team discovered a power problem.

Daniel Ricciardo had come out a minute earlier than everyone else, and thus was the first to complete his 2nd run as the chequered flag came out. He took the provisional pole position, which was met with a massive cheer from the crowd; with his hometown of Perth, Australia, just 5 hours away.

The crowd’s delight was spoiled a few moments later however as Nico Rosberg found enough time to take provisional pole by 2 tenths of a second, but Lewis Hamilton was faster! Unbelievably it came down to just 7 thousandths of a second, the equivalent of a front wing’s difference, with Lewis Hamilton taking the pole position.

Ricciardo held onto 3rd place, with team-mate Sebastian Vettel less than a tenth of a second behind in 4th place. The next two rows of the grid would be occupied by the Ferrari and Williams cars, with Alonso 5th ahead of Massa, Raikkonen and Bottas. Kevin Magnussen was 9th fastest for McLaren, with Kvyat completing the top 10 in the Toro Rosso.

2014 Singapore Grand Prix grid:

Row 1 1. Lewis Hamilton 1’45.681
Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg 1’45.688
Mercedes
Row 2 3. Daniel Ricciardo 1’45.854
Red Bull
4. Sebastian Vettel 1’45.902
Red Bull
Row 3 5. Fernando Alonso 1’45.907
Ferrari
6. Felipe Massa 1’46.000
Williams
Row 4 7. Kimi Raikkonen 1’46.170
Ferrari
8. Valtteri Bottas 1’46.187
Williams
Row 5 9. Kevin Magnussen 1’46.250
McLaren
10. Daniil Kvyat 1’47.362
Toro Rosso
Row 6 11. Jenson Button 1’46.943
McLaren
12. Jean-Eric Vergne 1’46.989
Toro Rosso
Row 7 13. Nico Hulkenberg 1’47.308
Force India
14. Esteban Gutierrez 1’47.333
Sauber
Row 8 15. Sergio Perez 1’47.575
Force India
16. Romain Grosjean 1’47.812
Lotus
Row 9 17. Adrian Sutil 1’48.324
Sauber
18. Pastor Maldonado 1’49.063
Lotus
Row 10 19. Jules Bianchi 1’49.440
Marussia
20. Kamui Kobayashi 1’50.405
Caterham
Row 11 21. Max Chilton 1’50.473
Marussia
22. Marcus Ericsson 1’52.287
Caterham

Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Singapore, 2014Lewis Hamilton, who qualified on pole position: “It was quite an exciting qualifying session. I wasn’t expecting to see so much difference in how close everyone was. We did some good laps in the first and second parts of qualifying and the Ferraris were close. The way it ends is good for our team. On my last lap, I locked up into Turn One, I lost a bit of time, but managed to pull it back. At that point, I thought it was over, but I just kept going and it got better and better. It’s a great effort by the team.”

Nico Rosberg, who qualified in 2nd place: “If I think back over the lap, seven thousandths of a second is nothing – a little bit here or there and I could have done it. But Lewis did a good job today. Fair play to him. Second place, it is OK. Sure first is better but it’s a long race ahead, so that’s fine.”

Daniel Ricciardo, who qualified in 3rd place: “I came into the weekend thinking if we could be within two or three tenths, we had a chance. It ended up a bit closer than we thought we would so that is encouraging. It was good fun out there and the track was improving as qualifying went on. Street circuits keep you on your toes but it was certainly good fun.”

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Jordan Groves
Jordan Groves
18 years old, UK. Formula One & Formula E Correspondent for RTR Sports. Fan of Formula One, Formula E, NASCAR, IndyCar, BTCC and many more! Follow me on Twitter: @jgroves1996

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