Supreme Vettel takes Singapore pole
21 September 2013 – Sebastian Vettel claimed pole for the Singapore Grand Prix with a controlled qualifying performance on Saturday evening. While his main rivals completed two runs in the final shootout phase, the Red Bull driver had enough in hand with his sole 1:42.841 attempt, ultimately edging out Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean.
Heading into Q3, only Vettel, Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber and Lotus' Grosjean had untouched Super Soft tyre allocations, the trio having navigated the opening two segments on Pirelli's Medium compound, allowing for greater strategic flexibility.
But Vettel proved his class with just one timed lap, storming to the front and holding an advantage of over half a second after his rivals filtered through. Most drivers then opted for another run, while the German watched on from his Red Bull garage.
Rosberg came within a tenth of Vettel, but the latter's 41st career pole position was secure. Grosjean and Webber locked out the second row, while Lewis Hamilton had to settle for fifth position, lapping some three tenths slower than his team-mate.
Felipe Massa outqualified fellow Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso with an impressive Super Soft effort, while lead McLaren driver Jenson Button, Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo and star Q2 performer Esteban Gutiérrez completed the top ten positions.
Kimi Räikkönen was the biggest name to fall from the second phase, the Lotus driver still suffering from back pains. He will start 13th, directly behind Nico Hülkenberg and Jean-Éric Vergne, who were unable to follow their team-mates into the shootout. Sergio Pérez, Adrian Sutil and Valtteri Bottas were the others to fall at the Q2 hurdle.
Paul di Resta endured another Q1 exit, later claiming Force India is "simply not fast enough" at present. Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde led the battle at the back for Caterham, while Jules Bianchi narrowly outpaced Marussia team-mate Max Chilton.
Sunday evening's 61-lap Singapore Grand Prix gets underway at 9pm local time (GMT +8) and can be tracked via the GPUpdate.net live report feature