Marina Bay - A remarkably cool Lewis Hamilton snatched a dramatic last-gasp pole
position from his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg for Sunday's Singapore
Grand Prix with a phenomenal qualifying lap on Saturday.
29-year-old Briton left it late, crossing the line after three rivals
had in succession cut their times to take provisional pole to the
raucous delight of the crowd as he secured the prime starting position
by just 0.007 seconds - or less than the length of their Mercedes' nose
Rosberg, who leads him by 22 points in the drivers'
championship with six races remaining, will start alongside him from
second place after the Mercedes pairing grabbed their team's seventh
one-two of the year.
It was Hamilton's third pole in Singapore, his sixth this season and the 37th of his career.
reaction was pithy, but understandable when he was given the news on
team radio: "Dammit!" But, after an intriguing session, there was none
of the acrimony that has punctuated their duel for glory this year.
who is putting Rosberg under pressure with his speed in recent races,
raised a fist to celebrate in his car, but stayed calm after the
session. In torrid conditions, he is handling the heat.
"I knew I had the pace, but it was just about putting the sectors together which is not easy," he said.
the most incredible feeling when you do it on your last lap, with all
the pressure and when the smallest mistake could lose you a lot.
made a mistake and locked up at the first corner and I was already two
tenths down, but I said to myself let's keep going and see what happens.
previous lap wasn't perfect either, I lost time in 13 and 16, but I
fixed that and got the time back and the last sector was pretty hard
"It's a great day for the team, but there is a lot to do tomorrow."
Rosberg was understandably amazed and exasperated.
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," he said. But Lewis
did a good job today so 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 delighted many of his compatriots packed into the
Marina Bay street circuit by claiming third on the grid for Red Bull
ahead of his team-mate and defending four-time champion Sebastian
Vettel, winner of the last three Singapore races.
"It was good fun out there and the track was improving as qualifying went on," said Ricciardo.
"Street circuits keep you on your toes, but it was certainly good fun.
have got a few mates here this weekend and maybe some I don't know
about. It's close to home so it's really nice to see a few Aussie flags
and hopefully I can see a few more from the podium!"
two Red Bulls, two-time former champion Fernando Alonso qualified fifth
for Ferrari ahead of Felipe Massa of Williams and Kimi Raikkonen, who
was seventh in the second Ferrari.
On a tense and thrilling
evening, Valtteri Bottas was eighth in the second Williams ahead of
Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen of McLaren and Daniil Kvyat for Toro
After the usual suspects had dropped out in Q1, Alonso and
then Hamilton set the pace in Q2 as Ferrari continued to flex their
new-found muscle before a late Rosberg lap lifted him top by nearly half
Jenson Button missed out on the top ten shootout,
finishing 11th for McLaren ahead of job-hunting Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro
Rosso, the two Force Indias, Esteban Gutierrez of Sauber and Romain
Grosjean, who was 16th in his Renault.
For Button, it signalled
that he had been out-qualified 8-6 by Magnussen this year while for
Grosjean, a front-runner last year, frustration boiled over. "I cannot
believe it, bloody engine, bloody engine," he complained.Starting grid for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix after final qualifying on Saturday:
Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)
Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes)
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Red Bull)
Sebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull)
Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari)
Felipe Massa (BRA/Williams)
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Ferrari)
Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Williams)
Kevin Magnussen (DEN/McLaren)
Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Toro Rosso)
Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren)
Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA/Toro Rosso)
Nico Hlkenberg (GER/Force India)
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX/Sauber)
Sergio Perez (MEX/Force India)
Romain Grosjean (FRA/Lotus)
Adrian Sutil (GER/Sauber)
Pastor Maldonado (VEN/Lotus)
Jules Bianchi (FRA/Marussia)
Kamui Kobayashi (JPN/Caterham)
Max Chilton (GBR/Marussia)
Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Caterham)