• Singapore Grand Prix - Qualifying

Hamilton secures stunning Singapore pole

Chris Medland September 22, 2012

Lewis Hamilton secured a stunning pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix as he beat the rest of the field by half a second.

With it appearing to be a straight fight between Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for pole, Hamilton delivered on his first run in Q3 with a 1:46.362 while Vettel was 1.3s off the pace. That opened the door for Pastor Maldonado to take second place, with Vettel unable to improve sufficiently on his final run to secure a place on the front row.

Jenson Button almost spoiled Vettel's day even further with his final lap as he posted a time just 0.034s slower than the Red Bull for fourth place. Fernando Alonso will start fifth, just ahead of Paul di Resta who delivered an impressive performance for Force India.

Only the top six were within a second of Hamilton, with Mark Webber struggling to seventh place - half a second slower than his team-mate. Romain Grosjean was eighth quickest after luckily surviving contact with a barrier earlier in the session, while the two Mercedes' of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg line up ninth and tenth after not setting times in Q3.

Kimi Raikkonen was the biggest name to drop out in Q2 as a slow middle sector meant he didn't make it through to the top ten. Felipe Massa's struggles continued as he could only set the 13th quickest time, but he will line-up alongside the potential heir to his seat in Sergio Perez, who starts on row seven after Sauber struggled for one-lap pace.

Grosjean hit the wall at turn 14 at the start of Q2, but despite a hefty impact he was able to pit and rejoin the session later on. Bruno Senna was not so lucky, having tapped the wall exiting turn 21 - as Vitaly Petrov had in FP3 - and broken his right rear suspension. Senna got the car back to the pits but could not set a time.

Kamui Kobayashi was the man to drop out in Q1 after admitting that he had "no confidence" as he struggled with oversteer. Behind him it was the usual suspects, although Petrov did a good job to outqualify his team-mate Heikki Kovalainen despite his FP3 crash. Both Caterhams beat the improving Marussias, with Narain Karthikeyan lining up ahead of his team-mate on the back row.

Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1

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Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1 Chris Medland, who in his youth even found the Pacific GPs entertaining, talked his way in to work at the British Grand Prix and was somehow retained for three years. He also worked on the BBC's F1 output prior to becoming assistant editor ahead of the 2011 season