F1: Lewis Hamilton sets the pace in qualifying for 2012 Singapore Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton

photo SESAME

Singapore – Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes) lead the 24 car field in the qualifying Saturday at the Marina Bay Street Circuit to claim pole position in Sunday night’s 2012 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix. Hamilton’s lap of 1:46.362 in the third stage of qualifying bested Venezuelan Pastor Maldanado’s (Williams-Renault) time of 1:46.804 by near a 1/2 second and German Sebastian Vettel’s (Red Bull-Renault) time of 1:46.905 whom finished third. Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes) rounded out the second line with strong mark of 1:46.939.

Current Formula One World Championship points leader Spain’s Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) placed fifth with a time of 1:47.216. Alonso’s Ferrari couldn’t seem to keep the pace with McLaren-Mercedes team who have been running hot as late taking it’s fourth straight pole and sixth of the season (this is Hamilton’s fifth pole).

England’s Paul di Resta (Force India-Mercedes) completed the third row (1:47.241) to see the UK spot all three of it’s drivers in the top ten. Australia’s Mark Webber (Red Bull-Mercedes)(1:47.475), France’s Romain Gorsjean (Lotus-Renault)(1:47.788), and German and Team Mercedes drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg (both no times in Q3) rounded out the top ten of the field.

Sebastain Vettel

photo SESAME

Vettel running by far the quickest times in all three of the practice sessions was frustrated after slipping to third. “Yeah, a little disappointed. Especially Q3. I don’t know why we couldn’t do the step. Nevertheless, third is a good position to start from. There is a long race tomorrow, a lot of things that can happen,” he said in the FIA post-qualifying press conference.
Where as Hamilton remained confident in light of his recent success in 2012 and despite his recent questions of leaving McLaren-Mercedes. “The guys have done a fantastic job all week and to come here with some small things that have improved from the last race…A great lap, I’m very happy with it.”

Pasto Maldano

photo SESAME

The top ten found a few surprise including Maldando’s front row finish next to Hamilton. “We were working very hard because at the beginning of the weekend and during the practice we were a little bit lost with the setup and yeah, we were improving, especially during the quali, y’know, during the qualifying just trying to adapt the car to my style,” he said when asked about his late Q3 stunning lap.

But the Marina Bay Street Circuit still proves to be one of the toughest on the F1 calendar with its twists, turns and uneven surface. Vettel had this to say on the track: ” I think we’ve discussed it many times, every year actually, to find a better solution in turn ten which probably requires to take a little bit of land from the cricket club for those couple of days or maybe remove the pavement for three/four days. I don’t know, but if you consider the costs for this whole event, I think taking a pavement away and putting it back on shouldn’t be a big problem, but in terms of safety, yeah, I think that’s one of the worst corners we have on the calendar, because you’ve got these big kerbs, big bumps and it’s a bit tricky to find a better solution right now with the space we have, but I think that’s something we need to work on.”

As Singapore has signed a second five year contract with the FIA those changes are yet to be seen. Race time Sunday evening starts 21:00 Singapore Local Time.

Final Starting Grid:

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:48.285 1:46.665 1:46.362 14
2 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:49.494 1:47.602 1:46.804 17
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:48.240 1:46.791 1:46.905 14
4 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:49.381 1:47.661 1:46.939 15
5 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:49.391 1:47.567 1:47.216 14
6 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:48.028 1:47.667 1:47.241 18
7 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:48.717 1:47.513 1:47.475 17
8 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:47.688 1:47.529 1:47.788 16
9 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:49.546 1:47.823 14
10 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:49.463 1:47.943 13
11 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:49.547 1:47.975 12
12 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:48.169 1:48.261 14
13 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:49.767 1:48.344 12
14 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:49.055 1:48.505 14
15 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:49.023 1:48.774 13
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:49.564 1:48.849 14
17 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:49.809 10
18 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:49.933 8
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:50.846 6
20 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:51.137 6
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:51.370 8
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:51.762 8
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:52.372 7
24 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:53.355 7
Q1 107% Time 1:55.226


Joe Grez

Joe Grez

Joe Grzesik (JGrez) is still an artist developer trying to keep up with new technologies. Photography still has been one of his strongest passions. However, now his main focus has led him back to music where he teaches guitar, piano, saxophone and percussion privately. Music education can never be short changed.

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