Vettel storms to Singapore pole for Ferrari

For the first time since June of last year, Sunday will see a Grand Prix start without a Mercedes on pole position after Sebastian Vettel clocked the fastest time in qualifying at Marina Bay.

Staff Reporter
19 September 2015, 4:34pm
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel recorded the first non-Mercedes powered pole position of the latest turbo engine era with a crushing performance during Saturday's qualifying session for the Singapore Grand Prix.

Vettel, who had dominated final practice, led the pole position shootout from the outset, posting two lap times quick enough for the top spot.

Vettel initially posted a 1:44.305 in Q3, before lowering the benchmark to 1:43.885, half a second up on Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

It marked his first pole since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix, Ferrari's first pole since 2012, and first in dry conditions since 2010.

Kimi Räikkönen failed to match team-mate Vettel's pace, but still claimed a spot on the second row, edging out the other Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat.

Lewis Hamilton, who abandoned his first Q3 run after running wide at Turn 7, had to settle for fifth position, a tenth ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Mercedes had been looking for a 24th successive pole, which would have equalled the record set by Williams during the 1992 and 1993 seasons.

Williams showed more pace in qualifying, Valtteri Bottas placing seventh and Felipe Massa ninth, separated by Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen.

Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was the slowest of the runners who made it through to the final phase, finishing four tenths adrift of Massa's Williams.

Multiple drivers lost potential improvements at the end of Q2 after Carlos Sainz Jr. – who ultimately finished 14th – hit the wall at Turn 19 and brought out yellow flags.

Force India pair Nico Hülkenberg (11th) and Sergio Pérez (13th), and McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso (12th) Jenson Button (15th) all missed out.

Q1 saw Sauber duo Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson drop out, along with Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, who caught a dramatic slide over the Anderson Bridge.

Manor Marussia rounded out the field, with Will Stevens getting the better of Alexander Rossi, in what was the American's first Formula 1 qualifying session.