Second pole position in a row for Alonso (Singapore Grand Prix qualifying)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso will start from pole position for the second race in a row after pipping Sebastian Vettel in qualifying at Singapore.

The two McLarens will start from the second row of the grid with Lewis Hamilton ahead of Jenson Button.

Q1

The first qualifying session was interrupted when Felipe Massa suffered a car failure before he’d even set a lap. The red flags came out as the Ferrari was recovered.

That meant there was little prospect of anyone other than the three new cars being eliminated in Q1.

Sure enough, the session ended with Timo Glock fastest of those six cars, with Lucas di Grassi out-qualifying Jarno Trulli.

Christian Klien beat team mate Bruno Senna on his F1 return.

Q2

Vitaly Petrov’s qualifying ended when he crashed at turn five and broke his right-rear suspension.

He was running in the top ten at the time. But as he was unable to improve his time he was relegated into the drop zone.

The two Force India drivers were slowest in Q2, Vitantonio Liuzzi running across the chicane at one point.

Nico H???lkenberg was clearly frustrated after setting 12th fastest time. He already has a five-place penalty which will push him further down the grid tomorrow.

Jaime Alguersuari out-qualified team mate Sebastien Buemi to take 11th – and was just six-hundredths of a second away from reaching Q3.

Q3

Vettel looked on course for pole position as he set a dramatically quick time in the first sector of his lap. But he caught Michael Schumacher too soon and was only seventh after his first run.

Alonso headed the times after the first round of laps with a blistering run through the final sector of the lap. Hamilton was second behind him having lost time in the final sector when he caught his team mate.

Vettel found enough time on his second lap to split the pair of them with his last run, despite clipping a barrier in the second sector.

While Hamilton couldn’t improve with his last run Button moved up to fourth, relegating Mark Webber to fifth place and last of the five title contenders.

Full qualifying times

Pos. # Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’46.541 1’45.809 1’45.390
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’46.960 1’45.561 1’45.457
3 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’48.296 1’46.042 1’45.571
4 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’48.032 1’46.490 1’45.944
5 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’47.088 1’45.908 1’45.977
6 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’48.183 1’47.019 1’46.236
7 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’48.554 1’46.783 1’46.443
8 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’47.657 1’46.949 1’46.593
9 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’48.425 1’47.160 1’46.702
10 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’48.908 1’47.599 1’47.884
11 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’48.127 1’47.666
12 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’48.906 1’48.165
13 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’49.063 1’48.502
14 22 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’48.696 1’48.557
15 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’48.496 1’48.899
16 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’48.988 1’48.961
17 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’47.984 1’47.674
18 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’50.721
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’50.915
20 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’51.107
21 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’51.641
22 20 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1’52.946
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’54.174
24 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari

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84 comments on “Second pole position in a row for Alonso (Singapore Grand Prix qualifying)”

  1. First and last…didn’t expect that!

    Hopefully Massa, Hulk and Petrov will provide some fun tomorrow.

    Alonso now the first person to have multiple poles this season that isn’t a RBR

    1. First and last happen a few times last year :)

      1. Never in qualifying last year though :P And when it did happen in the arce I could console myself with the fact that neither were my favourites either :P

        1. Arrrrgh! There are too many Stephs on here! :P

  2. It’s a pole for Ferrari yet again!!!

    FORZA FERRARI!!! :)

  3. I thought Vettel had this one in the bag! But then i should know better by now. There might be fireworks in the start with Lewis right there. What happened to Mark Webber?? Not complaining though, Lewis is ahead!

  4. Best dry qualifying of the season? I think so

    1. I fell asleep, didn’t enjoy it.

      Also I think keith forgot to close a HTML tag up, cos it looks like we’re all angry! rar! bolded writing!

      1. Funnily enough I nearly fell asleep myself at one point! But that was because I was really tired, not because of anything on the track

    2. I think canada was more thrilling, it was last minute efforts!

      1. I woke up in 4 am just to see the qualifying as Star Sports didn’t telecast it live, & my fellow F1 fans fell asleep

        1. wasiF1,

          That was extremely rude of Star Sports to do. They do this once or twice every year. Yesterday, they were showing the same Champions League(or whatever)cricket match on Star Cricket and Star Sports at that time – ARROGANCE or what?

          Keith,
          This is one annoying problem F1 fans in the Indian subcontinent (India, Bangladesh, etc.) face. ESPNStar proudly advertises itself as the only channel in the region to broadcast all F1 races and qualifying sessions, but they aren’t living up to it.

          They aren’t bothered, because clearly F1 fans in the subcontinent are much less in number when compared to cricket or football fans. Okay, understood. But why telecast the same match live on both of its channels when another great sporting event they are contracted to show is taking place?

          ESPNStar is arrogant that its sole F1 telecast licence can’t be taken by anyone else in the region. What they did yesterday was ABSOLUTE INJUSTICE.

          1. Very correct keith. Thanks for the tweet

  5. What a fantastic quali. Just edge of the seat tension throughout.

    Stunning laps from the top 3 – Vettel could and should have been quicker.

  6. What a drive from Alonso. Quality always rises to to top

    1. Damn straight, the man was monstrous today, Great drive to take advantage of Redbulls mistakes, reckon Vettle could be third by the first corner.

      1. Also could end up in fourth place.

  7. Massa never fails in making you feel bad for him, and always justifiably so.

    1. Sad but true Squirrel.

  8. Should be a good start to the race tomorrow. It might be likely that Vettel and Hamilton will touch in the first corner.

    Safety cars could also thow up some interesting opportunities, especially if later in the race.

    I expect Alonso should quite easily walk away with this one, he has always been good here.

    1. Hamilton will have nothing to do with Vettel tomorrow as his sight will be on Alonso. Remember that (even) Button overtook Alonso at Monza from 3rd. But this time around he is having to deal with his worst nightmare who is Hamilton and he will be very nervous at the start.

      Epic race tomorrow I suppose ….. bring it on!! :-)

      1. Button was second on the grid at Monza.

        1. oh! Well, thanks Keith …… I guess I have to bury my head in shame now…. :-(

    2. “he has always been good here.”

      *cough*..

      1. I would say always been fast, maybe, to avoid misunderstandings :-p

    3. hmm …if someone fix this one again than will win for sure..but Massa is not Piquet :))

  9. Bodes well for the rest of the season seeing as this was supposed to be a RBR track. Although they probably still have the quicker car it’s great to see it closer than Hungary.

    1. very much agreed

  10. That was a great ride from Alonso. Second consecutive pole on two very different tracks.
    They are saying that Santander just bought the most important Polish bank, so that might mean Kubica in Ferrari soon ?

    1. You are right Bart, Santander bought the third largest bank in Poland a few months ago.

      That could explain the push for Kub by the red car brigade :-(

      1. Well, they’ve also got Santander Brasil. And Brasil has 5 times more inhabitants then Poland.

        However, maybe Massa is now perceived as ‘loser’ – mind you not by me – and Kubica more as a winner. That could be a reason from a marketing point of view to push for Kubica.

        1. Still, Massa has more points than kubica.

          Go Massa!

  11. Great job by Alonso.Bad luck for massa though!!!.So this shows that RBR ain’t invincible like befor anymore.

  12. Besides his poor performance in Spa, Alonso has really come on strong in this second half of the season. Good job.

  13. that was a dissapointing night for RBR!

  14. Pole lap of a champion from Fernando but he’ll be silently relieved Vettel couldn’t get his top lap together. He’ll have to watch out for McLaren’s race pace too and with a Safety Car who knows what could happen (and it would be poetic justice ;))

  15. Ferrari bookends. That’s one for the Christmas list.. :)

    1. Which sets me wondering how, exactly, Ferrari will try to use Massa to assist Alonso in the race. They presumably have to think of something, since it’s Massa’s only point of existence now, apparently, but what…?

      1. They will use Massa to slow down Alonso’s rivals when they come to lap Massa.

        1. :)) you maybe right ….but i think Alonso will call old pall Flavio for assistant of this matter Briatore is master of fixing …..

          1. If they did that I think they would effectively be kissing good bye to the WCC, they need Massa in the points

        2. sumedh, precisely, which would even mean holding him back, maybe, though he was stuck at the back in 2008 and didn’t make much headway so then again maybe not.

        3. If they get his car operating properly, nobody should be lapping Massa.

      2. When you hear over the radio “gimme a double pepperoni”, then Massa will run his car into the wall to the advantage of Alonso

        1. But Alonso won’t need that from first place?

          1. Alonso is exposed to 4 more hungry Hyenas one of whom is Hamilton who will definitely wants to tear Alonso apart can’t wait for the action.

  16. Pleasantly surprised to see the McLarens splitting the Red Bulls and, as much as I dislike Alonso, glad to see that the RBs aren’t as dominant as people predicted.

  17. Fantastic job by Jaime all this weekend so far… I am very pleased with his performance… Only 67 thousands missed to be in Q3 for the first time in his short F1 career… STR made a big step forward and so Alguersuari… A pity that his last flying lap didn t work, he was over 1 tenth faster then Koba in sector 2…
    Anyway, I am curious about tomorrow, Alguersuari was one of the fastest drivers on Friday s long runs with heavy fuel load, so it can be interesting in race… Hoping for some nice points and finally NO penalty…

  18. Alonso is gonna win this race and should move into 2nd place in the points. Vettel is gonna stay second the whole race. Hamilton gonna take hisself outta the race or points. Button gonna drive a smooth race and finish on the podium. Massa gonna race into the top 5. Webber gonna have a slow start from 5th place.

    1. That sounds like a dream, but not mine. If anyone does go out, I would prefer Vettel, and, actually, just to make sure he won’t win this WDC, Alonso.

      Even though I would also like him to have a good fight for the win with Hamilton and/or Vettel, and may the best man win.

      1. If I was Vettel, I would only concentrate on being ahead of Button. Let Hamilton bring Alonso backwards, and anything will be up for grabs.

  19. Interesting, Petrov did enough in the end to get P12. Not bad (after all, how much chance did he have to get in a lap before hitting the wall there), but it shows he should have done a lot better still.

    1. Things like this will not help him to keep his seat in the Renault in the future.

  20. I guess we finally have our answer on how much an impact the new bodywork flex tests have made.

    From an unbeatable lead of at least 1.2 seconds in Hungary to only a few tenths here.

    Then the pressure starts and the mistakes creep in hurting them even more, seeing their advantage go away completely.

  21. So what did we learn?

    1 Vettle and Redbull cracked under preassure, they had the car for pole an they couldn’t get it. That an they look to have had their wings clipped. Expect many more poles from them though.

    2 Alonso is truly back on top form, must be considered one of the favourites along with Webber and Hamilton, also Ferrari is a true threat probs for both titles as well, although Massa grid position may well damage their constructors hunt.

    3 McLaren fans can take heart, on the circuit that suits their car the least they are well in with a chance for a big points haul, an have an oppourtunity to get ahead in the constructors, and possibly the drivers depending on what Mark Webber does with this race. Looking foward McLaren can possibly challenge for wins at circuits that suit their car more. Korea Abh Dhabi Intergalos.

    4 The rest of this season is going to be epic.

  22. Just read an interview with Alonso on autosport.com (http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/86962), he says, at the end of it:

    “We made some safe changes in the car to avoid risks. We ran with experimental hings here and after Massa we went back to the old one. In Q2 we were running old maps on the car and in Q3 with the right maps the car was feeling better.”

    … does that perhaps refer to attempts at tuning their own engine retardation, and does it mean they stopped using it during Q2, but again had it in Q3, or that they didn’t use it in Q3, because the mapping didn’t feel “right”?

    1. Yeah I think it was probably to do with the blown rear diffuser. All very interesting isn’t it.

      Mclaren didn’t seem especially fast and then all of a sudden they were. I wonder also if that was something to do with them turning on something. It may of course be that they were just taking it easy early on in the qualifying. I think that’s what Ted Kravitz reported from the pits.

      1. Having read it about five times, I take it as they ran the new map in Q2 (felt odd, got a banker lap) but had to revert to the normal / old map for the 2nd timed lap in Q2 and all of Q3.

  23. “other than the three new cars being eliminated in Q1.”
    shouldn’t be “three new teams”?

  24. By the way, I was just looking at foto’s of the weekend, and I noticed that the fancy new McLaren front wing does not only have those fancy split front deck things, but also another addition: their “scoop” at the front of the nose now is two layered; compare:
    http://motorsport.nextgen-auto.com/gallery/pictures/2010/f1/gp-singapore-25sep-1/024.jpg and http://motorsport.nextgen-auto.com/gallery/pictures/2010/f1/gp-singapore-25sep-1/017.jpg or more clearly perhaps: http://motorsport.nextgen-auto.com/gallery/pictures/2010/f1/gp-singapore-25sep-1/042.jpg

    I guess here more downforce due to a better flow is a bigger gain than the extra drag it creates.

  25. He indeed is.
    But I would have been happy even if he hadnt taken the pole ; even Hamilton too.

    I dont hate any driver and I only believe the figures and not assume things.

    Sorry to be rude in my previous scrap.
    Enjoy the race.

  26. Hamilton is on clean side of track and that will help him jump Vettel. RBR are also not getting good starts in the last few rounds. So Alo vs Ham after the end of Lap 1. Can’t wait.

  27. I thought Hamilton was dreaming if he thought he could find 1.1s in one day over Vettel. He found almost all of it. He got ahead of Webber as well as Button in the process. Alonso’s performance was incredible though. He showed today why he is still the best driver out there.

    I’m feeling pretty anxious about the prospect of Alonso, Vettel, and Hamilton piling into that first corner three-wide, which is a real possibility given RBR’s lousy starts. But Hamilton has to know that Webber is likely to get another terrible start, and that he is behind Button, so he should not make any Monza-like lunges at the outset.

    If they finish like they start tomorrow this championship is going to get even tighter. Unbelievable. When is the movie about this season coming out?

    1. I saw him being thrown about by the chicanes in his fastest lap thinking he will improve such big mistakes. But that was all he could do. Same thing happened to Vettel messing up his exit from one of the chicanes.

  28. feel really bad for Felipe Massa… will luck be ever on his side?

    1. no. luck is always on best drivers side :)

  29. Fantastic lineup

    Could be a procession, could be not and there’s the mysterious track that refuses to dry up 7 hours after the heavy rain!

    More rain is predicted on Sunday afternoon.

    1. Good point about the lack of drying up.

      So any rain tomorrow at any time of the day/night will give us an exciting race :)

      1. Wet track like the FP1 where the drivers said it was tricky to drive will be awesome to see how it turns out today.

  30. Mmm.

    Could Alonso be pulling a ’07 Räikkönen? If only it wasn’t for the engine issues I’d say it was a given considering how well Ferrari seems to be doing now in any track.

    1. The odds against Kimi in 2007 were a lot longer. He was 17 points behind with 2 races left (only 20 points), had to win both races (China and Brazil) while his rival scored only 2 points (DNF in China and 7th in Brazil) Highly unlikely, but Kimi pulled it out.

      Now Fernando is 21 points behind for a total of 125 (something like 8.4 of 50 in the old scoring system). Doesn’t seem so hard, in his present shape. He doesn’t have to win everything while all his rivals go belly up, just needs to be consistent and score a little more than the rest (and nurse his engines, too).

      And considering his pole today, it looks even better for him. If he doesn’t run out of luck he should win this race. Even if his rivals score some decent points, it is going to get extremely tight at the top.

    2. May be but still there are a lot of distance to travel before the end of the season.

  31. Think I’ve got this correct, if, big IF, the race finished the same as qualifying positions the standings would be:

    1. Web 197
    2. Ham 197
    3. Alo 191
    4. Vet 181
    5. But 177

    But that won’t happen, thought it was interesting though.

    When did the top five in Qualifying last finish the race in the same order?

  32. how many SCs will we see tomorrow? :)
    with this 3 new team and lots of rookies i bet 2 or 3 :)

    1. I hope none but yeah may be 3.

  33. That may be small margin but that lap by Alonso was really great.What a qualifying session as the top 5 contender are all in the top 5. The person who will be under pressure will be Alonso as now he won’t have the luxury of having his team mates support which he had in the last couple of races. Ferrari are showing that they are back & back with a bang. I think someone between Alonso & Hamilton will win the race as Vettel will have a bad start starting on the dirty side of the track as
    same goes with Button.

    To be honest I expected better from Kubica, I think Barrichello & Roseberg are the only two person who can upset the top come the raceday tomorrow.

  34. Younger Hamilton
    26th September 2010, 7:46

    First of all great job Lewis and Jenson for securing the 2nd row and getting just behind of ahead of a Red Bull on a track that suits Red Bull very well and well im not really complaining about Fernando being on Pole at least he’s ahead of Seb and there’s not Red Bull on Pole and starts on the clean side of the grid so its almost guarenteed that he will have a good clean start.Its Likely that Lewis will jump Seb into Turn 1 and possibly maybe follow Fernando in the slipstream through Raffles Boulvevard and overtake him into Turn 4 but Anything is Possible Anything can Happen.

  35. Younger Hamilton
    26th September 2010, 7:54

    What Keith,Lewis lost time in the Final sector on his 1st run when he ended up being almost 2 tenths off Fernando imagine where he would of ended up if he didnt lost time to Jenson

  36. I didn’t pay attention to the qualifying telecast repeat showed on Star Sports, but did Bruno Senna’s spin affect his chance for a hot lap? Christian Klein is making mince meat of Senna.

    1. No, Bruno had enough time on his side after the spin to improve his times.

      And, Klien is a faster driver ;-)

  37. What an astonishing first lap in Q3 by Alonso. At a track where red bull were meant to dominate. Q2 was very hectic after the Ferrari boys decided to revert to the old mapping for Alonso after Massas failures. As the master went out there was clearly a tense moment as the old mapping wasnt functioning properly. Alonso had to come back in to reset all, his banker lap put him 7th at the time. But straight after the reset in Q3 on his first run my god did he put a lap together under pressure! In the final run of Q3 no one could better it..not even he! Its shaping up to be another exciting race. Perhaps if he gets on the podium this time he will silence a few ppl who say he needs Massa help to succeed..as Massa is last!! Its very apparent that the red bulls and mclarens are fearing Alonso now, as more and more often in interviews they bring up the “Massa helping Alonso factor”. Button has already come out and said he will not be attempting to overtake his team-mate. What a gr8 “team player”. I’m expecting fireworks at the start with Alonso notoriously dodgy at starting, red bulls dreadful at starting, and mclarens awesome off the start. That would equate to Hamilton jumping both Vettel and Alonso off the start.

  38. BTW what a gr8 qualy from Kobayashi! In the top ten again. I really think that given a top car and couple more yrs he would be world champ material!!

  39. I expect at least 3 safety cars tomorrow

  40. All Ham has to do is drive his race, he will jump Alo, in the pit stops….assuming all factors remain costant..Massa dont even think about it…..(he is plaaning to give Ham a headeache when they lap him)

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