Vettel claims 11th pole of 2011

2011 Singapore GP qualifying

Sebastian Vettel, Singapore Grand Prix 2011

Sebastian Vettel will start from pole tomorrow for the Singapore Grand Prix. It’s his 11th pole position of the season and Red Bull’s 14th.

Mark Webber is in second after a strong lap in the final few moments of Qualifying three.

The Mclaren drivers occupy the second row. Jenson Button was five thousandths of a second faster than his teammate. Lewis Hamilton starts fourth despite retiring before the end of the session.

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa share the third row.


Rubens Barrichello led the cars out at the start of Q1 and his teammate Pastor Maldonado briefly headed the times with a 1?49.893.

Sebastian Vettel joined the track and set the fastest time with a 1’47.014 ?ǣ but it was shortlived as both Button and Hamilton went faster still, Button with a 1’46.993

Vitaly Petrov was the big casualty of the session ?ǣ despite battling with Bruno Senna for 17th he was knocked out with a 1?49.835.

He was joined by the Kovalainen, Trulli, Glock, D?Ambrosio, Ricciardo and Liuzzi. This means that Vitantonio Liuzzi?s five-grid penalty for causing a collision doesn?t affect the grid.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1?49.835
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1?50.948
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1?51.012
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1?52.154
22 Jerome D?Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1?52.363
23 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1?52.404
24 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1?52.810


Vettel set the first fastest time of the second session but was promptly beaten by Button.

Kamui Kobayashi crashed, bouncing over several kerbs and into the barriers on his first flying lap. The session was red flagged and, as Kobayashi had yet to set a lap, he will start from 17th tomorrow.

The session was restarted with eight minutes to go.

Bruno Senna battled to 15th place, with a best time of 1?48.662. He complained of traffic during his first flying lap.

In the last few moments of the session, Paul di Resta and Sergio Perez battled for 10th ?ǣ with Perez initially taking 10th, only to be beaten by two tenths of a second.

Lewis Hamilton limped back to the pits with a puncture to his right rear tyre.

The casualties were Perez, Barrichello, Maldonado, Buemi, Senna, Alguersuari and Kobayashi. And the top 10 stood as Vettel, Button, Webber, Alonso, Massa, Schumacher, Rosberg, Hamilton, Sutil and di Resta.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1?47.616
12 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1?48.082
13 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1?48.270
14 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1?48.634
15 Bruno Senna Renault 1?48.662
16 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1?49.862
17 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari


Q3 began with a queue of cars waiting to get onto the track. The top six cars headed out, with the Mercedes and Force India drivers deciding to stay in the pits and wait.

Sebastian Vettel was fastest in the first sector while Jenson Button was fastest in the second by a tenth. Vettel?s first lap beat Button and Hamilton with a 1’44.381 to go top – two tenths of a second faster than Fernando Alonso?s track record set last year.

With just two minutes of the session to go, Hamilton retired to the pits to save his tyres.

The Force India drivers stayed in the pits and didn?t set a time, deciding instead to preserve their tyres for the race.

In the last few moments of the session, Mark Webber managed to set the second fastest time and Vettel abandoned his lap with his 11th pole of the season guaranteed.

Top ten in Q3

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1?44.381
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1?44.732
3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1?44.804
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1?44.809
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1?44.874
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1?45.800
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1?46.013
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes
9 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
10 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes

2011 Singapore Grand Prix

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68 comments on Vettel claims 11th pole of 2011

  1. Stunning lap from Vettel, never saw it coming.

  2. I expect he eventually gets 16 poles this season.

  3. Wooolfy said on 24th September 2011, 17:12

    Vettel’s pole was no surprise. However, Lewis’ tyre puncture at the end of Q2 and refuelling woe, sums up the very unlucky year he’s been having. I expected him to gain 2-3 tenths on Button as that’s the qualifying differiential this year, and as such, should have had P2.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 24th September 2011, 17:25

      Hmm I expect Hamilton would have had a bit of a battle on his hands, Button has been on form recently.

    • Alex (@smallvizier) said on 24th September 2011, 17:33

      I’m not sure it makes much difference. It’s a shame for him, of course – he probably would have been ahead of Button – but they’re still both on the second row and from there, anything can happen (as Alonso showed at Monza).

      At least because Hamilton set a ‘banker’ lap in Q2 on his hard tires, he didn’t go out of quali early. And he gained the set back by only running once in Q3. He still has every chance of competing in the race.

  4. sato113 (@sato113) said on 24th September 2011, 17:13

    hamliton p4 is not too bad. great lap from mark.

  5. Less than a tenth of a second from 3rd to 5th, that was a close one!

  6. Correct me if I’m wrong, but, if the race finishes in that order, is Vettel champion? Or Webber has to drop (as usually) does?

  7. Webber tends to qualify well on the few occasions where he doesn’t have car problems.

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 24th September 2011, 17:33

    Not the most exciting of qualifying sessions we’ve seen but like I said on Twitter, as a fan you just have to take the rough with the smooth. I feel we’ve had significantly more smooth than rough this season so I won’t complain!

    Cracking stuff from Vettel once more and a reasonably large gap over his team mate. I fear Webber will scupper his chances once more with Button ready to pounce and lets not rule out Alonso’s sublime starts this year.

    Well done to the Force India guys too. Disaster from Renault, their worst all season I believe.

    Finally congratulations to Ricciardo, 0.4s over Liuzzi. Another Vettel in the making?!

  9. Alex (@smallvizier) said on 24th September 2011, 17:36

    Surely Paul di Resta would have been better off setting a last-minute lap on the harder tires?

    He’d have gained two positions on the grid, and could then have bottled his rivals up behind him while getting his slowest stint out of the way. Then later in the race, he’d have had both track position and the quicker tires.

  10. I am both shocked and astounded by this result.

  11. That stupid corner where Kobayashi crashed… god, every year the same story! How annoying.

    Other than that, impressive as ever for SV. Odd to see Mark being that “close” on second, tho he needed another lap. SV surely can get more out of the car but really didn’t need it.

    Amaizing how exhausted the drivers look when out of the car. Temperature, humidity, bumpy track, tension higher than ever because of the tricky layout really is a killer combination!

  12. Douglas6250 (@douglas6250) said on 24th September 2011, 18:17

    Keith do you mean “Rubens Barrichello led the cars out at the start of Q1″ in the Q1 session ? My bad if I misread something.

  13. RumFRESH (@rumfresh) said on 24th September 2011, 18:31

    The turn 10 chicane is such a disaster. As DC mentioned there is absolutely nothing dignified about an F1 car bouncing across kerbs like that. Not only does it eliminate a possible overtaking opportunity but it quite frankly looks silly.

    • Agreed! It is such a horrible corner. They should really work on finding a better and safer solution, it is just horrible to see the cars bounce over the kerbs like that.

      • F1fanNL (@) said on 24th September 2011, 19:11

        I don’t understand why they don’t just remove the curbs. It’s the same for everybody and there are lines so the stewards will be perfectly able to tell when a driver is going ‘off track’.

        • MemorableC (@memorablec) said on 24th September 2011, 19:16

          just spreading them apart would do wonders

        • That’s obvious, safety. They simply do not want the cars going any faster through that corner, there isn’t the run off.

          However… It’s completely ridiculous. If you don’t have the run off to field a proper corner then you have designed it wrong. Even worse it comes after a straight so they carry speed into it.

          It can’t be safe. Imagine if someone does a Kamui on the first lap. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

          • Lachie (@lachie) said on 25th September 2011, 9:45

            This is what I thought too but if you look where Kobayashi hit the wall, there is a road there. The entire straight could be funnelled so that if someone has brake issues they’ll get diverted down that road.

    • good to see I’m not the only one.

    • I’m with you on that one. It’s one of the most pointless (and stupid) corners on the calendar. The cars just look horrible going through it like stumbling drunks..

  14. ob1kenobi.23 (@ob1kenobi23) said on 24th September 2011, 18:56

    Can anyone see a reason for those kerbs being there at all. I don’t think they create a passing opportunity & the track would flow much better without them.
    In fact a passing opportunity might be created down the next straight without them.

    • Mahir C said on 24th September 2011, 19:16

      They say it is for safety, if there is no chicane, the corner will be a flat out left hander without any run-off.

      • Dave_F1 said on 24th September 2011, 19:34

        thats the problem. there is no place to add any run-off there.

        if you have the corner as-is without the chicane it would be a super-fast corner with no run-off & if you try & make it tighter its a heavy braking zone with no run-off.

        the super-fast corner with no run-off option means if anything happens there its not only a big accident but also a high possibility of a car hitting the wall & then bouncing back onto the circuit infront of other cars.

        The heavy braking zone with no run-off means there is more possibility of cars locking up & hitting the wall creating more red flags or safety cars. They always try to have an escape road on street circuits to avoid this.

        Also there is the danger of a brake failure or stuck throttle which would be huge issue without adequate run-off at that sort of corner.

        the chicane as it is may not be the most ideal solution but its the only thing they can safely do at that part of the circuit.

        besides its a nice little challenging corner not too different from the pre-94 Acque Minerale configeration at imola.

    • I have no idea what’s the reasoning behind that corner. It’s stupid, I’ve said it many times. It’s not a challenging corner, it’s just a car breaker. Nonsense.

      as if they designed it so there’s a SC period during the race.

  15. Jenson said they want the race to be shorter because of the extreme conditions during the race (temperature, bumpiness of the track, and so on).

    Wouldn’t it be brilliant if they remove the kerbs at Turn 10, thus making the track a bit faster (drivers would not need to brake so much) and a lot less bumpy and damaging for the cars and drivers?

    A quick, easy and cheap solution for the problem.

  16. czhihong (@czhihong) said on 24th September 2011, 19:54

    Reposting this from last year when it came up (as it inevitably will next year as well):

    The main reason for the chicane, as I understand, is that there’s absolutely no run-off area at the corner. Right behind the walls where Kimi crashed are our old parliament house, Victoria Concert Hall and Victoria Theatre, and they don’t want cars coming close to these conserved buildings at 250km/h.

    I’m not sure how they can work around that, pretty sure the chicanes have to stay, unless the track layout is changed. There’s talk of changing it next year, but not this corner though..

    Of course now we know that the track was, in fact, not changed this year, either at this corner or anywhere else. There’s also no talk at all this year of getting the track changed, I suppose there is no easy solution (if one sees it as a problem in the first place).

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 25th September 2011, 2:35

      They could just simply make it a very tight 90 degrees turn (with 1 apex, hence 1 kerb) instead of 3 consecutive corners within centimeters of each other and 3 kerbs in the middle.

      If they want to avoid the cars hitting the walls, then removing the kerbs is the way to go. Specially as every crash happens because the cars leap into the air, making the accident a lot more serious.

  17. HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 24th September 2011, 20:13

    Strange to see the top ten lining up team-by-team. Has this ever happened before?

  18. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 24th September 2011, 21:26

    Well. One prediction right. Along with 2000 others.

  19. regarding the kerbs and run off. One of the WSBK circuits decided to run the track in the opposite direction to allow for the lack of run off at a certain corner. I wonder if singapore could do this?

  20. SimBri (@f1addict) said on 24th September 2011, 21:44

    Hi Keith, Button was 5 thousandths of a second faster than Hamilton, rather than hundredths. After 18 years of following F1 I still can’t get my head round how close the times are. Remember when 3 drivers qualified with exactly the same time?

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