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Singapore GP 2014

SEPTEMBER 20, 2014

Qualifying Report - Back to normal

Lewis Hamilton, Singapore GP 2014
© Active Pictures


It took until the final seconds of qualifying, but Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who had been off the pace in Free Practice 3, qualified first and second. It was mighty close between them, with Hamilton being just 0.007 of a second quicker than Rosberg. Red Bull teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel gridded third and fourth.

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Centigrade.) There was a 10 percent chance of rain.

Qualifying 1

Daniil Kvyat got things underway in his Toro Rosso.

Nico Rosberg had a bit of a scary moment when he went straight on at Turn 8, but he was able to get his Mercedes back on track.

Jean-Eric Vergne set the early marker with a 1:49.379 in his Toro Rosso, but Valtteri Bottas (Williams) beat that with a 1:48.743.

6 minutes into the session, the Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo had yet to venture out. Rosberg moved into second with a 1:48.775.

7 minutes into the session, Fernando Alonso, who had been quickest in FP3 in his Ferrari, grabbed the top spot with a 1:48.203 while his teammate Kimi Raikkonen took second with a 1:48.583.

8 minutes into the session, Lewis Hamilton put his Mercedes in front with a 1:47.847.

With 7 minutes remaining in the session, Esteban Gutierrez, who had super soft Pirellis on his Sauber, slotted into second with a 1:4.970. And Ricciardo and Vettel were finally on track. Both were on the super soft tires.

With 5 minutes remaining in the session, Sergio Perez (Force India) was 16th and on the bubble.

Ricciardo grabbed first place while Vettel, who got blocked by a slower car, wound up taking another lap.

Then Nico Hulkenberg turned a 1:47.370 to pass Ricciardo.

With 3 minutes remaining in the session, Raikkonen was in front with a 1:46.685.

With 2 minutes remaining in the session, Felipe Massa (Williams) was 16th and on the bubble of failing to make the cut to Q2.

In the final moments of Q1, Massa held on to 16th and then jumped to 11th while Adrian Sutil (who said his Sauber had no power) was 17th and it seemed to be all over for him but he grabbed 16th only to lose it to Perez.

The top 10 at the end of Q1 were: Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton, Jenson Button (McLaren), Bottas, Rosberg, Hulkenberg, Vergne, Vettel and Ricciardo.

The six drivers eliminated at the end of Q1 were: Sutil, Pastor Maldonado (Lotus), Jules Bianchi (Marussia), Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham), Max Chilton (Marussia) and Marcus Ericsson (Caterham.)

Qualifying 2

First out in the 15-minute Q2 was Perez.

Unlike Q1, nobody was using the soft tires. It was super softs all round.

With 11 minutes remaining in the session, Perez posted a 1:47.597, but every other driver was out there, and Massa turned a 1:47.535. Then Raikkonen beat that with a 1:46.359 only to have his Ferrari teammate Alonso top that with a 1:46.328.

With 8 minutes remaining in the session, the order was Hamilton (with a 1:46287), Alonso, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Rosberg and Vettel.

With 6 minutes remaining in the session, Button was 10th and on the bubble ahead of Hulkenberg, Massa and Bottas.

With 5 minutes remaining in the session, almost everybody was in the pits preparing for one final lunge.

With 3 minutes remaining in the session, the Williams duo was on track trying to get into the top 10 and make it into Q3.

With less than 2 minutes remaining in the session, Massa took fourth and Bottas eighth. Now Kvyat was on the bubble with Vergne 11th and Button 12th. That trio stayed in that order as the session wound down.

Right at the end Rosberg went quickest with a 1:45.825.

The top 10 at the end of Q2 were: Rosberg, Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen, Massa, Ricciardo, Vettel, Bottas, Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) and Kvyat.

The six drivers eliminated at the end of Q2 were: Button, Vergne, Hulkenberg, Gutierrez, Perez, and Romain Grosjean who complained bitterly about the Renault engine in his Lotus.

Qualifying 3

And so on to the 12-minute 10-driver shootout.

With 9 minutes remaining in the session, all 10 cars were on track.

Massa posted the first time: 1:46.007 ahead of Ricciardo and Raikkonen. Hamilton was down in sixth and Rosberg seventh. Both had used used tires for their runs.

With 5 minutes remaining in the session, the first round of laps over, the order was Massa, Ricciardo, Alonso, Raikkonen, Bottas, Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel, Kvyat and Magnussen

With 3 minutes remaining in the session, Ricciardo was the first of the 10 to go out for a final blast. Others soon joined him and soon all 10 were out there.

In the final couple of minutes, Raikkonen pulled off the track with no power.

Ricciardo grabbed the pole with a 1:45.854. Rosberg took back with a 1:48.688, and then Hamilton beat that with a 1:45.681.

The top 10 qualifiers at the end of Q3 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Vettel, Alonso, Massa, Raikkonen, Bottas, Magnussen and Kvyat.