Vettel ends Mercedes pole streak in Singapore

By on Saturday, September 19, 2015
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel secured his first pole position since 2013 after blitzing his rivals during qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix.

Vettel held provisional pole after the first runs in Q3 and improved on his own time to end with a 1:43.885, netting Ferrari’s first pole position in dry conditions since Singapore 2010.

Vettel’s lap ended Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ string of pole positions and qualifying dominance in the V6 era, though the reigning champions were never in contention at Marina Bay.

Hamilton aborted his first run in Q3 and could muster only fifth, with team-mate Nico Rosberg in sixth, over a second behind pole sitter Vettel.

Hamilton and Mercedes were both chasing pole position records; Hamilton was one away from Ayrton Senna's run of eight poles in a row, Mercedes was also just one behind Williams' record of 24 straight poles.

That allowed Ferrari and Red Bull to assume the leading places, with Daniel Ricciardo equalling his best qualifying performance in second position.

Kimi Raikkonen qualified in third place for Ferrari while Daniil Kvyat put the other Red Bull in fourth position, his best career starting position.

Valtteri Bottas collected seventh place for Williams, who also had Felipe Massa in ninth position.

Max Verstappen survived a lurid moment at the final corner for eighth spot, while the top 10 was completed by Romain Grosjean.

Force India missed out on a berth in Q3 as Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez netted 11th and 13th, split by McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who was unable to convert his practice pace into a top 10 spot.

Carlos Sainz Jr. clipped the wall at Turn 19 and damaged his Toro Rosso, restricting him to 14th, leaving Jenson Button to collect 15th.

Despite extensive upgrades to the Sauber C34 neither driver made it through to Q2, with Felipe Nasr in 16th and Marcus Ericsson 17th.

Pastor Maldonado was a lowly 18th for Lotus, leaving Manor Marussia pair Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi to complete the grid, the American half a second behind his team-mate.


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