Hamilton beats Maldonado to pole by half second in Singapore

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton took pole position at Marina Bay, Singapore alongside crash-kid Pastor Maldonado, who hasn’t scored a point since his victory all the way back in May at Catalunya. Sebastian Vettel could only manage third place, actually setting a time slower than his Q2 time while Jenson Button will have to settle for fourth place, almost six tenths slower than Hamilton in an identical car, but being behind Maldonado may well be his saving grace going into turn one!

Ferrari’s championship leader Fernando Alonso will start from fifth place, which is a decent starting place in a car that is third fastest, Force India’s Paul di Resta starts an excellent sixth, albeit nine tenths of a second off the pole time, but only four tenths off second. Mark Webber qualified his Red Bull in seventh but could face a grid penalty for blocking, Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, freshly back from his one race ban had a scrappy lap to post a time fast enough for eighth.

Mercedes Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will start from ninth and tenth respectively, neither driver setting a lap time by choice. I still believe any driver electing to not set a representative lap time should be given a 10 place grid penalty, that’s the only way to deter drivers from using such a strategy, which robs the paying public of the spectacle they deserve.

Sauber suffered a massive slump in form as Kamui Kobayashi failed to make it out of Q1 by 0.124 seconds while Sergio Perez could only manage 14th fastest but both drivers have a choice of tyres; so there’s hope for the race. Felipe Massa failed to make it into Q3 and will start from 13th place while Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen qualified in 12th place. HRT’s Pedro de la Rosa takes a five place grid drop for a gearbox change and will start from exactly where he qualified, stone last, no loss there!

I know all the Lewis Hamilton fans are very worried about Maldonado being alongside the Briton; if Maldonado sends one up the inside, Hamilton would be wise to let him go given the Venezuelan’s penchant for collisions, and is likely to fall back as the race goes on. The other unknown is crash-kid #2, Grosjean starting from 8th, the drivers around him will be quaking in their race boots.

Have Something To Say About This Post? Please Comment Below!