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Qualifying highlights - Singapore 2014 // Recap all the action from the grid-deciding Marina Bay sessions

Published by Christine

Kimi's pace was curtailed by software gremlins
Credit: Foto Studio

Whilst there was some rain in the air before and after the Formula One action on Saturday, qualifying remained dry. There was a lot to behold as the cars appeared to struggle to cope in the hot and humid conditions. The battle to get out of the drop zone for each session was tough, and although the running order doesn't necessarily seem out of place, the result belies a tense session that sets up a great grid for the race tomorrow.

If you missed any of the action, the FBFB covered all three sessions - who did well, who dropped out, and what the final results were. Relive qualifying, then, with this handy highlights replay.

As it happened: Singapore 2014 - Qualifying

  • 13:30

    Hello fact-finding friends, it's time for the Singapore weekend and qualifying is just half an hour away.

  • 13:31

    The gorgeous night-time surroundings of the Marina Bay circuit make up for what the track often fails to deliver - it's a circuit with heaps of corners that generates huge field spread. But those concerns are for tomorrow. Today, we can revel in the moon, the reflections, and the fight for pole position.

  • 13:31

    There's a lot of focus on team radio, after the FIA issued renewed regulations about what is and isn't allowed. We've already heard some confusion on the pit wall about what they can and can't say, and it will continue to shake out as the weekend progresses.

  • 13:33

    There was rain in the morning, Singapore time, but it cleared up in time for final practice and it's looking like a warm and muggy night over there.

  • 13:35
    Fastest Session Times
    Free Practice 1F Alonso1:49.056
    Free Practice 2L Hamilton1:47.490
    Free Practice 3F Alonso1:47.299
  • 13:36

    So far, Mercedes haven't had quite the edge they have at other circuits, but may be playing it cool as they build up to the sessions that actually count. Ferrari have shown better pace this weekend, with both Alonso and Räikkönen doing well in practice.

  • 13:36

    Williams had an issue on Friday, with significant oversteer that saw them at the wrong end of the timesheets. They've recovered enough to finish inside the top ten in FP3, but it may be tough for them to be at the sharp end for qualifying.

  • 13:37

    The Caterham crew are hurriedly trying to get Marcus Ericsson's car pieced back together after some urgent repairs ahead of the session.

  • 13:39
    2014 Pole Positions
    PosDriverTotal
    1N Rosberg7
    2L Hamilton5
    3F Massa1
  • 13:41

    QuoteSebastian Vettel, who has won the last three races in Singapore: "I'm not yet where I want to be in terms of manipulating the car the way I want to. In terms of a track round here, confidence, making it stick. It's a good mix of that. The cars have changed a lot, you have to adapt a lot, it just seems we're not able to extract that extra bit of performance that we have been able to before."

  • 13:44

    There's some concern that Vettel will need to take a power unit related penalty at some point this season, after the defending champion suffered another failure on Friday. He's still within the five engines this weekend, but will no doubt use a sixth before the year is out, and will therefore incur the ten place grid drop.

  • 13:47

    TweetTweet from @tedkravitz: Ericsson's ERS battery not fitted.. Then there's the rest. Mechanics working hard but will be tight for qual

  • 13:49

    It wouldn't be fair to go into qualifying without mentioning the fact that Pastor Maldonado has crashed already this weekend. The Lotus driver ended up in the barriers during FP2, after struggling with oversteer throughout the session.

  • 13:54
    Braking Analysis
    Turn 7
    (forecast data from Brembo)
    Initial speed311km/h
    Final speed109km/h
    Stopping distance108m
    Braking time2.00s
    Maximum deceleration4.98g
    Maximum pedal load119kg
    Braking power1917kw
  • 13:56

    Weather icon

    27°C
    Track33°C
    Humidity77%
    Wind speed0.6mps
  • 13:57

    The city is lit up beautifully, the track itself a beacon winding around the streets. Drivers are squeezing into their cars ready to get going in just a couple of minutes.

  • 13:59

    Clear visors on the driver helmets, to aid their vision. The lights around the track are brighter than daytime, but there are still shadows at certain points, and the dark sky takes some adjusting to.

  • 14:00

    Green flagQualifying session 1 begins.

  • 14:01

    Lots of drivers heading out early for this first session. Daniil Kvyat leads the way as the lights turn green, but eight others soon join him.

  • 14:01

    Both the Mercedes drivers are out early.

  • 14:02
    Factbyte Factbox image

    Soft and supersoft tyres are on offer this weekend, and there's quite a big difference between the two in terms of lap time.

  • 14:02

    Kamui Kobayashi heads out on the supersoft tyres, whilst Marcus Ericsson waits in the garage, watching as his car continues to be worked on. He's fully kitted up, though, helmet on, looking hopeful.

  • 14:03

    You can tell there's a dip in confidence at Lotus, as both Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado have headed out straight away on the softer of the two compounds.

  • 14:04

    Rosberg has outbraked himself at turn 8 and run off onto the escape road. He reverses back out onto the track, and continues his run.

  • 14:05

    The first times of the session come in, with Kvyat posting a 1:52. Two Force Indias beat that, with Vergne popping up to P1 with a 1:49.

  • 14:05

    Hamilton, Rosberg and Massa all have times over two minutes, so more work to do there.

  • 14:07

    Ferrari also post times over two minutes, the top runners a good ten seconds off the pace at this point.

  • 14:07

    Bottas has taken P1 with a 1:48. At the back, Hamilton and Massa have improved on their own lap times but are still ten seconds off.

  • 14:08

    Alonso, though, he improves on his lap time to jump up to P1 with teammate Räikkönen following swiftly into second.

  • 14:08

    Chilton reports on the radio that he doesn't have any power, similar to the problem he had on Friday, stopping out on track during practice.

  • 14:09

    That's more like it, Hamilton finally gets on the pace and posts a 1:47 to take the top spot. Massa crosses the line for sixth, with Rosberg up in fifth.

  • 14:10

    Romain Grosjean runs off track, spins 180 degrees and rejoins, but complains over the radio that he has no braking power.

  • 14:13

    The bottom six, with just about six minutes to go, include Caterham, Marussia and Red Bull - with Vettel and Ricciardo ready to do their one and only run on the supersoft tyres.

  • 14:13

    Vettel finds himself all caught up with traffic, so he has to back off on this lap to prepare for the next. He gestures at Kvyat for getting in his way. Ericsson was also in the way - amazingly Caterham have managed to get that car running!

  • 14:14

    Gutiérrez had managed to pop up in P2, after taking on the supersoft tyres compared to the front runner times set on softs. Everyone is heading on to the red sidewalled rubber now, as the gap between the two compounds makes it impossible to get through solely on softs.

  • 14:14

    Brief yellow flags as Ricciardo ran off track at turn two. He'd just completed a lap to put him in second place.

  • 14:15

    Nico Hülkenberg sits in P1 currently, with a 1:47.3. He won't be there for long, as Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes are all on hot laps and the track is improving massively.

  • 14:16

    All bar Gutiérrez are now out on track, 21 cars hunting for the best possible lap around the Marina Bay track.

  • 14:16

    Räikkönen pops up to P1, Rosberg can only manage third.

  • 14:16

    Sutil and Maldonado have been demoted to the bottom six now.

  • 14:16

    Hamilton improves to P3, but the two Ferraris remain ahead.

  • 14:18

    Chequered flagQualifying session 1 ends.

  • 14:20

    The fastest three in that session were Räikkönen, Alonso and Hamilton.

  • 14:21
    Out in Q1
    17A SutilSauber
    18P MaldonadoLotus
    19J BianchiMarussia
    20K KobayashiCaterham
    21M ChiltonMarussia
    22M EricssonCaterham
  • 14:22

    Sutil, sounding disappointed and dispirited, reports over the radio there was nothing left in the car, no more power to give, nothing else he could have done. P16 for the Sauber driver, with Gutiérrez squeezing into P14 for that session.

  • 14:22
    Field Spread
    PosDriverTime
    1stK Räikkönen1:46.685
    22ndM Ericsson1:52.287
  • 14:24

    TweetTweet from @Marussia_F1Team: Jules' lap is good for P19 (1:49.4), Max in P21 (1:50.4). Jules nudging Maldonado, and both drivers each leading a Caterham.

  • 14:25

    Green flagQualifying session 2 begins.

  • 14:26

    Pérez heads out of the pit lane early as the second session gets underway. He's joined by Kimi Räikkönen and both the Williams drivers.

  • 14:27

    Massa told he's doing one timed lap for a warm up.

  • 14:28

    There's no sign of the soft tyre anymore, with the red sidewalls dominating. Thirteen drivers out on track now, with just the Toro Rosso pair and Romain Grosjean still to appear.

  • 14:30

    It's a 1:47.5 for Pérez, with Massa shaving four hundredths of a second off that time. Räikkönen sweeps ahead, dropping the benchmark to a 1:46.359.

  • 14:31

    Fernando Alonso looks like he's having to fight the Ferrari slightly less this weekend. He crosses the line to top Kimi's time by just three hundredths of a second.

  • 14:32

    Hamilton is fighting the car, however, as he yanks the steering wheel this way and that to keep control. Rosberg has managed to get the third fastest time, and Hamilton crosses the line for P1! Much better for Mercedes.

  • 14:33

    Slo mo replays of Grosjean show him going over the kerbs, leaving behind some little shards of carbon fibre, and picking up potential back problems as he does so!

  • 14:33
    K-Mag goes out in second qualifying
    Credit: McLarenF1/Twitter

    On the hunt in #Q2: Out goes @KevinMagnussen

  • 14:34

    Quiet out on track for a moment, as just Kvyat, Vergne, Grosjean and Pérez remain out of the pit lane.

  • 14:35

    Yellow flags are waved briefly again as Pérez runs off track at turn 11, but he rejoins and continues unharmed.

  • 14:36

    So Hamilton currently leads the two Ferraris, Ricciardo and then Rosberg.

  • 14:36

    In the drop zone, Hülkenberg, Massa, Bottas, Pérez, Gutiérrez and Grosjean.

  • 14:37

    Five of the bottom six are all out on track now, with Grosjean remaining in the garage at the moment.

  • 14:37

    Pérez told he should be aiming for a 1:46.7/8 if he wants to get through. No further instructions on where to save time though, of course.

  • 14:38

    TweetTweet from @pirellisport: Looks like this could be the closest qualifying session yet this year. Top 10 are well-matched: one second covers all of them

  • 14:38

    The top four remain in the garage as the rest of the pack file out for their final flying laps of this session. Just under two minutes on the clock.

  • 14:39

    Felipe Massa crosses the line for fourth place, dropping Ricciardo to fifth.

  • 14:40

    Chequered flagQualifying session 2 ends.

  • 14:41

    Final times to come. Pérez heads to the pit lane, he'll definitely be out this session. Gutiérrez crosses the line for 14th.

  • 14:41

    Jenson Button can only manage 11th place, but it's the closest of margins keeping the McLaren out of the top ten.

  • 14:42

    Magnussen posts the ninth fastest time.

  • 14:42

    Nico Rosberg pops up to P1 with a 1:45.825.

  • 14:42

    The fastest three in that session, then, Rosberg, Hamilton and Alonso.

  • 14:43
    Out in Q2
    11J ButtonMcLaren
    12JE VergneToro Rosso
    13N HülkenbergForce India
    14E GutiérrezSauber
    15S PérezForce India
    16R GrosjeanLotus
  • 14:44
    Qualifying Battle
    McLarenQualified Ahead
    K Magnussen8
    J Button6
  • 14:46

    TweetTweet from @benjhunt: Romain Grosjean not doing the best PR job for suppliers Renault "Bloody engine....bloody engine, I don't believe it!"

  • 14:46

    TweetTweet from @F1PaddockPass: Button, Vergne, Hulkenberg, Gutierrez, Perez and Grosjean are all eliminated at the end of the session. They all look a little sweaty. Ick.

  • 14:47
    Sauber make it only as far as Q2
    Credit: OfficialSF1Team/Twitter

    Sauber sign off as both cars are out of qualifying after Q2. A good job by Gutiérrez today, though. P14.

  • 14:48

    Green flagQualifying session 3 begins.

  • 14:50

    All ten drivers head out after a minute or two, early times coming.

  • 14:50

    Felipe Massa leads the way, but we're seeing purple sector times from the Williams and then Räikkönen as the session hots up.

  • 14:50

    TweetTweet from @F1TotalOfficial: All 10 drivers are out on track, on SuperSoft tyres. Only #Magnussen and #Kvyat are using a used set of tyres

  • 14:52

    First time of the session for Massa, a 1:46.007. Ricciardo, Räikkönen and Magnussen filter in behind.

  • 14:53

    Hamilton and Rosberg can only set the 6th and 7th fastest time on this first run.

  • 14:55

    TweetTweet from @pirellisport: Pole last year was 1m42.841s from Sebastian Vettel. Most drivers on used tyres now, expect a final run on new supersofts

  • 14:56

    Back to the pit lane for the ten drivers vying for pole position here. Track falls quiet before the final stint.

  • 14:56

    Daniel Ricciardo is the first out for this final flying lap. Just over three minutes on the clock as the Red Bull hits the track.

  • 14:58

    Kvyat is the last to leave the pit lane, and will be the last to cross the line.

  • 14:59

    Team radioTeam radio from and to Kimi Räikkönen: "I have a problem with the power..."

    "We need to stop on the circuit somewhere, out the way."

  • 14:59

    Kimi actually manages to get back to the pit lane, he's currently fourth but will likely drop down when these laps come to fruition.

  • 15:00

    Ricciardo slings his car around the final few corners to cross the line for P1, a 1:45.854.

  • 15:00

    Chequered flagQualifying session 3 ends.

  • 15:01

    Big cheers for Ricciardo as he crossed the line for provisional pole there.

  • 15:01

    Replays show Hamilton locking up into turn one, but it's a long lap to make up the time.

  • 15:01

    Rosberg jumps up to P1, but Hamilton follows directly behind to snatch pole. A 1:45.681, and even more cheers from the grandstands.

  • 15:02

    StopwatchPole position for Lewis Hamilton with a time of 1:45.681.

  • 15:03

    There's just seven thousandths of a second between polesitter Hamilton and teammate Rosberg. 0.007 seconds. When informed over the radio, Rosberg responds: "DAMN IT."

  • 15:04
    Q3 results
    1L HamiltonMercedes
    2N RosbergMercedes
    3D RicciardoRed Bull
    4S VettelRed Bull
    5F AlonsoFerrari
    6F MassaWilliams
    7K RäikkönenFerrari
    8V BottasWilliams
    9K MagnussenMcLaren
    10D KvyatToro Rosso
  • 15:04
    Gap Analysis
    PosDriverGap
    1stHAM1:45.681
    2ndROS+0.007
    3rdRIC+0.173
    4thVET+0.221
  • 15:11

    A fabulous qualifying looked like it might spring something of a surprise, but ended with the more familiar sight of Hamilton and Rosberg securing front row grid slots. Rosberg's reaction was very telling and he'll be on the back foot tomorrow, but it's a long race, with crashes and safety cars very likely.

  • 15:11

    The Red Bull pair did well, they're closing the gap slowly but surely. Williams were disappointing today, but they have struggled all weekend so far. Ferrari looked strong initially, but it all fell apart in that final session. Räikkönen's reliability dropped him out, and Alonso finished fifth behind the other two teams.

  • 15:12

    It should be a good, if long, race tomorrow, so do join me back here - one hour earlier than the action today - and we'll enjoy the lap by lap action together! See you then fact fans.

All content in the series Singapore 2014