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Singapore 2010 - Qualifying highlights - Coverage of the pole position shoot-out at the Marina Bay track

Published by Christine

Liuzzi batters the kerbs in Singapore
Credit: Force India F1

It was a fascinating qualifying session from the beginning, when we saw one of the top teams knocked out in the first session. The damp track caused a few spins and a few casualties grazed the walls, but Fernando Alonso kept his nose clean and secured pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix.

The bright lights were shining down on Massa as he fell at the first hurdle, and at Petrov when he fell at the second hurdle. The top five championship competitors are jostling for position, and it's the five of them who dominated proceedings. It's fascinating to watch who comes out on top though.

Here's how the sessions played out lap by lap.

As it happened: 2010 Singapore - Qualifying

  • 14:30

    Hello and welcome to qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix. The lights are burning bright at the Marina Bay circuit, and it's time to see who will get pole position for the race tomorrow.

  • 14:31

    We are watching the BBC here:

  • 14:31

    Following Autosport live here:

  • 14:31

    And most importantly, live commenting here:

  • 14:33

    If you're feeling adventurous, why not join us on the super duper awesome, brand new and rather flashy Dashboard? You can follow live comments, Twitter and these Factbyte Factbox updates. What more could you ask?

  • 14:33

    Perhaps a link:

  • 14:35

    Now, on to the qualifying stuff. Things we need to know: Christian Klien is still in the car for Yamamoto. Heidfeld is holding his own against Kamui on his return to F1 for Sauber.

  • 14:36

    Also, Hulkenberg will need to qualify well today, as he'll be taking a five place grid drop for changing the gearbox.

  • 14:39

    At the front, Red Bull have led all sessions so far this weekend - Webber one and Vettel two. They are looking strong, but do you think they'll get pole?

  • 14:39

    Have your say by voting in our poll: I'll collect the answers just before qualifying starts.

  • 14:40

    Richard Branson is around to keep an eye on his Virgin Racing team. They better be on best behaviour.

  • 14:42

    QuoteComment from me: singapore has to be the best looking race of the year. hands down freaking gorgeous.

  • 14:49

    The track was resurfaced in places to try and ease the complaints about bumps, but drivers still aren't happy. We've also seen a lot of cars flying over the kerbs - something to watch out for.

  • 14:54

    I've closed the poll and the most votes, by far, were for Sebastian Vettel. Webber had a few, whilst Hamilton didn't get any.

  • 14:56



    Wind Speed2.1mps
  • 14:58

    Helicam view of SingaporeHelicam view of the track - it's a bit cloudy up high.

  • 14:59

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: Everything is ready for the qualifying session. As happened in the FP3 session, both F10s will have a standard rear wing

  • 15:00

    Green flagQualifying session 1 begins. Liuzzi leads the pack out on track.

  • 15:03

    Schumacher has a big slide over the kerbs - he might be glad the team radioed suggesting they'd lost telemetry.

  • 15:06

    All the teams appear to be struggling with telemetry. Some electricity gremlins, it seems.

  • 15:07

    Alonso goes P1, dropping the times into the 1L47s, but holds it only briefly as Vettel jumps him.

  • 15:08

    All drivers have been out except both Williams', Kubica and Sutil.

  • 15:08

    Alguersuari has somehow popped up in third, ahead of Button, Schumacher and Hamilton.

  • 15:09

    Massa has pulled to a halt out on track.

  • 15:09

    Red flagSession stopped.

  • 15:10

    RadioTeam radio from Massa: A problem with the car, I think it's the engine.

  • 15:13

    Broken FerrariMassa's qualifying session is over before it begins.

  • 15:14

    A not-very-sick looking Sakon Yamamoto is spotted with a glum face, shuffling around the Hispania garage.

  • 15:14

    Session will restart at 22:15 local time.

  • 15:15

    Green flagTrack is clear.

  • 15:15

    Hulkenberg waits at the end of the pitlane and as off as soon as the light turns green.

  • 15:17

    Schumacher is climbing out of the car. Reasons unknown as yet.

  • 15:17

    He is currently seventh, which can't possibly be safe enough.

  • 15:18

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: It looks like a problem with the electronic management of the gearbox but , as said before, we need to wait until the car is back in the pit

  • 15:21

    Five minutes remaining, and with Massa definitely out, we also have all the new teams currently in the drop-out zone. Can any of them take advantage and get through to Q2?

  • 15:21

    Vettel remains in the pitlane with a P1 time of 1:46.960. Alonso a couple of tenths off, and Kubica doing well - about five tenths further down.

  • 15:22

    The difference between Petrov in 17th and Trulli in the drop-out position of 18th is almost two seconds. It seems unlikely.

  • 15:23

    Senna has spun out on track, and has to wait for the traffic to clear before continuing onwards.

  • 15:25

    Embarrassingly for Senna, Klien is currently over a second faster than him.

  • 15:27

    Chequered flagQualifying session 1 ends.

  • 15:28
    Q1 Drop-Zone
    20Di Grassi1:51.107
    24MassaNo Time
  • 15:29

    With Massa knocked out so early in qualifying, it adds another notch on Alonso's side of the inter-team comparison.

    Qualifying Battle
    TeamQualified Ahead
  • 15:31

    Interview with Mike Gascoyne: "We expect to struggle here this weekend... That's a conscious decision we made, and that's always a risk but we want to concentrate on next year. We want to hold on to tenth place but it's a long race tomorrow."

  • 15:33

    Green flagQualifying session 2 begins.

  • 15:36

    Liuzzi completely misses the chicane - thankfully missing the kerbs.

  • 15:37

    RadioTeam radio to Alonso: "We wanna box now because we need to reprogramme the car."

  • 15:37

    Petrov spins, hits the wall. Facing the wrong way, he pulls into the runoff area.

  • 15:38

    Brief yellow flags, Petrov won't be rejoining the action.

  • 15:38

    Alguersuari is up in fifth. He's sneaky, that one.

  • 15:39

    Hamilton up to P1 with a speedy 1:46.042 - the fastest ever lap of the circuit, according to Martin Brundle.

  • 15:40

    TweetTweet from @rf1paddockpass: Vitaly's session is over as he clipped the back end of his car

  • 15:42

    Just Alonso and Alguersuari out on track right now.

  • 15:42

    The drop out zone for now contains two BMWs, two Force Indias, Hulkenberg, Schumacher and Buemi.

  • 15:43

    Alonso confirms his car is okay now, after being reprogrammed.

  • 15:45

    Schumacher's current time is six seconds off Liuzzi in 16th, whilst his teammate Rosberg is up in 5th.

  • 15:45

    Alonso breaks the record again - 1:45.809.

  • 15:45

    Just two and a half minutes remain. Alguersuari is down to 9th. Needs to do better.

  • 15:46

    Vettel now breaks the record... perhaps I'll wait till the end to report on the fastest time. Meanwhile, Webber is down in 8th.

  • 15:47

    Alonso has pitted, he must be happy with that.

  • 15:47

    Webber improves to third, Schumacher scrapes up into 9th.

  • 15:48

    QuoteComment from Journeyer: Title contenders now P1-P5.

  • 15:49

    Chequered flagQualifying session 2 ends.

  • 15:50
    Q2 Drop-Zone
  • 15:50

    Petrov remains 13th despite taking little part in that session.

  • 15:50

    Vettel's time was the fastest in the end - 1:45.561.

  • 15:50

    Hulkenberg's 5 place grid drop will see him start the race in 17th.

  • 15:53

    Both Force Indias are out unusually early in qualifying.

    Qualifying Battle
    TeamQualified Ahead
  • 15:55

    TweetTweet from @EliGP: Somewhere in Switzerland, de la Rosa is going "Hmphhpfftgrrr"

  • 15:56

    Green flagQualifying session 3 begins.

  • 15:56

    Button leads Hamilton out first.

  • 15:58

    Ted Kravitz reports that Webber and Red Bull can't quite put their finger on why Vettel is so much faster than him today.

  • 15:58

    All drivers out on track except Kubica and Kobayashi.

  • 16:00

    TweetTweet from @eddstrawF1: Going to be a good battle for "best of the rest" in Q3 as there's not been much between Rosberg, Barrichello and Kubica

  • 16:02
    Battle For Pole
  • 16:04

    All drivers are out on track now - Kub and Kob doing their first laps, everyone else on at least their second run.

  • 16:05

    Button's left it late to go out, and will have about 5 seconds to cross the line and start his flying lap... however, he'll be the last one to go for gold. I mean pole.

  • 16:06

    Vettel is up on his lap. Hamilton's doing well, Webber appears to be down.

  • 16:07

    Vettel lost time, then - P2 for now.

  • 16:07

    Chequered flagQualifying session 3 ends.

  • 16:07

    It all rests on Button.

  • 16:07

    He can't do it! Alonso takes pole position in Singapore!

  • 16:09
    The Top Ten
  • 16:12

    These two are pretty close.

    Qualifying Battle
    TeamQualified Ahead
  • 16:13

    And so, qualifying has come to a close with Ferrari top and tailing the grid.

  • 16:13

    As ever, the five championship contenders occupy the top five positions on the grid, so it is still all to play for tomorrow. The first lap is going to be crucial.

  • 16:14

    If Vettel can get a good start, he'll be comfortable and fast in front, but Alonso won't give that position up easily.

  • 16:15

    Further back, Force India will be very disappointed with the qualifying performance, and likewise Renault - although a little further up - could only top out in 8th.

  • 16:16

    The good news with drivers out of position is that there may be more overtaking - particularly watch Massa as he tries to progress through the field. As much as Singapore will allow, anyways.

  • 16:18

    Barrichello put Williams as the first team best of the rest, and he'll be ready to pick up the pieces and the points from any catastrophes ahead of him.

  • 16:21

    All in all, it's looking like it will be a good race tomorrow - the weather may play it's part and the first lap is going to be incredibly important.

  • 16:21

    I hope you will join us as we enjoy the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix - I'll see you then!

All content in the series Singapore 2010