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Singapore 2011 - Qualifying highlights // Follow the hunt for pole position at the Marina Bay track

Published by Christine

The Singapore Flyer dominates qualifying backdrop
The Singapore Flyer dominates qualifying backdropCredit: Force India F1

What promised to be an explosive qualifying session ended in a subdued manner, with Sebastian Vettel showing he's not letting go of his pole position stranglehold any time soon. Red Bull managed to lock out the front row, but behind them, there were plenty of incidents to behold.

A Sauber crash, a McLaren puncture, split strategies, and touching wheels on outlaps, it was all happening around the streets of Singapore today.

If you missed any of the qualifying action, or want a quick minute by minute recap, the Factbyte Factbox highlights will reveal all.

As it happened: 2011 Singapore - Qualifying

  • 14:30

    Hello there, welcome to the Factbyte Factbox for qualifying in Singapore. It's half past nine there, what time is it with you?

  • 14:31

    So far, there's been plenty of action in Singapore - including drivers crashing and bouncing off barriers, plus plenty of speculation about rain.

  • 14:31

    Mark Webber was fastest in Free Practice 3 earlier today, with Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel close behind him.

  • 14:33

    Sebastian Vettel is hoping for good things this weekend as there is potential for him to win the championship tomorrow - although the odds are against that.

  • 14:33

    Fernando Alonso believes he can do well here in Singapore, as he's finished on the podium at every Singapore GP so far - some in unconventional circumstances!

  • 14:33

    He does have strapping on his left knee though, as he's suffering from tendonitis in his braking leg.

  • 14:34
    Fastest Session Times
    Free Practice 1L Hamilton1:48.599
    Free Practice 2S Vettel1:46.374
    Free Practice 3M Webber1:46.081
  • 14:35

    The times are gradually dropping as the sessions unfold. Pole position in Singapore last year was Fernando Alonso with 1:45.390.

  • 14:35

    Ahead of Free Practice yesterday, there was a delay after concern over the kerbs at two corners. They were lifted for the Friday sessions but have been glued down for the action today.

  • 14:36

    Pirelli boss Paul Hembery: "It's not about wear, it's about overheating on the surface of the tyre. Driving style can have a lot of influence on that. Some people are looking at a three stop strategy... but the drivers do adapt during the weekend."

  • 14:37

    Ludacris meets LotusLudacris meets Lotus, via @MyTeamLotus.

  • 14:40

    If you're watching qualifying today, do check out the Sidepodcast dashboard, where you'll find F1 tweets, comments and this here FBFB all in one place: https://sidepodcast.com/dashboard

  • 14:40

    Linkin Park at SauberIt's a celeb-filled paddock ahead of qualifying as Chester from Linkin Park visits Sauber, via @OfficialSF1Team.

  • 14:41

    On Friday, Kovalainen found himself living up to his Fireman Heikki nickname as his Lotus caught on fire again and he had to brandish a fire extinguisher.

  • 14:42
    2011 Poles
    PosDriverTotal
    1Sebastian Vettel10
    2Mark Webber3
  • 14:43

    It must be about time someone other than Red Bull gets pole, surely?

  • 14:43

    TweetTweet from @radarguruf1: #F1 radar update 21:41 SGT: Very light shower being picked up just to the north of Marina Bay, but this should stay away. Dry qual expected

  • 14:45

    If you want a quick round up of what happened yesterday, here's F1Minute with your bytesize Friday news: https://sidepodcast.com/news/lewis-hamilton-sebastian-vettel-head-singapore-practice

  • 14:47

    Some useful bits and bobs for you - Official live timing is always handy: http://www.formula1.com/live_timing/live_timing.html (when it works!)

  • 14:47

    Autosport have some excellent live text: http://live.autosport.com/commentary.php/id/403 and the BBC have a live stream and text updates: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9598845.stm

  • 14:52

    The BBC have been showing Mark Webber's track guide, and plenty of people are jogging around the circuit. Run That Track are making lots of money for charity: http://runthattrack.info/

  • 14:54

    Interview with Martin Whitmarsh: "I think Jenson did a great job this morning. Lewis was on a different programme. I suspect we haven't seen the best of Lewis or Sebastian... I think we can be on the front row, whether we can beat Sebastian we'll know soon. I think Fernando will also be challenging up there, that's how it should be. As you know, it's very easy to stumble in Q1 and Q2... hopefully we can do that and make sure it's a close one."

  • 14:54

    TweetTweet from @clubforce: Not long to go now until qualy begins. This will be one of the most important sessions of the year as track position is all important.

  • 14:56

    Brundle fact: They've coloured the walls for each sector, so you can tell which one it is. 1st sector = blue walls. 2nd sector = green walls. 3rd sector = orangey/yellow.

  • 14:57

    Weather

    30°C

    Track31°C
    Humidity70%
    Wind speed2.8mps
  • 14:59

    Ron Dennis is having a chat just outside the McLaren garage.

  • 15:00

    Green flagQualifying session 1 begins.

  • 15:00

    The session begins!! ... nothing happens.

  • 15:00

    Rubens Barrichello heads out first.

  • 15:01

    TweetTweet from @F1Kate: #F1 FIA have just released a full list of track changes made this weekend. T5 exit + T17 exit + T18 entry removed, T3 + T14exit paint moved.

  • 15:01

    Both Williams drivers, both Sauber drivers and Paul di Resta are out on track now.

  • 15:02

    RadioTeam radio to Ricciardo: "There is a little bit of tailwind on the main straight, which is good for us."

  • 15:02

    Both Red Bull drivers join in the fun, and Lewis Hamilton also heads out on prime tyres.

  • 15:02

    This weekend, Pirelli have brought soft and supersoft tyres, prime and option, yellow and red sidewalls respectively.

  • 15:04

    Now just two Lotus cars and Daniel Ricciardo remain in the garage.

  • 15:05

    The first lap times begin to pour in - Pastor Maldonado P1 for now, 1:49.097.

  • 15:05

    Vettel is about to bash that down though.

  • 15:06

    A 1:47.137 from Vettel, Hamilton beats that and Button goes even faster. We're into the 1:46s now.

  • 15:06

    Daniel Ricciardo is the only driver still in the garage now.

  • 15:07

    Vettel has a sparkly helmet this weekend, and it's glittering under the spotlights as he jumps up to P1 once more.

  • 15:08

    Fernando Alonso's lap looks wobbly, he's having to fight to keep control of the car. He manages 4th.

  • 15:09

    Daniel Ricciardo has left the garage. Kamui Kobayashi and Jérôme D'Ambrosio have returned to the pitlane.

  • 15:10

    Webber puts in a hot lap and only manages 5th.

  • 15:10

    Half the session gone, ten minutes remaining.

  • 15:11
    Field Spread
    PosDriverTime
    1stVettel1:46.397
    24thD'Ambrosio1:53.577
  • 15:11

    The 107% cutoff at the moment stands at 1:53.844.

  • 15:12

    RadioTeam radio from Button: "Struggling with understeer, struggling with understeer!"

  • 15:14

    Schumacher bounces over the kerbs to post the 8th fastest time.

  • 15:14

    RadioTeam radio to Trulli: "Jarno, most of the time, in comparison, is lost in the exits of turns 3 and 5."

  • 15:15

    TedNews: Paul di Resta has taken on the supersoft tyre, he's not feeling safe in 9th place.

  • 15:16

    Pérez has also bolted on the super-softs to try and improve from 14th place.

  • 15:16

    The drop zone currently features Kovalainen, Petrov, Trulli, Ricciardo, Liuzzi, Glock and D'Ambrosio.

  • 15:16

    Petrov seems remarkably out of place down there, although Senna is only up in 15th.

  • 15:17

    The top eight drivers look to be remaining in the garage, happy with their performance. That's Vettel in P1, with Button and Hamilton behind him.

  • 15:17

    Pérez improves to 7th and Barrichello to 9th.

  • 15:17

    Lewis Hamilton's car is up on the front and rear jacks, with at least four mechanics crawling around underneath it.

  • 15:18

    Schumacher has dropped down to 12th now, but with just a minute and a half remaining, he should be safe from the drop zone.

  • 15:20

    Chequered flagQualifying session 1 ends.

  • 15:20

    Petrov has improved to 17th, and that drops Senna into 18th but he's on a lap now. Kovalainen also on a hot lap.

  • 15:21

    Senna improves to 15th which knocks his teammate back into the drop zone.

  • 15:22
    Qualifying Position
    18Vitaly PetrovRenault
    19Heikki KovalainenLotus
    20Jarno TrulliLotus
    21Timo GlockVirgin
    22Jérôme D'AmbrosioVirgin
    23Daniel RicciardoHRT
    24Tonio LiuzziHRT
  • 15:22

    Liuzzi qualifies last and also has his five place grid drop from the first lap incident in Monza.

  • 15:23
    Qualifying Battle
    HRTQualified Ahead
    Tonio Liuzzi3
    Daniel Ricciardo2
  • 15:23

    RadioTeam radio to Senna: "On our first time lap, did Alguersuari hold you up?"

    "He was on the racing line and he went back on the racing line to turn 7."

  • 15:24

    Renault were testing out some upgrades in practice, including a new floor, but they didn't get the results they wanted and decided not to use them on the car. Still not exactly stellar performance though!

  • 15:27

    Brundle fact: Petrov will be hoping to be the eighth consecutive driver to score points having been knocked out in Q1.

  • 15:27

    Green flagQualifying session 2 begins.

  • 15:27

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: Everything is ready for Q2. It is possible that someone will try to pass through using again the Softs and preserving the Supersofts for the race.

  • 15:28

    Lewis Hamilton's car is back in one piece and he's one of the first drivers out on track this session.

  • 15:28

    Webber, Button, Paul di Resta and two Williams drivers are also circling the track.

  • 15:30

    Felipe Massa's team are poised and waiting for the right moment to release him out of the garage.

  • 15:30

    Webber suffers from some understeer as he makes his way round to complete his first lap.

  • 15:31

    McLaren have split their tyre strategy - Lewis is on prime tyres, Jenson is on the options.

  • 15:32

    Just Mercedes and Toro Rosso have kept their drivers in the garage, everyone else is out preparing for a lap.

  • 15:32

    Webber sets the new benchmark - 1:45.651. Button immediately beats it.

  • 15:32

    Yellow flagYellow flag

  • 15:32

    Kamui Kobayashi is into the barriers.

  • 15:33

    Red flagSession stopped.

  • 15:33

    He bounced over the kerbs at the chicane, his nose flew into the air and he bounced down, into the barriers.

  • 15:34

    He climbs from the car, walking away with his head down. He hadn't set a lap time, so he'll qualify 17th.

  • 15:34

    The tractor rolls in to recover the stricken Sauber. Kamui climbs into the medical car to be taken back to the pit lane.

  • 15:35

    Sauber in the airKobayashi gets some air before hitting the barriers.

  • 15:35

    Just over nine minutes left on the clock.

  • 15:36

    The car has been cleared, and the marshals are now running in with brooms to clear the rest of the carbon fibre.

  • 15:36

    Race Control: Session will re-start at 22:38.

  • 15:38

    Green flagTrack is clear.

  • 15:38

    The session is go again, and Felipe Massa is the first driver to head out.

  • 15:39

    Schumacher and Rosberg also head out on track. Those without lap times are keen to get something on the board.

  • 15:40

    RadioTeam radio to Hamilton: "We think we've done enough not to have to run again. We could slip down to P8 when the session restarts but we should be okay."

  • 15:41

    Jaime Alguersuari leaves the pit lane now. The top nine drivers remain firmly in the garage for now.

  • 15:42

    Of all drivers without times, just Pérez remains in the garage.

  • 15:42

    Massa improves to 5th place.

  • 15:42

    Just under five minutes of the session remaining.

  • 15:42

    Rosberg up to 6th place, just behind the Ferrari - both of them ahead of Hamilton, who has indeed left the garage.

  • 15:44

    Replays show Michael Schumacher bouncing over a kerb, and kicking up some sparks as his front wing hits the ground.

  • 15:44

    Just the top four remain in the garage now, Vettel, Button, Webber and Alonso.

  • 15:44

    All else, barring Kobayashi, are out on track scrabbling for a laptime.

  • 15:45

    Alguersuari is pushing hard for his lap, scraping by the walls and sliding round corners. He crosses the line 13th.

  • 15:45

    Bruno Senna jumps to 11th on his first attempt at a flying lap.

  • 15:46

    The drop zone currently features Barrichello, Buemi, Senna, Maldonado, Alguersuari, and both Sauber drivers.

  • 15:46

    RadioTeam radio to Hamilton: "Okay, Lewis, I think we may have a right rear puncture."

  • 15:47

    Lewis has returned to the pitlane. He's currently sitting eighth, close to the drop zone.

  • 15:47

    Chequered flagQualifying session 2 ends.

  • 15:49
    Qualifying Position
    11Sergio PérezSauber
    12Rubens BarrichelloWilliams
    13Pastor MaldonadoWilliams
    14Sébastien BuemiToro Rosso
    15Bruno SennaRenault
    16Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso
    17Kamui KobayashiSauber
  • 15:49

    RadioTeam radio to Di Resta: "You're through to Q3 but seemed to struggle a bit more, Paul."

  • 15:49

    Lewis Hamilton does make it through, then, eighth place. He asked on the radio where the puncture came from, so clearly didn't hit the wall. It may have been debris from Kobayashi's crash.

  • 15:50

    The top ten are made up of five complete teams - Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Force India.

  • 15:54

    Interview with Pastor Maldonado: "The track is amazing but it's too hot in the car. I enjoy the track. To work with the team during the night is something different for Formula One and for me something new. Today we weren't so comfortable in terms of time but looking forward to tomorrow.

    "I think that kind of kerbs are not for Formulas, for touring cars or something like that. If you miss the line a bit, you're going to fly like you saw Kobayashi did. I think he took a bit too much at the first kerb... that's why he flew like that. You must be very clean in that kind of corner. Maybe you can lose one tenth but you can't take a risk there, because you will pay.

    "It's impossible to not touch any kerbs. The most critical ones are the really inside yellow ones, they're harder, so we need to avoid them every lap."

  • 15:56

    Green flagQualifying session 3 begins.

  • 15:56

    Jenson Button leads the pack, ahead of Alonso, Massa and Hamilton.

  • 15:56

    In between Q2 and Q3, officials were out on track checking those pesky kerbs again.

  • 15:57

    Webber and Vettel both join the track for an out lap.

  • 15:57

    TedNews: Lewis Hamilton is now one set of super soft tyres down, as he's not allowed to exchange a punctured set with Pirelli. A three stop might be tricky.

  • 15:58

    Hamilton closes up behind Massa on their outlap, they almost touched wheels, and Massa backed off to let the McLaren through.

  • 15:59

    No sign of Mercedes or Force India out on track yet.

  • 16:00

    Jenson Button sets the first benchmark - 1:44.928. Alonso behind goes third, but Hamilton beats it to go P1.

  • 16:00

    Webber slips into third, and where will Vettel feed in?

  • 16:00

    Vettel is fastest by half a second. For now.

  • 16:01

    Five minutes remaining.

  • 16:01

    RadioTeam radio to Vettel: "Okay Sebastian, push on the in lap, we need all the time we can get please. Don't destroy tyres."

  • 16:01

    Felipe Massa was called back into the pits, he didn't bother setting a time after the clash with Hamilton. He'll leave it for a one flying lap special.

  • 16:03

    Nico Rosberg is the first to head out for the final stint of flying laps. He has no time set yet.

  • 16:03

    Schumacher's car is up on jacks, but they look like they're getting ready to go.

  • 16:04

    All drivers are out on track now, except Lewis Hamilton and two Force Indias.

  • 16:04

    The in-car cam showed Hamilton putting his gloves on but then pulling them off again. He's run out of time now.

  • 16:04

    The Force India drivers aren't attempting a run either.

  • 16:05

    Lewis is likely not going out to save a set of tyres, after losing one with the puncture.

  • 16:06

    Chequered flagQualifying session 3 ends.

  • 16:06

    This may be a subdued end to qualifying. Unlikely anyone can find half a second to beat Vettel.

  • 16:07

    Webber improves to 2nd, Button jumps Hamilton to go 3rd. Fernando Alonso stays fifth.

  • 16:09
    Qualifying Position
    1Sebastian VettelRed Bull
    2Mark WebberRed Bull
    3Jenson ButtonMcLaren
    4Lewis HamiltonMcLaren
    5Fernando AlonsoFerrari
    6Felipe MassaFerrari
    7Nico RosbergMercedes
    8Michael SchumacherMercedes
    9Adrian SutilForce India
    10Paul di RestaForce India
  • 16:09

    QuoteComment from Mr C: 2-by-2 grid.

  • 16:12

    Interview with Paul di Resta: "For some of the slower teams, we have to use an extra set in Q1 to go through... in order to do that we used another two sets in Q2. There's no point in going out because you're fighting a losing battle.

    "It's been a difficult weekend anyway... yesterday we missed the whole of FP2. We've chosen quite a safe strategy to go ahead tomorrow... There are cars around us that are going to be very close to us at certain points in the race.

    "It's very similar to Malaysia, but I think here, even though it's night, it's a bit cooler but there's no air. There's a lot of corners to contend with, the cars are running extremely hot, it'll be a long race tomorrow. The longest race of the year, we'll get near the two hour mark.

    "We're in the unknown in my car because we haven't done any long runs. We went with a setup that we hope will be good on both. We've compromised a little bit. I've been here long enough now, certainly trying to push my way up. As long as you're close to your teammate, which we were there.. we need a double points finish and that's what we'll set out to do."

  • 16:14

    Interview with Lewis Hamilton: "Quite an eventful one, nonetheless it was still quite good. We were competitive. Came in, tried to refuel the car and had a problem. We were too late to get going and weren't able to get a second run. These things happen.

    "We're not in a bad position. Fourth is not so bad. We probably could have been on the front row, so that's positive for tomorrow."

  • 16:15
    Gap Analysis
    PosDriverGap
    1stVET1:44.381
    2ndWEB+0.351
    3rdBUT+0.423
  • 16:19

    Press Conference Quotes - Sebastian Vettel: "The last run I tried a little too much going into the tricky chicane around turn ten. I could have made it but I decided to abort because it's very easy to damage the car. I was quite happy with my first lap. I think it was possible to go faster. All in all, a perfect session and I'm very happy. Such a long lap to get everything together, but I think we learned from the mistakes we made last year in qualifying. It's great, we have both cars on the front row. Let's see tomorrow, it's a long race."

  • 16:20

    Press Conference Quotes - Mark Webber: "I think I'm pretty happy. It's been a pretty testing venue for me in the past. Seb laid it down pretty hard and fast for all of us. He did a great job for the pole. It's pretty rare he makes a mistake... he was quick for the whole lap. To put it all together is challenging for all of us here. Overall, satisfied, giving the curveballs the team can face round here."

  • 16:21

    Press Conference Quotes - Jenson Button: "All I know is that for me, the lap was good. Both my laps. If I put them both together it would have been good, but it's very difficult round here. You struggle to put all three sectors together... it's very tricky and something I've been fighting all day. I didn't get much running yesterday after facing the barrier. I'm pleased to be in the top three and it's a good position to be in for the race tomorrow. It's something I have no experience of as we didn't get much long fuel running in yesterday. It's going to be a challenge."

  • 16:24

    Interview with Felipe Massa: "We always expect a little bit better. I was not able to do the perfect lap, the rear of the car was moving a bit. But we know the race will be even more important than the qualifying in terms of strategy. It's very hot. We need to concentrate everything to do a better race."

  • 16:24

    He also said, of the Lewis Hamilton incident: "It was too much. I think he didn't use his mind, one more time."

  • 16:25

    TweetTweet from @AdorimediaF1: We're not seeing Rubens now, he's been taken to the medical centre. Details soon. #SingaporeGP #F1

  • 16:28

    There doesn't seem to be much more news on Rubens, although some are saying it may be because of the heat. We didn't see any accidents or anything out on track.

  • 16:31

    It's another Red Bull pole position, and Vettel has put himself in the best possible position to win the championship. With Mark Webber by his side, it could be a Red Bull lockout in the race as well.

  • 16:31

    However, as they are all fond of saying, it's a long, long race, and anything can happen.

  • 16:31

    I hope you'll join me tomorrow for all the action. The Factbyte Factbox will go live at 12pm GMT+1, ready for the race to start at 1pm.

  • 16:32

    In the meantime, stay tuned to https://sidepodcast.com and http://f1minute.com where we'll keep you updated with all the news and views you need - including, hopefully, a clean bill of health for Rubens.

  • 16:32

    See you then, fact fans.

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