Michael Schumacher will take part in the top ten pole position shoot-out for the first time since the British Grand Prix in July after making it through the second phase of qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix, but Force India lost both drivers among the seven non-qualifiers.
Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi both failed to improve their positions on their final runs, and could only manage 16th and 17th places respectively. Their positions will improve slightly once Nico Hulkenberg - clearly frustrated with his performance too - takes his five-place gearbox penalty, but it was still a disappointing show from the Force India team, especially after Sutil's strong run on Friday.
While the orange and green cars occupied the bottom two spots, they will take little solace from the fact that the times among the non-qualifiers were very close, with Nick Heidfeld, Sebastien Buemi and Vitaly Petrov - who broke the right rear suspension of his Renault against the wall - all within a few tenths of each other. Hulkenberg and the luckless Jaime Alguersuari completed the list of those not to make the cut.
Ferrari dodged a bullet just as Fernando Alonso looked a possibility for the bottom seven, the Spaniard reporting an engine problem that needed to be fixed with an electronics reset. He bounced back by setting the fastest time, and only had to give best to Sebastian Vettel late in the session as both drivers reset the fastest ever lap of the Marina Bay circuit. For the record, Vettel's new mark sits at 1min 45.561secs - a full second inside the old standard.
Vettel and Alonso will be joined in the shoot-out by Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button - the championship contenders all in the top five - Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica, Rubens Barrichello, Schumacher and Kamui Kobayashi.