Fernando Alonso found enough time to claim pole position for the F1 2010 Singapore Grand Prix today, despite not running with Ferrari's F-duct and despite having to reset his electronics in Q2.
The Scuderia has yet to score a point in the city-state, but Alonso took the fight to pre-race favourites Red Bull Racing and emerged on top even though few drivers managed to improve their times on a second run in the pole position shoot-out.
The Monza race winner posted a 1 minute 45.390 seconds on his first flying lap to again reset the outright lap record, but Sebastian Vettel, hindered by Michael Schumacher on his first run, was still expected to have enough in hand to claim an eighth pole. However, the German, running first on the road, brushed a barrier and failed to pick up time despite being up through the first two sectors, and that pattern was followed by each of the likely contenders for top spot.
As a result, Alonso will line up at the front of the grid – for the second race in a row, with Vettel alongside, as McLaren team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button secured row two, crucially ahead of points' leader Mark Webber. That means the top-five title contenders will all start from the top five positions on the grid.
Meanwhile, a fired-up Rubens Barrichello claimed a brilliant sixth in his Williams, ahead of Nico Rosberg's Mercedes and Renault man Robert Kubica.
Michael Schumacher and Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi completed the top ten. It was Schumacher's first appearance in the top-ten shoot-out since the British Grand Prix way back in July.
The Force India F1 team was the biggest loser in Q2 and both Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi were eliminated. Neither was close to making the cut off either, and they could only manage 16th and 17th respectively. Their positions will improve slightly though once Nico Hulkenberg - clearly frustrated with his performance - takes his five-place gearbox penalty.
Hulkenberg was twelfth in the second session, just 0.008 seconds off luckless Jaime Alguersuari in P11. Alguersuari had been strong but just missed making Q3, 0.067 seconds behind Kobayashi.
Vitaly Petrov, Sebastien Buemi and Nick Heidfeld filled positions 13 through to 15. Petrov had a bad session and broke the right rear suspension on his Renault after he hit the wall.