Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was surprised to take pole position today for the F1 2010 Singapore Grand Prix.
Alonso went into the session expecting to have to play second fiddle to the Red Bull's of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. However when it came to the top-ten shoot-out it was the Spaniard that came through to take the top position and he was over-the-moon to notch up his second pole in a row.
Indeed with the championship now coming to an end, he knows that things are getting more and more critical: "Every pole position is important, but clearly, starting from the front in a race like this and at this point in the season is very important and gives one hope of being able to bring down the gap in the classification even more,” Alonso said.
“Setting two pole positions in a row, at circuits as different as Monza and Singapore is a real boost, because it means that the car can be really competitive at every type of track. It was certainly not an easy day, but in qualifying we managed to get the very best out of the car, while I don't think our main rivals could say the same.
“Honestly, I thought that the Red Bulls, which had dominated the weekend so far, would be out in front and that third was a realistic target but instead I am on pole: it's almost like an Easter surprise!
“There was a tense moment in Q2 when something did not work as it should have done with the engine mapping, but once it was reprogrammed, everything was back to normal. The start will be very important tomorrow, but even more so will be the need to maintain total concentration for the 61 laps of a very long race that will be extremely demanding both physically and on the car.
“Track conditions will play a key role, because we have seen that some sections remain damp for a long time, so just a bit of rain even a few hours before the start, could change the situation. We must run our own race and I am sure we can bring home a good result: we are in the best possible position to succeed."
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali meanwhile was also delighted to see 'his man' finish the shoot-out in P1: “Fernando put in an exceptional qualifying performance, getting the very most out of the car and finding that little something extra to go quickest in Q3,” he added. “Tomorrow, it will be important to get a good start and to make the right choices, especially with a question mark over the weather and the safety-car: above all, we have to bear in mind that reliability is the crucial element."