Sergio Perez thought that he had done enough to secure Sauber a spot in the pole position shoot-out at the Singapore Grand Prix, but Paul di Resta showed that he was not prepared to miss out at the last gasp again.
With Kamui Kobayashi not able to set a time for the Swiss team after planting his car into the wall at the chicane, Sauber's hopes remained with Perez, and the Mexican, the last man to set a time in the 15-minute session, appeared to have delivered by vaulting into tenth spot after the chequered flag appeared. di Resta, who missed out in simialr circumstances at both Spa and Monza, was still on track, however, and managed to pull out just enough time from his Force India to reclaim the place.
Perez was thus condemned to join Williams duo Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado, and the two Toro Rossos of Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari - who sandwiched Bruno Senna in 15th - on the sidelines.
Sebastian Vettel continued to show that he will be the favourite for another Red Bull pole position by topping the time from Jenson Button, with RBR team-mate Mark Webber in third. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa rounded out the top five, as Lewis Hamilton suffered a right-rear puncture while venturing out to improve on eighth spot. Fortunately for the Briton, no one below him improved enough to put his pole bid in jeopardy.