Paul di Resta and Pastor Maldonado were the 'other' non-qualifiers after the first phase of the timed session in Singapore, capping a difficult pre-race weekend for Force India and Williams.

The night-time session produced a quandary over using the medium or supersoft tyres, particularly with one eye on Sunday's similarly-timed race, and while some, like Red Bull and Sergio Perez, opted for a single run on the harder rubber, the rest spent longer on track, often with little reward for their effort.

While Marussia and Caterham were widely expected to feature in the bottom six lest it rained at an opportune moment, the remaining two places were open to debate. For di Resta, it was a fifth failure to progress beyond Q1, and team-mate Adrian Sutil's struggle to escape the drop zone showed that it was not just down to the Scot.

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Maldonado, meanwhile, will line up alongside the Briton on Sunday afternoon, swapping his front row spot in 2012 for 18th this time around as Williams continued to struggle for pace despite optimism about its high downforce package.

At the other end of the times, there were no fewer than ten changes in top spot, before Lewis Hamilton finally sealed the deal with a lap of 1min 44.196secs. The top five was completed by Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Perez and Nico Rosberg, but Q2 will provide more of a clue to qualifying performance as Webber and Vettel filled sixth and seventh positions - ahead of both Lotus drivers - after a single run.