Full qualifying times HERE
- Just 0.007s between top two after final laps
- Ricciardo P3 ahead of Vettel and Alonso
- Top nine drivers covered by less than 0.6s
Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix by beating team-mate Nico Rosberg by just 0.007s after a four-team fight for pole.
Despite a lock-up on his final flying lap, Hamilton snatched pole by the finest of margins from his main championship rival, with the two Red Bulls in third and fourth. However, Mercedes was made to work hard to lock out the front row.
The first runs in Q3 signalled just what a fight Mercedes had on its hands as Felipe Massa set the fastest time ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso, with the two Mercedes in sixth and seventh. However, on the second runs only Ricciardo improved markedly before the two Mercedes came through to beat him by less than 0.2s.
Sebastian Vettel starts fourth ahead of Alonso and Massa, while Kimi Raikkonen will start from seventh but was denied a shot at pole as he had to abort his final lap due to an engine issue. Valtteri Bottas in eighth and Kevin Magnussen in ninth were both within 0.6s of the final pole time despite the long lap, while Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top ten.
Hamilton will take further encouragement for the race as Rosberg's qualifying session began with a trip down the escape road at Turn 8 as he locked up and bailed out of the corner, needing to reverse back on track with smoking brakes. While he recovered to set the fastest time on his second run in Q2 he had to use an extra set of supersoft tyres in the process.
Jenson Button was the biggest casualty of Q2 as a lock-up at the hairpin on his final lap saw him miss out on a place in the top ten by just 0.017s. The McLaren was sandwiched by the two Toro Rossos, with Kvyat scraping through and Jean-Eric Vergne dropping out along with Nico Hulkenberg, Esteban Gutierrez and Sergio Perez.
Romain Grosjean was the other driver to fall in the second part of qualifying as he qualified 16th, with the Lotus driver than complaining via team radio: “I don't believe it. Bloody engine, bloody engine!” before being informed of a similar problem to a power unit issue suffered in Q3.
The first part of qualifying saw few surprises, with the two Caterhams and Marussias being joined in the bottom six by Pastor Maldonado and Adrian Sutil. Jules Bianchi was impressive in qualifying just 0.4s slower than Maldonado and a second clear of Kamui Kobayashi.