- Singapore Grand Prix - Qualifying
Alonso pips Vettel to Singapore pole
Button looking to capitalise on slow Red Bull starts
'We had a decent chance of pole' - Hamilton
Vettel rues 'messy' qualifying
We were lucky to make Q3 - Alonso
- Singapore Grand Prix
- FIA Formula One World Championship
Fernando Alonso produced a fully-committed lap of the Singapore street circuit to secure his second pole position in a row and line up ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton on Sunday's grid.
Alonso's time of 1:45.390 was the fastest lap of the weekend and the first true sign of what the recently-updated Ferrari is capable of. Vettel looked as though he had pole position sealed heading into Q3, but a couple of minor errors on his fast lap saw him 0.067 seconds shy of Alonso.
Jenson Button nailed a last gasp effort to beat Mark Webber to fourth, as the five championship contenders booked their places on the top five places of the grid. Hamilton was just over 0.1 seconds behind Vettel but comfortably ahead of Button and Webber, who have both struggled to find a groove around the 5km circuit this weekend.
It wasn't all plain sailing for Ferrari, as Felipe Massa suffered an engine shutdown in Q1 and will start from the back of the grid after failing to post a time. Alonso also had a minor scare in Q2 and had to return to the pits so that his team could reboot his electronics before he secured a place in Q3.
Outside the top five, Rubens Barrichello took sixth on the grid with a superb lap in the Williams. Nico Rosberg was just behind in the Mercedes but ahead of Robert Kubica's Renault and team-mate Michael Schumacher. Kamui Kobayashi rounded out the top 10 in his Sauber.
Jaime Alguersuari will line up 11th after setting consistently quick times in the two qualifying sessions he took part in. The second Williams of Nico Hulkenberg will start 12th, after he finished Q2 0.6 tenths off his team-mate Barrichello. The frustration was clear to see, as the Williams driver returned to his garage, got out of his car and slammed his helmet against the wall.
Vitaly Petrov secured 13th but slapped his rear right tyre against the wall on the exit of turn five, breaking his suspension. Turn five remained damp throughout the session and any rain on Sunday will see it turn into a treacherous corner for the race.
Nick Heidfeld took 15th on his return to Formula One, behind Sebastian Buemi but ahead of the two Force Indias that were the slowest of the established teams.
Timo Glock led the battle of the new teams for Virgin ahead of Heikki Kovalainen in the Lotus. Christian Klien qualified over a second ahead of team-mate Bruno Senna on an impressive return as a race driver.