GP Singapore, prove sabato–21/09/2013
Singapore GP: Sebastian Vettel escapes late scares to take pole
Sebastian Vettel hung on to take his fifth pole of the 2013 Formula 1 season in Singapore Grand Prix qualifying.
The Red Bull driver opted to do just one Q3 run as his initial 1m42.841s lap put him 0.6 seconds clear of his rivals. He had also outpaced the pack by nearly a second in Q2.
Vettel’s casual approach to the pole shootout almost proved costly, as first Mark Webber, then Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean all hinted at pole pace on their second shots.
In the end, they all fell short. Rosberg’s Mercedes came closest, 0.091 seconds down on Vettel, who is separated from team-mate Webber by Grosjean’s Lotus.
Lewis Hamilton was only fifth in the second McLaren, while the Ferraris were down in sixth and seventh, with the departing Felipe Massa ahead of team leader Fernando Alonso again.
Massa had earlier only just made it beyond Q1 having encountered traffic at the wrong moment.
It emerged just before qualifying that Kimi Raikkonen was struggling with back pain and that Lotus had been sufficiently concerned to get reserve driver Davide Valsecchi prepared.
The Finn only managed to qualify 13th, lapping 0.7s slower than team-mate Grosjean in Q2. It remains unclear whether his race participation is in jeopardy.
Esteban Gutierrez was among the stars of qualifying as he put aside recent Saturday woes to reach Q3 for the first time, having first hauled himself out of Q1 at the last moment.
His Sauber team-mate Nico Hulkenberg was overshadowed for once and is only 11th on the grid.
Sauber was not the only team to have one driver either side of the Q2/Q3 divide.
Jenson Button sneaked into the top 10 for McLaren by just 0.058s and took eighth, while the under-pressure Sergio Perez was down in 14th.
Jean-Eric Vergne was within 0.091s of joining Toro Rosso team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in Q3 but will start 12th, three places behind the Australian.
Gutierrez and Massa’s late jumps in Q1 caught out Paul di Resta, who was already in the pits and pushed back to 17th. Team-mate Adrian Sutil only managed two places better.
Williams’s Pastor Malonado was also knocked out in Q1, though team-mate Valtteri Bottas made it to Q2.
Caterham was again quicker than Marussia, Charles Pic coming out in front among the tail-end pack.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m42.841s 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m42.932s +0.091s 3. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m43.058s +0.217s 4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m43.152s +0.311s 5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m43.254s +0.413s 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m43.890s +1.049s 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m43.938s +1.097s 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m44.282s +1.441s 9. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m44.439s +1.598s 10. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari No time set Q2 cut-off time: 1m44.555s Gap ** 11. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m44.555s +1.650s 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m44.588s +1.683s 13. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m44.658s +1.753s 14. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m44.752s +1.847s 15. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m45.185s +2.280s 16. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m45.388s +2.483s Q1 cut-off time: 1m45.982s Gap * 17. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m46.121s +1.925s 18. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m46.619s +2.423s 19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m48.111s +3.915s 20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m48.320s +4.124s 21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m48.830s +4.634s 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m48.930s +4.734s 107% time: 1m51.489s * Gap to quickest in Q1 ** Gap to quickest in Q2
Singapore GP: Sebastian Vettel holds off Romain Grosjean in FP3
Sebastian Vettel was fastest again in final practice ahead of Singapore Grand Prix qualifying, but Romain Grosjean and Lotus stepped up to pressure Red Bull.
There were hints throughout the session that Red Bull’s rivals had reduced the advantage it held at the end of Friday.
Red Bull again held a one-two during the main running on the harder Pirellis.
This time Mark Webber turned the tables on Vettel after their Friday battle as his 1m46.220s lap beat the German by 0.079 seconds.
Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes was just 0.2s slower, a notable improvement on practice two.
Again there were substantial pace improvements on the super-soft tyre, with a massive leap from Grosjean putting the Lotus on top with a 1m44.364s.
Vettel managed to still pip that with a 1m44.173s, 0.191s faster, while Webber hit traffic on super-softs and was only fourth behind Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton ended the hour in fifth ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.
Alonso was followed by the man McLaren would perhaps like to oust in his favour next year: Sergio Perez.
Nico Hulkenberg gave Sauber another boost with eighth place, with Jenson Button and Felipe Massa completing the top 10.
While Grosjean starred, his Lotus team-mate Kimi Raikkonen could only manage 12th with a disappointing super-soft attempt.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m44.173s 15 2. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m44.364s + 0.191s 16 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m44.741s + 0.568s 18 4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m44.906s + 0.733s 14 5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m44.921s + 0.748s 14 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m44.257s + 0.084s 13 7. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m45.500s + 1.327s 12 8. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m45.876s + 1.703s 19 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m45.890s + 1.717s 13 10. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m45.935s + 1.762s 13 11. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m46.084s + 1.911s 15 12. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m46.147s + 1.974s 13 13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m46.338s + 2.165s 17 14. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m46.358s + 2.185s 16 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m46.660s + 2.487s 17 16. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m46.879s + 2.706s 16 17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m46.893s + 2.720s 13 18. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m47.249s + 3.076s 19 19. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m48.931s + 4.758s 17 20. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m49.037s + 4.864s 18 21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m49.182s + 5.009s 21 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m49.982s + 5.809s 20