Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hamilton Takes Pole in Tightly Competitive Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying

Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG

There is only six races remaining on the 2014 Formula 1 schedule as teams proceed into a two-race Asian tour. A unique event on the Formula 1 calendar, the Singapore Grand Prix contents the challenge of being a street circuit and a night race for the 22 drivers. In Saturday's time trials, the 5.07-kilometer Marina Bay Street Circuit provided a rather surreal thriller.

Qualifying under the nights on the Marina Bay Circuit overall provided one of the most pleasing outings of the season for Formula 1 onlookers wanting to see more parity among the teams. The time difference between first through ninth in qualifying was separated by a 0.569-second margin. Coming as the most interesting occurrence in the first two qualifying sessions was who topped the time charts following those rounds. In Q1 and Q2, the Scuderia Ferrari team led the way with Kimi Raikkonen topping the first and Fernando Alonso leading the second. The weekend has already proven optimistic for Ferrari as both race cars matched the pace the team demonstrated in the practice sessions. However, Mercedes AMG surged back into their customary leading role in 2014 Formula 1 qualifying by taking the top spot in the most important Q3 round.

Photo Credit: Andrew Hone Photographer/Pirelli

2009 Singapore Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton took pole at the Marina Bay Street Circuit with a 1-minute, 45.681-second lap time. The entire Q3 session was a contest where the biggest gain came from a small advantage. The difference between Lewis Hamilton and second-place qualifier Nico Rosberg was a mere 0.007 seconds. With the Mercedes AMG Formula 1 cars in a virtual dead heat after qualifying was settled, the start of the Singapore Grand Prix will be another hotly contested affair between the teammates and 2014 title contending rivals.

In third and fourth place, Red Bull Racing continues to follow the Mercedes AMG cars but has mounted one of the most aggressive fights against the German factory team. A little more than one-eighth of a second slower than Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo placed his Red Bull-Renault behind Hamilton for the main event. Sebastian Vettel was a shade slower than his teammate settling with a fourth-place qualifying effort. So far still winless in 2014, Vettel has won the Singapore Grand Prix for the past three seasons.

Performing some stunning runs on the earlier rounds of qualifying, the Ferrari cars both enjoyed a mid-mark efforts in the Q3 sessions. Fernando Alonso will start fifth while Kimi Raikkonen has mounted a seventh-best time in his Ferrari. The Williams team cars sandwich Raikkonen's Ferrari as Felipe Massa is planted in sixth while Valtteri Bottas obtained eighth on the grid. Rounding out the top-10 on the grid for the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix is Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat.

A 61-lap race, the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix will be held at 8 PM local time (translating to 8 AM Eastern time).

2014 Formula 1
Singapore Grand Prix
Starting Grid

Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine

1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Renault
4 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault
5 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari
6 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes-Benz
7 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Ferrari
8 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams F1 Renault
9 22 Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes-Benz
10 26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault
11 22 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes-Benz
12 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes-Benz
14 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari
15 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes-Benz
16 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault
17 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber Ferrari
18 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus Renault
19 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia Ferrari
20 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham Renault
21 4 Max Chilton Marussia Ferrari
22 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham Renault

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