After Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel looked set to walk pole position in Singapore, it was Fernando Alonso who mastered the street circuit on Saturday night.

The Ferrari driver, having won from pole position two weeks ago in Italy, left Vettel and his team boss Christian Horner bemused by outpacing the fastest RB6 by half a tenth.

Vettel, 23, called his Q3 effort "messy", as Horner told British television BBC: "He touched the barrier on his final lap and that was the difference today."

In the sister Red Bull, championship leader Mark Webber qualified fifth, having not looked comfortable between the walls of the city layout so far this weekend.

The Australian, also behind the two McLarens for the start of Sunday's race, admitted he has had "trouble getting a rhythm around here".

"We underperformed," admitted Horner. "We should be two or three tenths up the road."

In contrast, it was a notably focused session for Alonso, who grappled with having to change some settings from the cockpit following teammate Felipe Massa's earlier gearbox failure.

"We made some safe changes in the car to avoid any risk," said the Spaniard, whose team initially believed Massa's problem was engine-related.

Alonso told his team on the radio: "No words, fantastic job today."

He will have a clear run to turn 1 on Sunday at 8pm local time, alongside fellow front row sitter Vettel.

"I think we had the car to be on pole but we have a very good car for tomorrow," insisted the German.

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:46.541 1:45.809 1:45.390 21
2 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:46.960 1:45.561 1:45.457 17
3 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:48.296 1:46.042 1:45.571 18
4 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:48.032 1:46.490 1:45.944 18
5 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:47.088 1:45.908 1:45.977 19
6 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:48.183 1:47.019 1:46.236 22
7 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:48.554 1:46.783 1:46.443 18
8 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1:47.657 1:46.949 1:46.593 15
9 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:48.425 1:47.160 1:46.702 17
10 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:48.908 1:47.599 1:47.884 18
11 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:48.127 1:47.666 16
12 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:47.984 1:47.674 13
13 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:48.906 1:48.165 13
14 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:49.063 1:48.502 16
15 22 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:48.696 1:48.557 16
16 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:48.496 1:48.899 14
17 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:48.988 1:48.961 11
18 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:50.721 9
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:50.915 9
20 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:51.107 9
21 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:51.641 10
22 20 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1:52.946 7
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:54.174 9
24 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari No time 2

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