Saturday's qualifying session for the 2016 F1 Singapore GP comes to an end. Here are the results.
Nico Rosberg will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole position for Mercedes ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, but Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will start from the back of the grid.
Rosberg beat the opposition by over half a second, as Ricciardo jumped up to second – ahead of Hamilton – with his final lap.
Intriguingly, both Red Bulls progressed through Q2 using the supersoft tyres, which means they will start the race on the more-durable rubber, giving them a likely strategic advantage.
Max Verstappen will start fourth in the second Red Bull, ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Raikkonen’s teammate Vettel suffered a nightmare when a rear suspension failure in Q1 caused his car to three-wheel through the corners, and he was unable to produce anything like a competitive laptime. He will start 22nd.
Story of the session
Rosberg set the pace after the first runs with a 1m42.584s, with Hamilton only responding with 1m43.288s, seven tenths of a second slower.
Raikkonen slotted into third on 1m43.540s, 0.25s off Hamilton, but two tenths clear of Ricciardo and Verstappen. “That was a really bad lap, I’m locking rears and locking fronts. We need a [traffic-]free lap,” said Verstappen, who was then sent out in the middle of the Mercedes cars.
On the final runs, Ricciardo jumped to second on 1m43.115s, which was 0.531s off Rosberg but over a tenth clear of Hamilton, who could only produce a 1m43.673s after a poor Turn 1.
Verstappen qualified fourth on 1m43.328s, staying clear of Raikkonen who fell back to fifth.
Carlos Sainz was an impressive sixth, ahead of a Toro Rosso teammate Daniil Kvyat.
Nico Hulkenberg will start eighth for Force India, ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and the second Force India of Sergio Perez.
Drama for Grosjean and Button in Q2
Q2 was effectively ended prematurely by Romain Grosjean crashing his Haas at Turn 10: “I dunno what happened under braking,” he said after locking his rear wheels and spinning off.
Jenson Button also failed to complete his final lap, after brushing the wall and damaging his McLaren’s left-rear wheel which gave him a puncture, causing him to stop in an escape road.
Yellow flags for those incidents caught out both Williams drivers, so Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa will start 11th and 12th.
There was some consternation at Williams, however, that Perez set his time under the yellows, and appeared to pass Esteban Gutierrez in a yellow zone.
Button was 13th fastest, ahead of Haas duo Gutierrez and Grosjean, and the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.
Red Bull gambled again on taking supersofts, rather than ultrasofts, in Q2. That allowed Mercedes to top the session unopposed, with Rosberg topping it on 1m43.020s ahead of Hamilton’s 1m43.471s.
Ricciardo managed 1m43.933s, almost two tenths clear of Verstappen in fourth.
Disaster for Vettel in Q1
Vettel suffered a rear suspension breakage that meant his Ferrari dramatically three-wheeled through the corners.
“I think the anti-roll bar broke, there’s something wrong with the car,” he said. After trying to salvage a lap, he was forced to pit: “It’s just stupid, losing time,” he grumbled after managing a lap 4.8s off the pace.
The Renaults of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer (complaining of “no rear grip” after he overheated his rear tyres on his final lap) will start 17th and 19threspectively, and were split by the Sauber of Felipe Nasr – whose teammate Ericsson benefited from Vettel’s woes to progress to Q2.
Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein beat Esteban Ocon to 20th.
Ricciardo topped the session on 1m44.255s, ahead of Raikkonen and Verstappen. Mercedes ran early, and Hamilton produced a 1m45.167s in fourth, as Rosberg could only produce a scruffy lap of 1m45.316s that was eighth fastest.
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||TAG||1'43.115||0.531|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||TAG||1'43.328||0.744|
|6||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso||Ferrari||1'44.197||1.613|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||Ferrari||1'44.469||1.885|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||Mercedes||1'44.479||1.895|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India||Mercedes||1'44.582||1.998|