Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso stormed to pole position for the high-stakes Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday, edging Sebastian Vettel to give his world championship hopes another timely boost.
It was a crucial drive by the Spaniard, with the front row of the grid likely to be decisive on the Marina Bay street circuit where overtaking is possible, but difficult.
He convincingly outpaced his title rivals under floodlights with a blistering lap of 1:45.390, which was enough to beat Red Bull’s Vettel into second place.
Lewis Hamilton and his McLaren teammate Jenson Button will start on the second row after finishing third and fourth, respectively.It was Alonso’s second pole in a row and followed his victory in Monza at the last Grand Prix, coming at a crucial stage of the season with just five Grand Prix to go in a tight championship race.
There are five drivers still in contention for the title, making this race hugely important.
Mark Webber leads on 187 points, five ahead of Hamilton, with Alonso third on 166. Sydney Morning Herald
Crucially for those four drivers they are all ahead of championship leader Mark Webber in his Red Bull as the top five in the title fight are the top five on the grid for the race.
Behind Webber will be Williams’ Rubens Barrichello in a season’s high of sixth, followed by Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher in seventh and ninth.
The German pair sandwich Renault’s Robert Kubica in eighth, with Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi completing the top 10.
Jaime Alguersuari will start from 11th after missing out on a place in the top 10 for what would have been the first time in his career by just 0.067 seconds.
Although Nico Hulkenberg qualified 12th, the German will drop to 17th due to a five-place grid penalty incurred for a gearbox change in his Williams.