Sebastian Vettel secures pole for the Singapore Grand Prix in yet another show of dominance by the Red Bull driver

Vettel has won three of the last four races and has given himself the best chance to increase his run tomorrow

Sebastian Vettel underlined his growing superiority by claiming the 41st pole position of his Formula One career ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Winner of the last two races in Belgium and Italy, and after taking the chequered flag for the last two years at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, Vettel is on course to complete two separate hat-tricks on Sunday.

In posting an astonishing lap of one minute 42.841secs, a tenth of a second clear of Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, only mechanical failure can surely stop Vettel from his 33rd F1 triumph.

Under the bright lights of the track's 1,500 halogen lamps Vettel's dominance was such he did not bother attempting a second run in the closing top-10 shootout.

Instead, Vettel stood in the garage and watched the screens, biting his nails as Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber went quickest in the first sector, but could only finish fourth.

Rosberg was then fastest in the second sector, but ultimately missed out by 0.091secs, whilst Lotus' Romain Grosjean purpled the last part of the track, but will line up third.

Behind the leading quartet are Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes, with Ferrari's Felipe Massa ahead of Fernando Alonso, the duo sixth and seventh, but with them a second behind Vettel.

McLaren's Jenson Button starts eighth ahead of Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo, with Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez 10th after out-qualifying team-mate Nico Hulkenberg for the first time this year.

After the middle 15-minute session, and after playing second best for once to Gutierrez, Hulkenberg will start 11th in his Sauber.

Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne lines up 12th, followed by Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen, with the Finn suffering with a back problem team principal Eric Boullier described as "not 100 per cent".

Under pressure at McLaren, Sergio Perez could only manage 14th, with Force India's Adrian Suil and Valtteri Bottas in his Williams on row eight in 15th and 16th.

Paul Di Resta's wretched second half of the season continued as the Scot will start from 17th after failing to make it through the first 20-minute qualifying session for the fourth time this year in his Force India.

Di Resta, however, remained positive as he said: "We've not given ourselves the best chance, but whether that's good enough to fight through and score points we'll have to wait and see."

Di Resta will be joined on row nine by Williams' Pastor Maldonado, who a year ago at this circuit qualified second, further highlighting the slump in fortunes for the Venezuelan and the team.

Caterham again occupy row 10, with Charles Pic edging out Giedo van der Garde, whilst for the 12th consecutive race this year Marussia's Jules Bianchi out-qualified Max Chilton, albeit with just a tenth of a second between them.

Assessing his unusual situation in looking on as qualifying concluded, Vettel said: "It was weird standing in the garage with roughly two minutes to go.

"It then became much worse with the others making their final attempt and there's nothing you can do.

"I watched the sector times closely with Romain, Nico and Mark, but fortunately my last sector was strong enough to stay ahead of Nico.

"In the end it was a great feeling because it could have gone wrong.

"Yesterday the gap to the others was a surprise, but today was more what we expected."

Coming so close to deposing Vettel from top spot, Rosberg said: "Seb has been really quick all weekend.

"It was very close in the end. One tenth (of a second) more would have been possible, but second is still a good result.

"We've good race pace and I'm very confident for tomorrow."

PA

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'