Sebastien Vettel will start from pole position for the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver shares the front row of the grid with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was just half a second slower despite showing pace early on in his final attempt.
Neither Mercedes driver managed to make it into the top three, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg starting fifth and sixth respectively behind Daniil Kvyat and Kimi Raikkonen. Mercedes cited tyre warmup issues as the main reason why they were unable to put in a lap time, and the circuit not suiting their package – much to the surprise of their rivals.
Initially it looked like the top three was already sorted in Q1, when the order of Vettel, Ricciardo, and Raikkonen emerged before the switch to the Super Soft occurred – including the two Mercedes drivers who seemed unhappy early on with their pace. Hamilton went quickest before quickly being usurped by Kvyat, whilst the two McLaren’s managed to get out of the drop zone knock Nasr, Ericsson, Maldonado, Stevens, and Rossi all out in the first part of Qualifying.
In the second part Vettel set the pace from Kvyat and Raikkonen in the initial Super Soft runs. In the closing stages Carlos Sainz attempted to get himself out of the drop zone, before clouting the wall coming out of turn 19 which broke his left rear suspension and sent him out along with Hulkenberg, Alonso, Perez, and Button.
In the final part of Qualifying it was Vettel on provisional pole after setting a 1:44.305, along with Ricciardo and Raikkonen. Both Rosberg and Hamilton were on used sets of Super Softs, with the latter aborting his lap due to running wide down at turn five. Then on the final runs Hamilton could only manage fifth, whilst Vettel improved by four tenths and Ricciardo by two tenths on his lap.
Rosberg meanwhile improved to P6, getting ahead of Bottas, Verstappen, Massa, and Grosjean who round out the top ten.