Sebastian Vettel starts third, unable to turn some quite astonishing driving in all three practice sessions into a pole, ahead of Jenson Button. Vettel is racing Hamilton tomorrow. Both need to grab as many points as possible back from championship leader Fernando Alonso, who starts in fifth, and simply not as fast as the Red Bull or especially the McLaren. Kimi Raikkonen, the only other driver in with a realistic shout of the title did not make it to the other side of Q2 – unlike teammate Romain Grosjean who’s driving like he has not spent much of his enforced absence from Grand Prix contemplating his style. He was rallying his Lotus this evening in Singapore.
The full top ten then; Hamilton, Maldonado, Vettel, Button, Alonso, di Resta, Webber, Grosjean, and Schumacher and Rosberg who opted not to set times to give them the option of starting on the harder tyre tomorrow which could prove an advantage with the soft tyres proving quick, but less than durable.
Di Resta there in sixth looked tidy, and afterwards happy, to have made it out of Q2, unlike teammate Nico Hulkenberg; the pair of them are in the frame for drives at Ferrari and possibly McLaren. Schumacher leaves and Hamilton shifts over to fill. Will he? Won’t he?
Meanwhile poor old Bruno Senna looks to have signed his way out of Formula One. Hitting the same wall in the same place in two consecutive sessions of qualifying is enough to make anyone say ‘Bottas’. Or rather ‘Vattteri Bottas, will step up from number three to number two driver at Williams next year’. Shame, Bruno always seems like such a lovely fella. Just shame he’s not as fast as the bloke who starts second. Mind you, pace isn’t everything is it, Pastor…