Sep 22 2012
Lewis Hamilton grabbed his third pole in four races to further fire up his Formula One World Championship chances.
After winning from pole in Hungary and Italy of late, Hamilton will start Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix at the front of the grid in his McLaren alongside gatecrasher Pastor Maldonado in his Williams. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel qualified in third place.
It is the first time since 1999 McLaren have claimed four successive pole positions, with Hamilton now in prime spot for his fourth win this year as he aims to close the 37-point gap to championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
Alonso will start fifth, with McLaren's Jenson Button ahead of him on the grid in fourth.
Vettel won this race from pole last year and had been quickest in all three practice sessions, but had no answer to Hamilton's lap of one minute 46.362 seconds, the Briton finishing half a second up on Maldonado.
Force India's Paul Di Resta conjured a superb sixth, with Red Bull's Mark Webber seventh but under investigation and facing a five-place penalty for impeding Marussia's Timo Glock in Q1, whilst Lotus's Romain Grosjean starts eighth.
On the fifth row will be Mercedes duo Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, neither driver setting a time after using up all three sets of their supersoft tyres in the first two sessions.
After claiming the 24th pole of his career, Hamilton said: "The guys have done a fantastic job all weekend.
"Coming here with some small things added from the last race and on a high-downforce track, we were not sure how it would work out. But the session was great, although I'm not sure what happened with Sebastian, who had been fastest all the way through before that.
"As for the race it is tough with high tyre degradation, so everyone is going to struggle. I'll have to get away cleanly. We'll stick to the strategy we have planned and be prepared if it doesn't work."