Ferrari and RedBull End Mercedes Qualifying Reign
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News September 19, 2015
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel snatched pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix, and put an end to Mercedes Qualifying domination on Saturday.
Mercedes had started at the front of the grid in each of the last 23 grands prix, dating back to the middle of last year, and needed just one more to equal the all-time record, set by the Williams team in the early 1990s.
But the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were unable to keep up with the Ferrari and Red Bull, who battled it out for pole.
Vettel came out on top, giving Ferrari their first pole position since 2012, the three-time Singapore Grand Prix winner, continued his love affair with the tricky street circuit by setting the fastest qualifying time of one minute 43.885 seconds.
Vettel's pole position was the 46th of his career. His last was in 2013 in Brazil.
The 28-year-old was more than half a second clear of Australia's Daniel Ricciardo, who booked his spot on the front row for Red Bull with the second best time.
With his iconic smile he added: It is nice to be back up here. Being on the front row has been a while. To have no Mercedes up here was a surprise. I thought they were playing a few card games yesterday.”
Finland's Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest for Ferrari and Russia's Daniil Kvyat fourth for Red Bull.
Hamilton, who had started from pole in 11 of the previous 12 races this season, could only manage fifth spot, with Rosberg starting alongside him in sixth.
A baffled and disappointed Hamilton said:
“It was actually really challenging and these tyres for some reason aren’t working on our car. It’s so weird. You heat them up the same as everyone else, you do your warm-up lap the same as everyone else. Then you finish your lap, which you think will be OK grip and then you see someone else a second up the road. So it’s very strange.”
Vettel climbed from his cockpit and celebrated like he had won the race."I'm surprised by the margin but I think it just came together. It was near perfect," Vettel said.
Vettel dominated the qualifying session. He was third after the first stage using soft tyres but topped the second and third sessions after switching to super softs.