Skip to main content

Dominant Hamilton claims Singapore pole for McLaren

updated 11:24 AM EDT, Sat September 22, 2012
Lewis Hamilton is making a strong challenge for his second world title in the latter half of the F1 season.
Lewis Hamilton is making a strong challenge for his second world title in the latter half of the F1 season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lewis Hamilton on pole for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix
  • 24th career GP pole for 2008 world champion
  • Venezuela's Pastor Maldonado second fastest for Williams
  • Defending two-time world champion Sebastian Vettel third fastest

(CNN) -- Lewis Hamilton dominated Saturday's qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix to claim pole position for the third time in the last four races of the Formula One season.

The McLaren star clocked a best time of one minute 46.392 seconds under the lights of the Marina Bay Street Circuit to take first place on the grid by nearly half a second from Venezuela's Pastor Maldonado in his Williams.

Two-time defending world champion Sebastian Vettel had shown impressive pace in his Red Bull in the practice sessions but had to settle for third place, just ahead of Hamilton's teammate Jenson Button.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso was a solid fifth for Ferrari, but his teammate Felipe Massa was back in 13th.

Hamilton's McLaren Future

Speculation about Hamilton's future has been the talk of the pit lane, but after his victory in the preceding round in Italy he was again complimenting his team.

Hamilton focuses on championship

"The guys have done a fantastic job all week. The session was great, although I'm not sure what happened with Sebastian (Vettel) who had been fastest all the way through before that."

Such was Hamilton's mastery of the final session, two of his qualifying runs were faster than Maldonado's as he claimed a 24th career pole.

The pair had a controversial clash at the European Grand Prix in Valencia and Hamilton will be looking to avoid a similar problem.

"I'll have to get away cleanly. We'll stick to the strategy we have planned and be prepared if it doesn't work," he added.

Britain's Paul Di Resta was an excellent sixth for Force India ahead of the second Red Bull of Mark Webber of Australia.

Romain Grosjean returned after his one-race ban to take eighth for Lotus with the Mercedes pair of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg rounding out the top 10.

Earlier Saturday, race officials announced they had been granted a five-year extension to their contract with F1, ensuring the race will continue until at least 2017 at the same venue.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 9:58 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
updated 12:04 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
updated 11:00 AM EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
ADVERTISEMENT