Alonso pips Vettel to Singapore GP pole

Fernando Alonso has taken pole for the second race in succession with a strong performance in qualifying at Singapore

Alonso pips Vettel to Singapore GP pole

The Spaniard saw off a late challenge from Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel to secure the top spot.

The German began his final flying lap in a provisional seventh place after making a mistake earlier in the session, and despite being comfortably up on Alonso's time through the first sector, he faded over the remainder of the lap and was left in second, 0.067s down on Alonso's bets time of 1m45.390s.

While Ferrari celebrated Alonso's success, it was a very different story for team-mate Felipe Massa, who will start from the back of the grid following a suspected engine problem during Q1.

McLaren locked out the second row, with Lewis Hamilton taking third ahead of Jenson Button, leaving championship leader Mark Webber a disappointed fifth alongside the Williams of Rubens Barrichello. The Brazilian's team-mate Nico Hulkenberg fell just shy of making it through to Q1 and finished 12th fastest behind Sebastien Buemi, although he will start from 17th due to a five-place grid penalty.

Mercedes got both its cars into the top 10, with Nico Rosberg seventh and Michael Schumacher ninth, the pair bookending Renault's Robert Kubica, and Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi rounded out the top 10.

Massa was not the only driver whose session was compromised by problems. Vitaly Petrov's hopes of cracking Q1 were ended when he spun and broke his right-rear suspension against the barriers during Q2, although he was still in with a shot of remaining in the top 10 before his time was finally overhauled by Buemi and Hulkenberg in the last couple of minutes.

Virgin won bragging rights in the battle of the new teams when Timo Glock took 18th, with a late push from Lotus' Heikki Kovalainen allowing the Finn to get ahead of Lucas di Grassi.

Jarno Trulli was 18th ahead of F1 returnee Christian Klien, who left his HRT team-mate Bruno Senna to join Massa on the back row.

 Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 1. Alonso Ferrari 1:46.541 1:45.809 1:45.390 2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:46.960 1:45.561 1:45.457 3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:48.296 1:46.042 1:45.571 4. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:48.032 1:46.490 1:45.944 5. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:47.088 1:45.908 1:45.977 6. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:48.183 1:47.019 1:46.236 7. Rosberg Mercedes 1:48.554 1:46.783 1:46.443 8. Kubica Renault 1:47.657 1:46.949 1:46.593 9. Schumacher Mercedes 1:48.425 1:47.160 1:46.702 10. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:48.908 1:47.599 1:47.884 11. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:48.127 1:47.666 12. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:47.984 1:47.674 13. Petrov Renault 1:48.906 1:48.165 14. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:49.063 1:48.502 15. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1:48.696 1:48.557 16. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:48.496 1:48.899 17. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:48.988 1:48.961 18. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:50.721 19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:50.915 20. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:51.107 21. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:51.641 22. Klien HRT-Cosworth 1:52.946 23. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:54.174 24. Massa Ferrari All Timing Unofficial 
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Vettel on top again in final practice

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