At the bottom end of the Q1 order, the Manors of Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi were eliminated in P19 and P20 respectively, with Pastor Maldonado and the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr also exiting at this stage. Jenson Button made it through in P15, though he was just 0.074 ahead of Nasr.
At the end of Q2 opening salvoes, in the drop zone were Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, followed by Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz JR. and Jenson Button. No one escaped the drop zaone, though Hulkenberg climbed to P11, ahead of Alonso, Perez, Sainz and Button. Sainz prevented any further improvements when he clipped the wall and scattered debris across the track. At the top of the order the Ferraris and Red Bulls opted to forego a second run.
The first runs in Q3 saw Vettel quickest once more, with the German setting an opening run time of 1:44.305 to sit ahead of former Red bull team-mate Ricciardo who was three tenths adrift of the four-time world champion. Räikkönen was third ahead of Kvyat with Rosberg fifth. Hamilton, meanwhile, was down in ninth place having run wide over a kerb at Turn Seven, an error that forced him to abort his first flying lap.
In the end, Vettel’s opening lap was good enough. Ricciardo improved but couldn’t pass the Ferrari driver’s benchmarch and he settled for second. Vettel got down to a 1:43.885s, 0.543s clear of the Red Bull driver to take his first pole position since Brazil 2012. Raikkonen and Kvyat had to settle for third and fourth with Hamilton and Rosberg to start the Mercedes from row three. Behind them Bottas took seventh ahead of Verstappen, Massa and Grosjean.
2015 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING
P. DRIVER TEAM TIME GAP 1. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:43.885 2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:44.428 + 0.543 3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:44.667 + 0.782 4. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:44.745 + 0.860 5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:45.300 + 1.415 6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG 1:45.415 + 1.530 7. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:45.676 + 1.791 8. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:45.798 + 1.913 9. Felipe Massa Williams 1:46.077 + 2.192 10. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m46.413 + 2.528 Q2 Fastest time: Sebastian Vettel 1:44.743 11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:46.305 + 2.420 12. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:46.328 + 2.443 13. Sergio Perez Force India 1:46.385 + 2.500 14. Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:46.894 + 3.009 15. Jenson Button McLaren 1:47.019 + 3.134 Q1 Fastest time: Daniil Kvyat 1:45.340 16. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:46.965 + 3.080 17. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:47.088 + 3.203 18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:47.323 + 3.435 19. Will Stevens Manor 1:51.021 + 7.136 20. Alexander Rossi Manor 1:51.523 + 7.638 107% time: 1:52.714 * 2014 Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes AMG - 1:45.681