Today’s qualifying session for the Singapore Grand Prix ended anti-climactically, with the accident of Rubens Barrichello depriving fans of the most exciting 30 seconds of the hour. But who were the winners and losers of the evening drive?
First slot on the grid goes to Lewis Hamilton. He looked assured throughout the three sessions, never looking like he would be troubled for the pole. That McLaren works very well on some circuits and the man from Stevenage will be hard to beat tomorrow.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had sounded ominously confident during practice, when he admitted that he thought his two cars would be relatively close to the sharp end of the grid. And so it proved, Vettel and Webber ending up second and fourth, with the German denied a potential shot at Hamilton by Barrichello’s accident.
Other honourable mentions must go to the two BMWs, with Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica wrestling top-ten grid slots out of their machines. Their performance level has certainly risen since the team went up for sale. Nico Rosberg was his usual outstanding self as well, with a session-topping time in Q2, and Timo Glock outperformed superqualifier Jarno Trulli comfortably, ending up a good sixth.
The biggest losers are without doubt the Brawns, who many thought dead certs for the spoils. Button was struggling from early on, but Rubens Barrichello appeared good til his accident. There is of course no suggestion that his accident was deliberate, but eyebrows were raised as he tamely went into the wall. The damage that his mechanics are currently engaged upon repairing should put pay to any conspiracy theory, though.
Romain Grosjean was disappointing in the Renault, as were the two Force Indias, well past the best of their Indian summer. Fisichella ought to be mindful of the fate of Luca Badoer, too, as he seeks to find a set-up that suits him at Ferrari. The supersubs’ experience is simply seeking to enhance Raikkonen and to an extent Massa’s reputations – the F60 is not an easy car to drive, by any means.