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Page last updated at 10:26 GMT, Saturday, 24 September 2011 11:26 UK

Singapore Grand Prix qualifying - as it happened


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By Mike Henson

1646: The mood in the Red Bull camp must be as bubbly and sweet as one of their owner's cans of drinks after that one-two . Something a touch more fizzy and alcoholic might be on the drinks menu for the Milton Keynes-based team by this time tomorrow if Vettel ties up his title. The lights drop on tomorrow's race at 1300 BST, so time your lunches accordingly. Thanks for your company.

Red Bull driver Mark Webber who will start second: "I'm happy. It's been a very testing venue for me in the past. Sebastian laid it down pretty hard and fast. Obviously he was very quick. I'm satisfied given the curved ball teams can face at this track. Both cars are up there so it's a great result."

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel who will start on pole: "I decided to abort my second run when I made a mistake because it is very easy to damage the car so I went wide. I was quite happy with my first lap. I think the circuit ramped up at the end and I think it was possible to go faster but I'm very happy. It's a very difficult track with such a long lap to get everything right. I think we learned from our mistakes that we made last year. Let's see tomorrow as it's a very long race."

1633: It was an unseemly rush for track position at the start of Q3, but in the end Vettel, playing it cool behind Button, Hamilton and Alonso, focused on his own drive and that was more than enough to carry him to an 11th pole of the season.

McLaren's driver Jenson Button starts in third: "The lap for me was good, both my laps. If I had put them both together it would have been good but you struggle to get it all together round here through all three sectors. It's something I've been fighting all day. I didn't get much running yesterday so I'm pleased to be in the top three and it's a good position to be in for the race tomorrow. It's going to be a challenge."

McLaren's driver Lewis Hamilton starts on fourth: "It was quite an eventful one. It was still quite good. They had a fuelling problem, we were running out of time and we couldn't get enough fuel in the car. So we didn't have enough time for a second run. I'm not in a bad postion but I think we could have got on the front row."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
JP via text on 81111: "I'm not convinced Vettel can do anything other than win from the front. He's just lucky his car can consistently put him on pole. He's good but not that good."

1621: As it stands, Webber may be the biggest threat to team-mate's Vettel's chances of clinching the title on Sunday. If the Australian finishes second behind the championship leader tomorrow, the title race will roll on to Japan still, mathematically, unresolved.

1618: Paul di Resta lines up in 10th for Force India after the team decided not to send either of their drivers out in Q3. The Scot explained his decision to the BBC: "For some of the slower teams we have to use an extra set of super-soft tyres in Q1 to get through - and then another two sets in Q2 so there's no point going out as you're in a losing battle and you're not going to beat cars who are on fresher tyres than you."

1616: Three of the drivers in that final session - Force India's Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil and Mercedes' Michael Schumacher - did not post a time. Mercedes' Nico Rosberg was seventh.

Dave Taylor on Twitter: "Looks like Vettel doesn't even have to try. Title will finally be his tomorrow.."

1611: Red Bull seize their chance to tie up the front row as Webber takes second alongside team-mate Vettel, whose first lap of the session proved untouchable. McLaren's Button sneaks five thousandths of a second ahead of team-mate Hamilton and take third. It is an all-Ferrari third row with Alonso and Massa in fifth and sixth.

Chequered flag
Sebastian Vettel takes pole for the Singapore Grand Prix

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "You're not allowed to change a punctured set of tyres which means Hamilton will be one set down on a set of super-soft tyres for tomorrow's race if he does two runs in the Q3. I believe that with the puncture that's why they are saving their soft tyres."

1606: Problems in Hamilton's garage. Their man is done for the day as he pulls his gloves off and climbs out the car. Ted Kravitz is off to investigate what the problem is. Is that time good enough to stick up in second slot? It is up to be shot at now.

1602: The contenders file through the finish line in quick succession with Vettel yet again top of the standings, a comfortable 0.428 ahead of McLaren's Hamilton. Button is third with Webber fourth and Alonso fifth.

1600: Hamilton is chomping at the bit behind Massa, eventually forcing the Brazilian to move aside. The 2008 champion is looking up for this one.

1558: McLaren's Button leads out the field for Q3 with the Ferraris of Massa and Alonso queued up behind. All the drivers are keen to get out with a relatively lengthy lap limiting their chances in ten minutes.

BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan on Lewis Hamilton suffering a puncture and scraping into Q2: "Thing is you always have to put your banker in and Lewis did that. Nevertheless, no one likes to see what happened there with the puncture. I still think he's got a decent chance to challenge for pole. He's not out of it yet."

1554: So those who can start planning their tactics for Sunday are Sauber's Sergio Perez in 11th down to Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari in 16th. Onto the top-10 slug-out.

1551: Relief for Anthony Hamilton as his son Lewis squeezes through to Q3 and his charge Paul di Resta drags himself back into the top ten, knocking Sergio Perez out at the last.

1548: Strife for Hamilton as he limps back to the pits with a punctured right rear, he is eight at the moment can he hang on to a top-10 place?

1547: Sebastian Vettel leads Jenson Button at the top of the standings by more than half a second meanwhile Bruno Senna, having already left team-mate Petrov behind in Q1, posts the 11th best time so far.

1544: Massa and Schumacher move into fifth and sixth respectively, with the latter sending sparks showering across the tarmac as he endures a bumpy ride over the kerbs through the chicane.

1541: Nine drivers posted times before that break in the action, Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Mercedes' Michael Schumacher are amongst those still yet to register.

BBC commentator Martin Brundle: "Kobayashi clipped the kerbs too hard, took a little fly and straight into those barriers. It can hurt so much when you land. He hasn't completed a lap time so we know he'll be out."

Someone is out
1537: Red flags out and clock stopped after Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi collides with the wall. The Japanese driver got airbourne as he clipped both apexes going through the chicane. The Japanese emerges unscathed and his car is winched up and away off the track.

1534: Jenson Button posts the fastest time before Sebastian Vettel takes more than half a second off his effort to pop up at the top of the standings.

BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan on Vitaly Petrov getting knocked out of Q1 after finishing 18th fastest: "This is a real bitter disappointment for Renault. They are hurting. They had shown a resurgence in the last race or two but this has turned into a real punishment for them. Vitaly Petrov is good racing driver who can get on the podium so this is poor. He'll be upset about it as will the team."

1532: Hamilton is out on the harder primer tyre, but he is the only one of the front-runners to stick with that tyre. Team-mate Jenson Button, the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso all opt to swap to the super-soft compound.

1529: We heard predictions that traffic was going to be in the issue in Singapore and it is already a talking point. Renault ask Bruno Senna over the pit-to-car radio if he was held up by Jaime Alguersuari's Toro Rosso as he was trying to get himself through to Q2. Senna replies to say 'yes, into Turn Seven'. Let's see if, and how, that unfolds.

1528: Lewis Hamilton rolls out of the McLaren garage as Q2 gets under way.

1527: Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari, often the seventh driver to join HRT, Lotus and Virgin's drivers in the bottom seven, is safe in 17th.

1525: Senna redeems himself immediately, clambering up out of the drop zone and into 15th to send Vitaly Petrov back to 18th and out of the second session. Russian Petrov has looked out of sorts all weekend, skating around the escape roads as he struggled to judge the pace around the twists and turns of the street circuit.

1521: Petrov steals team-mate Bruno Senna's 17th place but the Brazilian is still out on track. Can he hit back?

1520: Still Renault's Vitaly Petrov is the man in danger and with less than a minute left he is out on track with just one shot of climbing into the top 17.

1518: Force India's Paul di Resta has emerged on super soft tyres after a difficult Friday during which he only had limited running. The Sauber of Sergio Perez is also sporting some red-trimmed option tyres and, with the 0.8-one second advantage that they give the drivers, he climbs into seventh.

1514: Renault's Vitaly Petrov is the midfield runner in the dangerzone, he needs to post a faster time to ensure he is in the next session. Elsewhere Jenson Button has been on the radio to complain to his McLaren pit crew about some understeer,. When he comes back to the pits, they will adjust his front wing to solve that problem.

1511: Mark Webber is fifth fastest with his first effort behind the McLarens of Button and Hamilton and Ferrari's Alonso.

1510: Ominous stuff for the rest of the field though as Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel whisks through the start/finish line 0.6 seconds faster than Button to take the lead with his first lap in anger.

1508: Maldonado is quicker than Barrichello as the Williams set their first times but they are quickly submerged under a raft of other times as McLaren's Jenson Button goes fastest after trumping team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: " "I just caught a word with Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn and he said traffic is going to be a big issue in qualifying. The teams will have to carry enough fuel for three laps. Brawn says that Mercedes and all the top teams won't have to run the supersoft or 'option ' tyre in the first session.""

Team Lotus team owner Tony Fernandes on Twitter: "Qualification time. I love F1. All on the first lap. Tough one for us."

1500: The clock starts on the first 20-minute session but no-one is that keen to get out as the teams wait for one of their rivals to get out and clean up any stray rubber on the surface. Williams' Rubens Barrichello finally sets forth.

1459: More flashing lights and neon on display in Singapore than at a late 80s rave. The participants all look a lot healthier though as the drivers prepare to jump behind the wheel.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "I just need to clarify something I wrote before practice this morning. As you may know, there have been problems with the kerbs here - some have come loose after the cars ran over them, and as a result some of them have been removed to stop the problem happening again. New white lines to define the edge of the track have been painted at the exit of Turns Three and 14 - but there will be no penalties for drivers going over them. The rules state that a driver cannot have all his four wheels over the white line - but the lines have been positioned so the drivers can run right up to the wall without this happening. This was out of practicality, as drivers will always try to do that, and officials did not want to put themselves in a position where lots of penalties might have to be applied on potentially subjective judgements."

1455: BBC pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie travelled to Venezuela after the Italian Grand Prix to meet Pastor Maldonado in his home country. The 26-year-old tells her during the interview: 'When I get into the car I'm not Pastor Maldonado, I'm Venezuela.' In many respects he is, not only is his friends with president Hugo Chavez but his F1 career is being sponsored by the state oil company. With Kimi Raikkonen being linked to Williams in 2012 that sort of sponsorship should help Maldonado but he says he 'doesn't believe' he is a pay driver. He adds: 'I'm really happy to have the responsibility to represent my country and I would like to get Williams to be in a position to fight for the championship and win races, because of that I want to stay there. It is a mission for me and I'm building my dream. My country is waiting and expecting - and I will do my best to win.'"

1453: Coverage is up and running on BBC One as David Coulthard gives Mark Webber a cycle rickshaw ride around the circuit. Jake Humphrey introduces the video with the statistic that Webber has been behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel for 91% of the racing laps this season before making a cameo appearance in the pre-record himself as he struggles round a track run. Webber sums up the challenges of qualifying in Singapore: "The light is artificial so you can see the hot spots and a few shadows and it is a very long lap for a street circuit."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner: "Sebastian Vettel's approach hasn't changed. Yes, it's mathematically possible for him to win the world title here but we're not thinking about it. Our job is to optimise performance and try to win race. The rest we can't control. The moon and stars have got to line up. We haven't booked anything for a party should we win. We're focused on the race. Yes, we're good at parties but if anything does happen it'll be very spontaneous."

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "There are a lot of special aspects to the Singapore Grand Prix and the most striking is the most obvious - it's at night. Qualifying here is later than anywhere else, it starts at 10pm local time, and people here will be working most of the night as nearly everyone stays on European time. It sounds as if it might be difficult to handle, but it works surprisingly well. That doesn't stop it being surreal, though. As Rubens Barrichello tweeted this morning: 'almost 6am... definitely time to sleep hehe.'"

1445: Ferrari's Fernando Alonso maybe Sebastian Vettel's closest challenger in the championship but he is searching for his first pole position of the season.

1441: Plenty of dry ice swirling around the McLaren garage as they attempt to keep Lewis Hamilton, sometimes a combustable character in even the best of conditions, cool.

1437: Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber was quickest in today's final practice after getting a clear run through the traffic with McLaren's Jenson Button second and Vettel third. Lewis Hamilton will want to step up from his fifth place on the timings sheets.

1431: Mercedes Michael Schumacher, sporting some shorts in the 30-degree heat, stops for a word with his old sparring partner David Coulthard as he prepares for qualifying. "I'm a little bit more satisfied with how things are going considering what's happened in the last two races. In Spa, I went from last to fifth and in Monza, it was nice to be able to challenge at the front. It's been a little bit more in our hands because the car has worked out better on those tracks and we hope to keep the trend up for here. Realistically, we're talking about seventh and eighth position for this style of race track. Anything more will be a gift for us," he said.

1428: A little manual refresh will reveal Joe Davies to be the author of the Tweet below, certainly not the good people of Team Lotus. Apologies all.

Joe Davies on Twitter: "I want Sebastian Vettel to win the title on Sunday because the Japan GP clashes with Rugby World Cup 1/4 finals!"
When would Vettel's title-clinching race fit in best with your schedule? Let me know your Twitter thoughts via hashtag #BBCF1

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: ""The Marina Bay circuit doesn't look much from the maps, but out there in an F1 car it is one of the biggest challenges a driver faces - and qualifying is where they will be pushing the outer limits of what's possible. At the McLaren media briefing, I asked the drivers to explain why the track is such a test. Lewis Hamilton started talking, then hesitated, and Jenson Button asked him to carry on, saying: 'I might learn something.' Which got a laugh. Hamilton said: 'It's very bumpy. It's quite a technical track. Your senses have to be more alert because you're having to react to all the changes to the camber of the corners and the bumps. It's a very long lap, there are lots of corners. And as it's a street circuit, there's a lot more sliding so you're looking after tyres. It's a little bit harder to extract the best from new tyres than a place like Spa where it's a lot more flowing."

BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard on Sebastian Vettel's supreme form: "Vettel is in the zone and carrying inner confidence, it allows you not to be disturbed by little problems. Real athletes perform at their best when they're doing it subconsciously. They have done the preparation and they just let it flow. At the moment Sebastian is doing that better than anyone else."

Ludacris in the Team Lotus garage
Ludacris (left) in the Team Lotus garage
1414: A heady mix of neon, glitz and night racing in Singapore is strong celebrity bait. Shakira is shaking her stuff on stage somewhere around the circuit while Team Lotus have reeled in United States rapper and entreprenuer Ludacris.

1409: The one time he failed to make the top two, Vettel failed to recover and posted his worst result of the season with a fourth in his native Germany. His critics have suggested he has had it easy winning from the front, certainly his chances of wrapping up the title this weekend will benefit from a clear run into the first corner. Pressure on.

1400: Sebastian Vettel has the sort of qualifying record you would expect for someone leading the championship by 112 points. Ten poles out of a possible 13 and only off the front row once this season. Formidable stuff.

1320: I'll leave you with the report of final practice to muse over and be back at 1400 BST for the qualifying shoot-out. Bye for now.

1317: Qualifying gets under way at 1500 BST which is 2200 in Singapore. With the race getting going at 2000 local time tomorrow, today's grid shakedown is the latest the cars will be out on track all season. Expect the whole circuit to be at its dazzling, Blade Runner-esque best against the night sky.

1313: If you think Sebastian Vettel's championship charge is in danger of dampening the drama in Singapore, then think again. Our very own BBC Formula 1 chief Andrew Benson says the stakes are still high this weekend. To find out why, read his blog - and remember he's stayed up all night in Singapore to write it.

Natalie Hoffman on Twitter: "They still amaze me how they skim the barriers the whole way round the track here!!! Just insane..."

BBC 5 live commentator David Croft: "Mark Webber the quickest man out on track from Jenson Button. Sebastian Vettel just didn't get the clear lap. But can you honestly see Vettel not seeing the sweet spot in qualifying? Pirelli reckon the difference between the soft and supersoft is between 0.8-one second per lap so that could make Q2 very interesting."

1306: Jenson Button is 0.027 seconds behind the Australian in second, with Vettel is 0.264 seconds off his team-mate and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso 0.315 seconds off the pace in fourth. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was fifth fastest, 0.855 seconds off Webber.

Chequered flag
1303: Which means, Mark Webber is fastest in final practice for the Singapore Grand Prix.

1301: Vettel looks poised for one final attempt to reclaim top spot as the chequered flag falls, but decides against it and trundles back down the pit lane as the session's third fastest driver.

1259: Vettel is still struggling to pick a clear path through the traffic, Lewis Hamilton has only himself to blame though as his hot lap is wrecked as he gets on the kerb on Turn Seven.

1258: The lead changes hand again as Webber dips under Button's time with 1:46.081. An exciting little preview of what to expect from qualifying.

1256: Trademark tidy stuff from Button as he clocks the fastest time of the session so far with a 1:46.108.

1255: Alonso glances his right rear on the wall as he wrings every last drop out of his Ferrari on the super-soft tyres. He goes fastest with a time of 1:46.452, but Vettel will fancy his chances of bettering that on the option tyre.

Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery has the latest on how the tyres are behaving in Singapore : "There will be a gap of between 0.8 and one second between the soft and super-soft tyres which would suggest the teams will go for a three-stop strategy during the race . In terms of wear, drivers could do 20 laps on the soft tyre. Vettel did 16 laps on Friday and had almost no degradation which is quite impressive , so some teams are better placed than others. If we do get a high level of humidity it will affect the grip."

1252: Vettel was a comprehensive winner of the front-runners' try-outs on the soft tyres, we await his and messrs Alonso, Button and Hamilton's remergence on the super-softs for round two. Eight minutes to go.

1249: An all-German top three as Nico Rosberg guides his Mercedes into second with a time of 1:47.831, a smidge ahead of team-mate Michael Schumacher, but still well behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "You may have picked up on the news that Sam Michael is having his last race as Williams technical director here, and that he will be joining McLaren after a period of 'gardening leave'. More details have emerged here about his new role. Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: 'It excludes engineering, so he will not have the ultimate technical authority. We have a strong technical team team, but all other parts will come under his remit, how we run as a racing team will be his responsibility.'"

1247: Despite a bit of pre-practice optimism in the Ferrari camp, Fernando Alonso is still some way behind Sebastian Vettel. The gap is 0.851 seconds and the Spaniard has changed front torsion bars, worrying for Ferrari this late in the session.

1243: Schumacher reaps the rewards of his change of rubber as he goes fastest through the first sector, but he still can't match Vettel through the final two-thirds of the circuit and is second in the timings.

1241: Still on his soft, rather than super soft tyres, Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel improves upon his chart-topping time with a lap of 1:47.313. Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber have both leapfrogged McLaren's Jenson Button to fill slots two and three. The Williams of Maldonado and Barrichello and the Mercedes' Michael Schumacher are the first drivers to take on the super soft.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "McLaren had a difficult day on Friday - after Lewis Hamilton went fastest in the first session, he was a long way off the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari in the second, and Jenson Button went off at Turn 14. Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: 'We had a number of issues. We had a brake problem on Jenson's car which made it quite challenging for him. That meant he ran out of road, and he had a delicate reverse gear as well. Jenson did not get the track time. On Lewis, we had some electrical problems during the run, an issue with the steering wheel, so Lewis wasn't able to set the time he wanted to set on the first lap of the option time but I think the guys have been doing their homework and there is no reason why we can't do a stronger job today.'"

1235: Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel goes considerably faster than anyone else has managed in the final two sectors of the track to topple Button at the top of the standings with a time of 1:47.737. Behind Button in second are Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber.

1231: More trials and tribulations for the McLarens on track as they try to eke out some extra pace ahead of qualifying. Jenson Button - who is still leading at the halfway points - tells the team over the radio that the car was feeling unstable while Lewis Hamilton locks up and takes his McLaren down an escape road.

1227: Mercedes Michael Schumacher is briefly held up by Williams' Pastor Maldonado through Turns 19 and 20 and the Venuezuelan gets a comtemptuous wave of Schumacher's red gloves as the German heads back into the pits with his flying lap ruined.

1224: Mercedes Nico Rosberg briefly posts the fastest lap before Button strikes back with a time of 1:49.490. The Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa and the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel are still to post times.

1222: McLaren's Jenson Button, looking to make amends for a disappointing outing yesterday, climbs to the top of the timesheets with a lap of 1:50.707. The Mercedes of Michael Schumacher and the Williams of Rubens Barrichello are sat behind him in the top three.

BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey: "Hello everyone, I trust you're enjoying live FP3 courtesy of my friends at BBC Online. I just thought I'd drop you a line to remind you that we're live on BBC One a little later than usual at 1400 BST. The drivers need to drive in the dark in final practice, which means a start at 10pm local time for qualifying. We have an exclusive chat with Williams driver Pastor Maldonado, Mark Webber drives something a little slower than the RB7 and Martin Brundle wrecks a few sets of tyres! As for me, well, I'm just relieved to be here as the cab driver from the hotel got hopelessly lost and I ended up stranded across the water from Marina Bay! Thankfully, after the five-minute cab journey had lasted 20 minutes, I made it and we're all set to go live at 1400 UK time - a perfect weekend to watch in HD!""

1220: Still bumpy as you like out there. Lewis Hamilton comes perilously close to the wall as he strings a few laps together. He is third fastest overall. The Saubers are top of the shop but Sergio Perez flies sideways as he clips the kerb at Turn One.

1218: It is just past 1900 local time and the heat is unrelenting out in the Far East. Thirty degrees, with plenty of moisture in the air at a humidity level of 67%. Mark Webber and Felipe Massa are among the drivers pulling down their overalls, airing their forearms in the pits and taking a well-earned swig from their water bottles.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "Paul di Resta had a trying day on Friday, losing a lot of track time to a plethora of technical problems. This is his first visit to one of F1's most demanding tracks, so he is aware he is up against it ahead of qualifying later this evening here. But, as ever, the Scot - who always seems to ooze calm - is putting on a brave face. 'What can you say?' he shrugged. 'Overall it wasn't the best of days because what I really needed was time on track to help me learn the circuit. If anywhere was crucial for me to get laps this year, it's here. It's a good track, but it's very technical. There's a lot to it. We're going to have to go in with a baseline set-up and just go for it. What else can you really take from it?'."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
1212: So, presuming it is all but inevitable, where will the coronation of Sebastian Vettel actually take place? This weekend is followed by grands prix in Japan, Korea, India, Abu Dhabi and Brazil. Place your bets now on 81111 on text if you are in the UK or via hashtag #BBCF1 from anywhere. Or is there anyone out there brave enough to suggest another driver might poop that Red Bull party?

1205: Mark Webber is amongst the big hitters out on track and is soon followed out by team-mate Sebastian Vettel and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton on their own installation laps.

1200: Contrasting fortunes for the two McLarens in practice yesterday with Lewis Hamilton getting some good running in en route to finishing third fastest, while Jenson Button was sat back in the pits for much of the session after locking up his front wheels and getting all sideways. Both cars will run new rear wings today apparently.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "I'm reliably informed it isn't going to rain - by Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne, to be specific. He says there was a 40% chance of rain at 1700 local time (nearly two hours ago) but it is decreasing all the time. And the chances of rain at 2200, which is when qualifying starts (1500 in the UK) are zero, apparently."

Track repairs at Singapore Grand Prix
1156: BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie has been hard at work, prowling round the circuit in the dead of the night, and snapped these running repairs to the circuit at just after 3am local time.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "There have been overnight repairs to the kerbs around the Marina Bay track after they came loose at a number of corners. It could lead to some interesting developments. The removal of kerbs at the exits of Turn Three and 14 has led the FIA to move the white line denoting the edge of the track at least a metre from those walls, with the gap covered in non-slip paint. The drivers will be wanting to explore the very limits of the track and get as close to the walls as possible - but drivers who repeatedly go over the line could receive a penalty."

1149: He has been fielding questions about his status as champion elect throughout the build-up to this weekend, but Vettel is typically laid-back about when he finally gets the job done. "I am aware of the situation, but the aim has always been to win the championship, not to win it in the a particular place. Our aim has not changed all season."

1142: Others may be finding it "difficult" to exploit the tyres, but a pre-season visit by Sebastian Vettel to the Pirelli factory won't have done any harm. According to BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey he was the only driver to make such a trip. Reckon there maybe a few more heading off to Italy this winter.

1138: The teams will be turning their attention in final practice to fine-turning their tyre management. In the upside-down world of the Singapore GP, track temperatures fall as the session wears on as night falls, which is basically the opposite of what happens normally, and the bumpy, twisting streets of the humid city add to the challenge. "We were struggling with the rear tyres through the long runs, they drop off really quickly,' Lewis Hamilton said on Friday. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who was the closest man to Sebastian Vettel's pace-setting Red Bull on Friday, added: 'It is difficult to exploit the car's potential because the tyres only give the maximum performance over two laps.'"

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson in Singapore: "The F1 paddock is buzzing ahead of what promises to be a dramatic qualifying day. One of the many appealing aspects of this race is the sense of place that is missing from so many of F1's modern circuits. By day, Singapore oozes a luscious tropicality, symbolised by the ubiquitous rain trees whose branches drip with mosses. But as final practice nears here, darkness is falling, and while the heat and humidity remain, the city takes on a new character. There's a futuristic feel to the place, with light beams shooting out from towering skyscrapers, so perhaps it's no surprise that F1 feels right at home."

1134: Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves though. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, the man most likely to deny Vettel his second successive title, looked consistently quicker than his rival on the pair's final, fully-fuelled long runs in yesterday. Comparison is tricky with the exact fuel loads unknown, but Alonso's run added late intrigue to action. A few flaky kerbs, prompting a series of track repairs, stirred in an unplanned element of excitement as well.

1130: Ten out of the 13 times this season, the person sat in this seat on a Saturday has typed out in big capitals that SEBASTIAN VETTEL IS ON POLE. A repeat today will see the 24-year-old German take one step closer to becoming the youngest-ever double world champion - and I could well be pressing the caps lock and bolding up his second successive championship win for Red Bull on Sunday.

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After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham

see also
Vettel storms to Singapore pole
24 Sep 11 |  Formula One
Vettel leads Alonso in practice
23 Sep 11 |  Formula One
Singapore GP practice - as it happened
23 Sep 11 |  Formula 1
Errors cost McLaren, says Button
22 Sep 11 |  Formula One
Alonso and Hamilton salute Vettel
23 Sep 11 |  Formula One
McLaren 'will keep taking risks'
22 Sep 11 |  Formula One
Mark Webber column
22 Sep 11 |  Formula One

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