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Live Commentary: Singapore Grand Prix - qualifying - as it happened

Live coverage of qualifying for tomorrow's Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay street circuit.
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Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix in this afternoon's qualifying session.

The Red Bull driver will start alongside Mercedes' Nico Rosberg on the front row, with Romain Grosjean of Lotus in third.

Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez qualified in the top 10 for the first time, but did not set a lap time in Q3 leaving him with a free choice of tyres for the race.

Read how all the action unfolded below:


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Good afternoon, it's around 30 minutes until lights out for the first part of qualifying. The Red Bulls have appeared to have the pace in practice so far, but Lotus's Romain Grosjean also looked strong this morning.

If you missed P3 earlier today, here's Sports Mole's report from the session. Force India and Kimi Raikkonen were among those who struggled earlier today.

The Singapore Grand Prix is unique on the Formula 1 calendar as the only night race of the year. The track is lit up by a series of high-powered floodlights, and drivers have to wear clear visors to aid with their vision. By the time this afternoon's qualifying gets underway, it will be 9pm at the circuit.

The race got off to a controversial start in 2008, when Nelson Piquet Jr deliberately crashed to help then Renault teammate Fernando Alonso secure a win. Since then, Singapore has quickly established itself as one of the most testing tracks of the year, with the high temperatures, narrow corners and a bumpy surface pushing the drivers to their limits.

Only Alonso, Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have taken race wins at this track. Three of those victories came from pole at the track, which is notoriously difficult to overtake at, making this afternoon's session vitally important.

WEATHER WATCH! There's no rain forecast in Singapore this evening. However, the latest weather update indicates that it's a stifling 27C at the circuit.

If you're not so familiar with the qualifying procedure, or are just in need of a reminder, the race for pole position is split into three sessions. The slowest six cars will be knocked out after 20 minutes, a further six will leave 15 minutes later, leaving 10 cars to fight it out for pole.

This picture, courtesy of McLaren's official Twitter account, shows just how dark it is at the track, and how busy the paddock is in the build up to qualifying.



PREDICTION! With just a couple of minutes until lights out, it's time to make a prediction. Only three drivers, Vettel, Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, have claimed pole so far this season, and I can't see that changing this afternoon. Vettel has proved a dominant force at this track for the last couple of year's, and looked strong again during practice. I can't see anyone stopping the three-time world champion this afternoon.

Lotus have reported that Kimi Raikkonen is suffering with some back pain as a result of the bumpy surface around the street circuit. That won't keep the Finn out of the car this afternoon, but it would explain why he couldn't match the pace of teammate Romain Grosjean earlier today.

GREEN LIGHT! The clock starts to tick down, but no-one has headed out of their garage yet, in fact Vettel is only just heading into the Red Bull garage.

Pastor Maldonado is the first driver to take to the track, his engineer indicates that he will be doing three timed laps on his first stint.

Nico Rosberg is also out for an early lap in his Mercedes, while the Caterhams and Marussias are also on track. Maldonado completes the first timed lap of the session, posting a time of 1:48.458. He'll probably need to go faster than that to secure a place in Q2

Hamilton takes almost 1.5 seconds out of Maldonado's time, while the Toro Rosso duo, Massa and Grosjean also go faster than the Williams. Raikkonen appears to be struggling with his back problem, as he's more than four seconds off the pace.

Rosberg moves to the top of the board with a lap of 1:46.228, while Alonso also goes faster than Hamilton, despite locking his wheels and running wide at turn 10. Raikkonen has found a quicker lap to move up to fifth, while Di Resta slots into seventh with just over 10 minutes remaining.

With tyre wear so high at this track, it looks like several drivers are trying to save their tyres for the race, with the Red Bulls, Perez, and the Saubers all yet to post a time.

Hulkenberg, using the super-soft tyre compound, moves to the top of the leaderboard with his first lap of the session, posting a time of 1:45.381. Gutierrez and the Red Bulls are now on track, but Perez is still in the McLaren garage.

Vettel's first lap leaves him just under half a second behind Hulkenberg, but Webber manages to go 0.11 seconds quicker. Perez is still without a time, while Sutil, the Caterhams and the Marussia's make up the bottom six.

Rosberg switches to the super-softs to move to the top, but is quickly replaced by Perez, with his first time of the session. 20 cars are now on track, with only Webber and Hulkenberg in the pits with less than two minutes left to go.

With less than a minute to go, the Caterhams and Marussias are joined by Massa and Maldonado in the bottom six.

Van der Garde is pushing hard to try to find a way out of the bottom six, but he clips the wall on the exit of turn eight. The flag has dropped, so those on track just to laps they're currently on to secure their place in Q2.

OUT! 17. Di Resta, 18. Maldonado, 19. Pic, 20. Van der Garde, 21. Bianchi, 22. Chilton

A late push from Massa lifts him out of the bottom six, ousting Di Resta, who looks disappointed as he removes his helmet back in the Force India garage. The Scot has struggled for form in the last couple of races.

Hamilton finished top with a late lap on the super-softs, but he was less than a second ahead of Webber and Vettel, who finished sixth and seventh on the medium compound.

GREEN LIGHT! Q2 gets underway, but once again no-one is rushing to get on the track straight away.

The Toro Rossos head out, quickly followed by Fernando Alonso. The Red Bulls and Lotus drivers look like they're going to wait until later in the session though.

In fact, Raikkonen is now on track, looking to complete two timed laps. The 2007 world champion will surely be looking to complete as few laps as possible as he nurses a painful back.

Raikkonen is the first driver to post a timed lap this session, setting a time of 1:44.794, but Rosberg goes 0.9 faster moments later.

Hulkenberg shows impressive pace with his first lap of the session to go fourth, 0.9 seconds behind Rosberg. The Red Bulls, McLarens and Grosjean are all still in their garages with seven minutes until the chequered flag.

With the majority of the cars heading back into the pits for fresh tyres, Webber, Vettel and Grosjean all head out onto a relatively quiet track.

Vettel's car looks smooth as he takes it around the Marina Bay circuit for the first time this session, and goes almost a second faster than Rosberg. Webber is 0.8 seconds slower than his teammate, but moves into second, while Grosjean goes fifth.

With two minutes until the end of Q2, everyone except the Mercedes duo are on track. The Toro Rossos, McLarens, Bottas and Guttierez are in the drop zone.

The flag is out. The Merecedes and Red Bulls, who make up the top four are in their garages, but everyone else is still on track.

OUT! 11. Hulkenberg, 12. Vergne, 13. Raikkonen, 14. Perez, 15. Sutil, 16. Bottas

Some impressive last-minute performances from Esteban Gutierrez and Jenson Button secure them a place in the top 10, while Daniel Ricciardo continues his recent strong Saturday form by progressing to Q3 again. However, all of their teammates drop out, as does Raikkonen and his bad back.

Gutierrez, who is in his first season in F1, will take part in Q3 for the first time. However, he finished second at this track in GP2 last season.

GREEN LIGHT! Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Rosberg and Grosjean all head out straight away.

Vettel is the first to post a time, lapping in 1:42.841, Webber and Rosberg are just behind him, but can't improve on the German's time.

Hamilton crosses the line to go fourth, while Grosjean comes in fifth. There's less than 0.4 seconds separating second to fifth, but Vettel is 0.6 seconds clear on provisional pole.

Alonso, Massa and Webber all head out again, quickly followed by Hamilton with just under three minutes to go.

Vettel has taken his steering wheel off and is getting out of the car, he clearly thinks that he's done enough to secure pole position.

The chequered flag has dropped, so once the cars on track finish their laps we'll know the grid for tomorrow's race.

SEBASTIAN VETTEL TAKES POLE POSITION AT THE SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX!

Despite not coming out for the final part of Q3, the reigning world champion does enough to secure pole position.

TOP 10! 1. Vettel, 2.Rosberg, 3. Grosjean, 4. Webber, 5. Hamilton, 6. Massa, 7. Alonso, 8. Button, 9. Ricciardo, 10. Gutierrez

That's all from the Marina Bay circuit this afternoon, but join us against tomorrow to see if Vettel can convert pole position into his third win in a row at this track. Until then , thanks for joining me this afternoon. Goodbye.

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Sebastian Vettel in the team garage during qualifying for the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix on September 21, 2013
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina21131246
JapanJapan175830
United StatesUnited States16171346
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151137
AustraliaAustralia1031427
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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