Formula One

 
         === Hamilton remains on hot streak with Singapore GP pole ===
 
 Singapore  (Sports Network) - McLaren's Lewis Hamilton topped Pastor Maldonado
 from  Williams and  Red Bull's  Sebastian Vettel  in Saturday's  qualifying to
 claim the pole for the Singapore Grand Prix.
 
 Hamilton's  pole win in  Singapore comes as a bit of surprise since Vettel was
 quickest  in  all three practice  sessions. Hamilton  posted a time around the
 3.152-mile,  23-turn Marina Bay Street Circuit in 1 minute, 46.362 seconds for
 his fifth pole of the season, including three in the last four grand prix.
 
 "The  guys have done a fantastic job all week," said Hamilton, who notched his
 24th  career pole  in Formula One. "Sebastian was incredibly fast through most
 of  the sessions,  but I'm not sure what  happened to him at the end. I'm very
 happy that I was able to put that time up during that great lap."
 
 Hamilton  gave  McLaren its fourth  straight pole,  marking the first time the
 team  has accomplished  that feat  since  1999. His  teammate, Jenson  Button,
 earned the top starting position for the Belgian Grand Prix. Hamilton has also
 won  two of  the last three races,  including the most recent one earlier this
 month in Monza, Italy.
 
 Maldonado's surprising last lap of 1:46.804 in Q3 earned him the outside pole.
 It's  the  second time he  will start on the  front row this season. Maldonado
 started on the pole and won the May 13 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
 
 "I  think  we are working  very hard, because in  the beginning of the weekend
 during  practice,  we were a little  bit lost with the setup," Maldonado said.
 "We  were improving during qualifying, just trying to get the car to my style.
 We  found a very well balanced car in Q2 and Q3. I'm really looking forward to
 the race."
 
 Vettel, the two-time defending F1 world champion, qualified third. He won last
 year's Singapore GP from the pole.
 
 "I'm  a little  disappointed, especially with Q3," Vettel said. "Nevertheless,
 it's  a good  position to start from. It's  a long race tomorrow, and a lot of
 things can happen. I think the pace is there."
 
 Button  took the fourth spot, followed by Fernando Alonso from Ferrari. Alonso
 enters this race with 37-point lead in the championship standings.
 
 Paul  di Resta  from Force India qualified sixth, while Mark Webber placed his
 Red  Bull  car seventh on the  grid. Lotus' Romain Grosjean will start eighth.
 Grosjean  returns after  serving a one-race suspension for causing a multi-car
 wreck during the opening lap in the Sept. 2 Belgian Grand Prix.
 
 Mercedes  drivers Michael  Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will roll off ninth and
 tenth  from the  grid, respectively.  Schumacher and  Rosberg did  not make  a
 qualifying run during Q3 due to tire strategy for Sunday's race.
 
 The 61-lap Singapore GP is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. (ET).
 
 
 09/22 12:05:02 ET

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