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Alonso takes pole in Singapore

NEWS STORY
25/09/2010

Ahead of today's vital qualifying session, the air temperature is 29 degrees C, while the track temperature is 27 degrees. Humidity is 80 percent. Although it hasn't rained for several hours, indeed, long before the practice session, parts of the circuit still remain damp.

Red Bull have been quickest in all three practice sessions with Sebastian Vettel, in particular, looking very good here. Not for the first time, the RB6 appears to be in a class of its own, over a second quicker than its closest rivals.

Of its two championship rivals, Ferrari appears to have a slight edge over McLaren though the Woking team should never be written off.

Naturally, with just five races remaining, attention is focussed mainly on the five-way fight for the Drivers' Championship, not to mention the three way battle for the teams' championship. However, there are others out to prove a point this weekend, with Renault keen to overhaul Mercedes and the battle between Force India and Williams for sixth. After all, while the Drivers' Championship has the prestige it is the Constructors' Championship that bring in the dosh and like Bruce Forsyth used to say… "points make prizes".

Therefore keep an eye not only on the teams, especially the newbies, but those drivers that haven't yet secured a deal for next season. There's everything to play for.

Tyre options are medium (prime) and super-soft (option) with Vettel able to get two or three very fast laps out of the option tyres earlier today.

When the lights go green the Mercedes duo are amongst the first out. Surprisingly, Hamilton is also eager to get out there as soon as possible.

As Schumacher is told that his team has lost telemetry, the German gets horribly out of shape in Turn 5, one of the dampest corners on the circuit.

Liuzzi posts the first time of the afternoon, the Italian crossing the line at 1:50.223. Moments later Hamilton posts 48.454.

We've learned from the earlier sessions that traffic is a problem here, and this will particularly be the case in Q1.

A 48.254 sees Button take the top spot from his teammate, however, moments later Vettel splits them with a 48.357. Schumacher posts 48.425 to go third.

Alonso goes quickest in sectors two and three, crossing the line at 47.623 to go quickest. Moments later, Vettel re-takes the position as Alguersuari goes third.

On his second flying lap Webber goes third as Vettel improves yet again, the German crossing the line at 46.960. "Problem with the car," says Massa, his car having stopped out on track. As the Brazilian climbs from his car the red session is red flagged.

As the Ferrari is pushed to safety, the order is: Vettel, Alonso, Webber, Button, Alguersuari, Hamilton, Schumacher, Rosberg, Heidfeld and Liuzzi. No times for Barrichello, Hulkenberg, Kubica, Sutil or the hapless Massa.

The session resumes at 22:15 (local time), the Williams duo leading the way. Alonso is also keen to get back to work.

In the Mercedes garage Schumacher climbs from his car, which suggests the German might have a problem.

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