McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton dominated qualifying today at the 2012 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, posting a fastest time of 1:46.362 and in the process earning himself pole position for tomorrow’s race. Hamilton’s time was close to half a second faster than Williams’ Pastor Maldonado, who posted a fastest time of 1:46.804 to score himself second place on the grid.

Third fastest was reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing. His best time was 1:46.905. The German youngster will be eager to claw back some championship points after failing to finish in the previous Italian Grand Prix, and third is certainly a good place to start.

There to stop him from gaining further points are McLaren’s Jenson Button, who will start at fourth on the grid tomorrow, and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who will start at fifth.

Rounding out the top ten are Force India’s Paul di Resta, Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber, Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, and then the two drivers of Mercedes-AMG, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. Sadly, Lotus’ other driver, Kimi Räikkönen, who is currently third on the ladder in the Drivers’ Championship, could only muster the 12th fastest time. 

With the conclusion of the European races, we now enter a very intense countdown to the end of the season with seven flyaway races in just two and a half months. Singapore is the first of these is and is a favorite for fans and teams alike, because the Marina Bay Circuit where the race is held is one of the most demanding tracks of the season, and it’s the only circuit where the races race at night.

Going into tomorrow’s race, Fernando Alonso leads the Drivers’ Championship with 179 points, followed by Lewis Hamilton in second place with 142 points and Kimi Räikkönen just 1 point behind the Brit in third place.

In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing remains the clear leader with 272 points, with McLaren in second on 243 points and Ferrari in third place with 226 points.