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Vettel claims pole position in Singapore Grand Prix

German Driver Sebastian Vettel has claimed pole position for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix, boosting his bid for a fourth consecutive Formula One world championship. His compatriot Nico Rosberg starts in second place.

Vettel continued his progress towards another world championship, clocking a fastest time of one minute 42.841 seconds at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Vettel, who has a 53 point lead over closest rival Fernando Alonso with just seven races remaining, will be joined on the front row by Mercedes' Nico Rosberg.

Meanwhile, Roman Grosjean begins in third place, coming just ahead of Vettel's teammate Australian Mark Webber.

Vettel set the two fastest times during qualifying and will be looking to claim his third consecutive race win in the main event on Sunday.

Rosberg had been leading in the second stage of qualifying until Vettel stormed ahead to set a lap time his team thought would be sufficient to be sure of pole.

The Red Bull driver and three-times world champion was confident enough to sit out the final stage, but had nail biting to do as his rivals, enjoying advantage of “super soft” tires, came near to beating him.

Finally though, Rosberg finished 0.091 seconds behind his fellow German.

Track could be decider

"I knew we had a cushion, that is why we decided not to run," Vettel said. "The thing you don't know is how much the track improves. It was very close and it's not the best feeling when you are standing there and watching."

Britain's Lewis Hamilton is lined up in fifth position on the grid, while Ferrari driver Alonso sets out from sixth on the 5.073 kilometer track.

rc/ipj (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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