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Vettel tops Rosberg for Singapore GP pole

Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull continued his dominance in Formula One this season by winning the pole for the Singapore Grand Prix after edging Mercedes' Nico Rosberg in Saturday's qualifying.

Vettel, the three-time defending F1 world champion and winner of the last two Singapore GPs, made only one lap during the third and final qualifying segment. His lap time around the 3.259-mile, 23-turn Marina Bay Street Circuit was clocked at 1 minute, 42.841 seconds. He claimed his fifth pole of the season and the 41st of his career.

Winner of the last two grand prix (Belgium and Italy), Vettel enters this race with a comfortable 53-point lead in the championship standings. He was quickest in two of the three practice sessions in Singapore. Vettel and his Red Bull team were confident enough with their lone lap in Q3 that it would hold up for the pole.

"I'm very happy with the result," Vettel said. "The car has been phenomenal all weekend."

Rosberg's lap in Q3 was only 0.091 seconds behind Vettel.

"Sebastian has been really quick the whole weekend," Rosberg said. "It was very close, and it was a pity because one-tenth (of a second) more and it would've been possible. Second is still a good result and gives us a good position to start the race tomorrow."

Lotus' Romain Grosjean qualified third, while Vettel's teammate, Mark Webber, took the fourth spot. Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes completed the top-five.

Ferrari drivers Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso, who is second in the standings, placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

Jenson Button from McLaren qualified eighth, followed by Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo and Sauber drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Nico Hulkenberg.

Sunday's 61-lap Singapore GP is one of the longest and toughest races on the F1 calendar. It's also the only event of the season that starts and finishes at nighttime.

"It's one of the toughest races we face all year, probably the toughest physically and mentally," Vettel said. "The pole is the best position to start from, as it is tricky to pass on this track, but it's such a long race."