Sebastian Vettel admitted that he feared he might lose Singapore Grand Prix pole as he chose to wait in the pits after his first run.
The Red Bull driver had been six tenths of a second clear of his rivals following his first pole shot. That convinced Vettel to save tires rather than running again, but Nico Rosberg, Romain Grosjean and Mark Webber all came close to snatching pole from him.
“It is a weird feeling because you stand in the garage when there are two minutes left and know it is too late and see others on final attempts and there’s nothing you can do,” said the world champion. “I was watching the sector times very closely. Mark started with purple sector one, Romain had a purple sector two but fortunately my last one strong enough to stay ahead. It was close with Nico.
“It was a great feeling because it could have gone wrong. Today is more what we expected, especially with Mercedes being very close behind.”
Vettel admitted he might have misjudged how much a second run would be worth.
“I knew we would have a cushion, which is why we decided not to run again,” he said. “What we don’t know is how much the track improves, plus the fact that if you run again you get more feel for the tires and track.
“We thought it was good enough; in the end it was.”