Pastor Maldonado was the surprise of the day with his superb qualifying effort seeing the Williams driver set the second fastest time of the session.
The Venezuelan admitted that “at the beginning of the weekend we were struggling for pace. We continued improving throughout qualifying and we found a good balance in the car.”
The gap of half a second to Lewis Hamilton will make it difficult for Maldonado to battle for the win but he has looked smooth for most of the weekend and this could play a role in allowing him to use his tyres efficiently. If this is the case pit stop strategy will be crucial for the Williams team.
It was clearly on Maldonado’s mind after the session but he was confident that if he got into a wheel to wheel fight with Hamilton that overtaking will be possible around the MarinaBay circuit:
“I think it’s possible to overtake here, especially because of the big tyre degradation that we will have tomorrow,” commented Maldonado. “I think everybody will be struggling with the tyres at some time, but the strategy-wise must be really good for everyone, just to try to be consistent but I think here it’s possible to overtake. We have a long straight, good DRS, it’s not going to be very easy but we have a couple of places.”