Hamilton steals pole from Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton had his head bowed for a long period during the post-qualifying press conference yesterday.
He had his black Mercedes cap on, so no one could tell if his eyes were closed.
When asked a question, he lifted his head up and answered it succinctly and politely.
There was no denying, though, that he was tired after a thrilling qualifying session, where he snatched pole position from his teammate and title-rival Nico Rosberg by a mere 0.007 seconds at the Marina Bay street circuit.
The 29-year-old Briton clocked a stunning lap of 1min 45.681sec for the all-important spot at the front of the pack for tonight's Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix.
Later, he explained to the media outside his hospitality suite: "Singapore is seven hours ahead of the UK. So we get up at lunchtime and go to bed at dawn.
"Last night, I just sat in my hotel room waiting to go to bed at 4am."
His body clock might have been off the grid, but the Briton was all speed and sharpness on the track.
The second and final round of qualifying saw a tight finish, where the pole position changed among three drivers - Hamilton, Rosberg and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo - in under 20 seconds.
Red Bull's pairing of Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel will start tonight's race in the second row; third and fourth respectively.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso starts fifth next to Williams' Felipe Massa.
As Hamilton punched the air in triumph as he alighted from his silver arrow car, Rosberg kept his helmet on and shrugged at his team officials.
"Damn it," cried the German earlier over the radio, when he realised he had been beaten by the narrowest of margins in probably the closest qualifying session of the year.
Rosberg is 22 points ahead of Hamilton on the drivers' standings, with a maximum of 175 available in the remaining six races.
With the Marina Bay circuit notorious for its tight corners and tricky chicanes which restrict overtaking, pole position in Singapore has been integral on race night.
Four of the six Singapore editions have been won by pole-sitters.
Rosberg, 29, however, wore a smile and put on a brave front in front of reporters.
"If I think back over the lap, seven-thousandths of a second is nothing - a little bit here or there and I could have done it," he said.
"But Lewis did a good job today. Fair play to him. Second place is okay. Sure, first is better but it's a long race ahead, so that's fine."
Hamilton, who referred to the Singapore Grand Prix as the toughest race of the year physically and mentally, said he was focused on ensuring nothing goes wrong on the bumpy track tonight.
He has won six races this year, two more than Rosberg - but he has also had three retirements compared to his teammate's one.
"It is an intense situation between myself and Nico, but that feels good. I wouldn't want it any other way," said Hamilton, the 2008 world champion.
"Obviously, a lot rests on this race. I want that second title so much.
"But I won't do anything special in terms of preparations. Over time, you just learn to handle what comes at you."