- Lewis Hamilton claims pole position for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix
- Mercedes driver will start first on grid for second successive race
- Englishman heads off championship leader Nico Rosberg with final lap
- Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel will be on second row
Formula One's new rule banning driver coaching on team radios is now in place, but it was a message going in the other direction that summed up the fine line between success and failure for this season's title contenders.
"Dammit!" uttered a frustrated Nico Rosberg after being gazumped by Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton at the end of qualifying for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix.
The German was pipped by just seven-thousandths of a second under lights at the Marina Bay street circuit on Saturday, giving his British rival the chance to further chip into his 22-point lead.
Hamilton won the last race at Monza after starting on pole, battling back to beat Rosberg after losing his early advantage, and a seventh victory this season would give him the momentum as the campaign moves towards its climax.
"Seven-thousandths! When I think back at the lap, it's nothing," Rosberg, seeking his first world title, told reporters when asked to explain his radio outburst.
"But that's the way it is. Lewis did a good job to get pole. Second is okay, first would be better, but there's a long race ahead so it's fine."
Hamilton has not won in Singapore since the year after his sole world title success in 2008.
"To have the last lap at the end like that is always the plan, although it doesn't always go to plan like it did," said the Englishman, who like Rosberg had moved past late pacesetter Daniel Ricciardo at the end of the third and final session.
"On the last lap I locked up in turn one, lost some time, although I made it back in other areas, I kept going. It was an exciting qualifying session. I wasn't expecting to see so many people up there fighting."
Ricciardo was 0.73 seconds behind Rosberg and 0.48s ahead of fourth-placed Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel -- who has won the Singapore race for the past three years.
"We came into the weekend thinking if we were within two to three-tenths of a second that would give us a chance to stay with them," said Australian Ricciardo, who is the only other driver outside the Mercedes duo to have won a race this year.
"So to end up being closer than we thought, it's been a good day. It was good fun. Hopefully I can keep it up tomorrow and get a better view from the podium."
Four-time world champion Vettel was 0.005s ahead of Fernando Alonso, who was 0.093s in front of his former Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa, now at Williams.
Alonso's current teammate Kimi Raikkonen was back in seventh. The Finn was fastest in Q1 but was unable to set a final lap in Q3 due to a power problem.
Massa's teammate Valtteri Bottas was eighth ahead of rookies Kevin Magnussen of McLaren and Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso.
Magnussen's teammate Jenson Button failed to make Q3, and the 2009 world champion -- twice a runner-up in Singapore -- will start in 11th place.
Button had said Friday that he hoped the rule banning radio coaching would give experienced drivers an advantage.
"It is probably not such good news for Mercedes, who coach their drivers, but I have never been coached around a lap anyway -- where to go quick and where to go slow," said the 34-year-old.
"Now we are masters of our own fate."
Both Hamilton and Rosberg have ignored team instructions this season as they have fought a bitter battle for the title, but these arguments have related more to race strategy as opposed to specific coaching of how to negotiate circuits.
"When the driver is on the track he should be driving the car himself," Formula One race director Charlie Whiting told reporters Friday.
"Whether he receives coaching outside an event, he's perfectly at liberty to do that of course. But once he's out on that track, he should be doing it himself. That's the reason for the rule and that's the reason why we believe we have to enforce it.
"If a team informs a driver to change his brake balance, that's absolutely fine, provided it's not for a specific part of the circuit. So, in other words, one click forward for Turn 5 and two clicks backward for Turn 10, those are the sort of things we consider to be driver coaching, assisting the driver.
"A global change to the brake balance, or any other similar parameter on the car, would be for overall performance, which is fine."