Nico Rosberg has taken pole position for this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix. The German dominated the session going half a second faster than Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Rosberg was .7 of a second faster than Hamilton who has had a difficult weekend. The Mercedes driver’s lap was the best lap around the Marina Bay circuit over half a second faster than Hamilton’s previous record. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will start fourth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari.
Rosberg told BBC Sport “Definitely happy with that one. For sure one of my top three laps ever. At times it wasn’t clear where we would stack up against Red Bull so I knew I had to pull one out of the bag.”
Hamilton told Sky Sports “It wasn’t really a frustrating session it just hasn’t really been my weekend so far. Nico did a great job in releasing the full potential of the car.”
It has been a difficult weekend for Hamilton after missing most of FP2 because of a mechanical failure in Practice Two followed by two errors in Practice Three meant he failed to complete a lap on the ultrasoft tyres. Then on his last run in Q3 he ran too deep at Turn Two.
Raikkonen was over six tenths down on Verstappen, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel dropped out in Q1. Vettel will start last after failing to set a fast lap after he had problems with his anti-roll bar, could only manage the slowest time during Q1 before being forced to return to the pit lane.
Vettel told his team “This is stupid, we are losing time.” Vettel added later “There was no time to fix it. I wanted to come in but we decided to stay out.”
But Red Bull appear to have set them up better after getting into Q3 using the more durable supersofts which they will start the race on. Carlos Sainz put in a good performance to take sixth fastest and his team-mate Daniil Kyvat also put in his best result for a while being only .01 behind.
Nico Hulkenberg was seventh with him being separated from his Force India team-mate Sergio Perez by the McLaren of Fernando Alonso. Perez is currently under investigation after apparently passing another car while under yellow flags.
Neither of the Williams made it through to Q3 following Romain Grosjean crashing his Haas into the wall at turn 10. The Frenchman lost grip going in locking up sliding into the barrier. At the same time Jenson Button locked up brushing the wall.
Valtteri Bottas will start ahead of Felipe Massa after just missing out on the final part because of the yellow flags for Grosjean. Jenson Button couldn’t improve his lap time after he hit his left-rear wheel against the wall at Turn 14 on his final flying lap.