Rossberg On Pole In Singapore

Nico Rossberg on track in Singapore. [Photo by Cliff Mason of Getty Images]

Nico Rossberg on track in Singapore. [Photo by Cliff Mason of Getty Images]

Struggling terribly here one year ago, Nico Rosberg turned things around Saturday night, by posting a 1:42:584 qualifying lap to put himself on pole in his 200th grand prix for Sunday evening’s Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay. Despite being a half of a second slower that the Pole sitter, Daniel Ricciardo took an impressive second to be on the front row since Monaco, while Lewis Hamilton could only salvage third.

“Yes, I am definitely happy with that one. For my 200th grand prix, for sure one of my top three laps.” Rosberg claimed afterwards. “It really went well, and I wasn’t quite clear on how we were going to stack up against Red Bull for example, and they were very quick on the super softs for example. So I knew I had to give everything.”

Following a slow beginning with Ricciardo taking the opening session, Rosberg recovered to take the second with no real threat from anyone else on the grid. Defending race winner Sebastian Vettel was hoping to repeat his success from the previous year, but suffered a suspension failure, which was unable to be fixed with minutes to go in the opening session. Vettel himself will now have to begin the race from the back of the grid, which could be a real challenge in this street race.

It was not a great evening for the American Haas F1 Team, as Romain Grosjean’s problems continued when he lost the rear of his car under breaking, which sent him into the wall in sector two. The normal first session exits of Manor, Renault, a shocking Vettel, and Felipe Nasr, along with the following session departures of both Williams drivers, Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas , Jenson Button and Marcus Ericsson gave only ten drivers to shoot it out in the last session, where Rosberg was unstoppable with his 29th career pole of his career, tying Juan Manuel Fangio’s record.

For the rest of the top ten grid, Max Verstappen could not overcome his lack of grip and had to finish fourth, while Kimi Raikkonen gave Ferrari his best in fifth. Both Toro Rossos of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Dani Kvyat had their best qualifying results, finishing in sixth and seventh, respectively, while Force India kept improving with Nico Hulkenberg finishing eighth and Sergio Perez in tenth. Fernando Alonso took ninth.

When asked about Ricciardo being next to him, and if he felt that it would worry him Sunday evening, Rosberg stated that he would not be, but he would be alert.

“Worried no,” he said afterwards, “But I certainly will be keeping an eye on him. Because they (Red Bull) were quick on race pace on Friday, I think more on this than the qualifying pace. And for sure, he is going to be a threat on the super soft tire.”

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