Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg topped the timesheets in today’s final practice session in Singapore, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen coming in 2nd, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen 0.508s behind.
Raikkonen was separated from teammate Sebastian Vettel by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was two-tenths down on Verstappen as he faced traffic in the final corners.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, following mechanical problems on Friday, was down in eighth, after running of the track twice due to out-braking himself on his flying laps.
Since Friday, Pirelli had also lowered the tyre pressures down from 17.5psi to 16.5psi.
It was not a good session for Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein, who after setting a slow-paced time of 2m 04.121s, brought out the red flag for ten minutes after backing his car into the wall.
Despite this, one of the most notable points of the session was when a giant lizard appeared on the track.
It chose to cross behind Verstappen, as he radioed in to report it.
“There is a giant lizard on the track. I am not joking,” the Dutchman spoke.
“Face to face with godzilla,” was the reply that came from the pitwall.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean was also increasingly unhappy with his car, describing it as “the worst car I’ve driven in a long time”.
Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg will start tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix in pole position, joined on the front row by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. Rosberg’s teammate Lewis Hamilton finished third.
Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen will accompany Hamilton on the second row, as he finished ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
It was a disappointing session for the Scuderia, as Sebastian Vettel will begin the race tomorrow at the back of the grid, in 22nd, after starting last year’s race on pole, following a suspension failure on his car that prevented him from setting a competitive time to get into Q2.
Q2 ended as Haas’ Romain Grosjean collided with the barriers after a spin at Turn 10, which appeared to look like a lack of grip.
Among this, McLaren’s Jenson Button also stopped his car at the side of the track due to steering problems after skimming the wall at Turn 14. They both dropped out in this session, alongside Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.
Similar to Hungary, there was some dispute about lifting off due to the double-yellow flags that came out following Grosjean’s collision. Massa slowed down as ordered by his team, whereas Force India’s Sergio Perez, who was following, did not appear to slow down as much, moving past Massa and getting into Q3. However, it does not look like the stewards have or are looking into this matter.
Moving into Q3, it was all to play for, with five cars looking as if they would be able to steal pole- the two Mercedes, the Red Bull’s, and the lone Ferrari of Raikkonen.
However, it soon seemed that Rosberg’s time would be un-reachable, with a new fastest lap recorded for the circuit, more than enough for him to retain pole.
The race begins tomorrow at 1pm GMT.