Nico Rosberg takes 29th career pole in Singapore
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News September 17, 2016 Updated: 5:11 PM
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg grabbed his 29th career pole position for Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Circuit. Teammate Lewis Hamilton struggled, opening the door for Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo to take second while Hamilton finished third.
Rosberg set a time of 1:42.584, and despite a clean second lap, he couldn't improve. Lewis Hamilton's first attempt ended when he blew the second corner and was unable to produce a clean lap. Daniel Ricciardo made a dynamite run in Q3, taking advantage of a struggling Hamilton to finish 0.531s behind Rosberg.
Nico Rosberg: “That was a fantastic Qualifying for me – especially on my 200th GP weekend. I think this lap is in my top three of all time. I felt totally at one with the car, which is really rare. I was able to push a lot and couldn’t even top that first lap time on my second run. In the past we’ve seen that in Singapore pole is important, so I’m in the best possible position for tomorrow.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “I’m pleased with the front row. We set ourselves up well and the lap was clean, but obviously Nico created a big gap and I would have loved for him to not be that far ahead. Even with a perfect lap I don’t think we could have caught that up. So I did what I had to do and the last sector was good. I kept the tyres in good condition and that was important.”
Lewis Hamilton: “It's not been my weekend so far. I've not got many good laps out there. Not for any particular reason. I just haven't been able to string it together. People have pointed out turn seven as the problem. But it isn't any more difficult than any other corner on the track. It's one of the heaviest on brakes and quite bumpy but that's it. I had an issue with the suspension not working properly in practice which affected my braking – but we fixed that and in qualifying braking wasn't a problem.”
Ricciardo’s teammate, Max Verstappen, just wasn’t able to get his tires to work and finished fourth. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen will start from fifth but will be without his teammate Sebastian Vettel after he dropped out in Q1 with a rear anti-roll bar issue.
The Toro Rosso’s of Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat will start 6th and 7th ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg in eighth and the McLaren-Honda of Fernando Alonso in ninth. Hulkenberg’s teammate Sergio Perez qualified tenth.
Williams’ Valtteri Bottas just missed the top ten by 0.003s in 11th with Felipe Massa finishing his day in 12th. Jenson Button kissed the wall just a little too hard with his McLaren-Honda, which resulted in a tire puncture.
This left him finishing in 13th ahead of Esteban Gutierrez in 14th. Gutierrez’s Haas F1 teammate, Romain Grosjean had an unfortunate accident when he lost his car due to under braking at Turn 10. He will begin in 15th ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson's in 16th.
Renault’s Kevin Magnussen finished his day 17th while Felipe Nasr took 18th for Sauber, ahead of Magnussen’s teammate Jolyon Palmer in 19th. The Manors of Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon, along with Sebastion Vettel finished out of the grid.