Nico Rosberg starts alongside Daniel Ricciardo for tomorrows Singapore Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver was half a second off Rosberg’s best time set in the early parts of Q3, while Lewis Hamilton was unable to improve which put him down to third fastest.
He starts alongside Max Verstappen, who was showing pace earlier on in qualifying but struggled with tyre temperatures later on. Kimi Raikkonen starts from fifth, despite also going two tenths quicker than Ricciardo in the opening stages of the session but was unable to improve in the latter parts.
Carlos Sainz starts alongside him in an impressive showing for Toro Rosso at a track that seems to favour their chassis, with team mate Daniil Kvyat in seventh ahead of the two Force India’s and the McLaren of Fernando Alonso who splits Hulkenberg and Perez respectively.
The two Red Bulls will be the only ones in the top ten to start on the Super Soft tyre tomorrow, putting Ricciardo in prime position to potentially be in with a shot for a win if he is able to get past Rosberg in the opening stages.
Grosjean crashes out as Button hits the wall
Further down the field, Romain Grosjean’s difficult weekend continued when the Haas driver stuffed his VF-16 into the wall on his final run in Q2 on the Ultra Soft tyre. As that occurred, Jenson Button also kissed the wall which punctured his left-rear tyre and caused him to stop in the final sector.
That meant drivers who didn’t improve earlier, including Felipe Massa, Valterri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez were unable to post better laps times, owing to the yellow flags down where Button had stopped along with the eventual red flag that came out due to Grosjean’s car needing to be removed.
Sergio Perez was the only driver to improve and get into Q3, although he did so by overtake Massa where the yellow flags were.
Vettel out early with anti-roll bar failure
One of the drivers who we thought would be fighting for pole, Sebastien Vettel dropped out early in the session due to a rear anti-roll bar failure. When Ferrari sent their drivers out in the latter stages of Q1, Vettel noticed the problem and had to hop back to the garage as he car went on three wheels for some of the corners due to the suspension-related issue.
With the fix for an anti-roll bar being in excess of 10 minutes, it seems Ferrari were unable to rectify to the problem for him to set a time. Jenson Button, who was complaining about his balance throughout yesterday and this morning in FP3 managed to improve on his lap time to get out of the cut-off zone along with Daniil Kvyat.
Jolyon Palmer meanwhile was relegated to 18th by Marcus Ericsson, citing difficult with the balance due to his rear tyres overheating on his final run.
Photo Credit: XPB Images