2016 Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying Review

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But heading into Qualifying, it would seem that Mercedes are looking like the teams to beat heading into the session that look set to gain Pole Position ahead of the race on Sunday. But Ferrari, McLaren, Ferrari, Toro Rosso or Force India may spring a surprise and throw a spanner into the works based on their early pace and promise within the Practice sessions.

Let the battle for Pole Position begin…

Daniel Ricciardo tops the timesheets in Q1. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Daniel Ricciardo tops the timesheets in Q1. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

In Q1, we saw Daniel Ricciardo topping the timesheets with a lap time of 1.44.255, Kimi Raikkonen was second, Max Verstappen was third, Lewis Hamilton was fourth, Sergio Perez was fifth, Jenson Button was sixth, Daniil Kvyat was seventh, Nico Rosberg was eighth, Fernando Alonso was ninth and Esteban Gutierrez rounded off the top ten finshers.

At the end of Q1 we lose Kevin Magnussen, Felipe Nasr, Jolyon Palmer, Pascal Wehrlein, Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel.

Nico Rosberg tops the timesheets in Q2. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg tops the timesheets in Q2. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

In Q2, we saw Rosberg topping the timesheets with a lap time of 1.43.020, Hamilton was second, Ricciardo was third, Verstappen was fourth, Raikkonen was fifth, Kvyat was sixth, Sainz Jr was seventh, Alonso was eighth, Perez was ninth and Hulkenberg rounded off the top ten finshers.

At the end of Q2 we lose Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button, Esteban Gutierrez, Romain Grosjean and Marcus Ericsson.

During FP2, Grosjean going into Turn 14 hit the barriers after locking the rear axle under braking. This then brought out the yellow flags as Grosjean looked to get out of the car but Grosjean sounded a bit winded on team radio after the incident but got out of the car okay. As this was happening, Jenson Button stopped on the track with problems after brushing the wall with his McLaren-Honda and had to be pushed by the marshals off the circuit into the escape road.

Let the battle for Pole Position begin…

Q3 was then delayed for ten minutes in order to fix the barriers to where Grosjean had his spin in Turn 14.

Nico Rosberg claims his 29th Pole Position ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in second place and Lewis Hamilton in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg claims his 29th Pole Position ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in second place and Lewis Hamilton in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

At the end of Q3, Rosberg took his 29th Pole Position of his career at the Singapore GP ahead of his 200th GP tomorrow and equals Juan Manuel Fangio’s Pole Position record, which is a great achievement.

Rosberg did this with a lap time of 1.42.584. Ricciardo finished in second place 0.531 seconds behind Rosberg, Hamilton finished in third place 0.704 seconds behind Rosberg, Verstappen finished in fourth place 0.744 seconds behind Rosberg and Raikkonen was fifth place 1.253 seconds behind Rosberg.

Sainz Jr ended the session in sixth place, equalling his best qualifying position in the sport and was 1.613 seconds behind Rosberg, Kvyat finished in a great seventh place 1.885 seconds behind Rosberg, Hulkenberg finished in eight place 1.895 seconds behind Rosberg, Alonso finished in ninth place 1.998 seconds behind Rosberg and Perez finished in tenth place.

It would seem that Mercedes genuinely has the pace to challenge for the race win again this weekend despite their form in Qualifying. Both of the Mercedes drivers seem to have the cars underneath them to do this and have been consistent and fast throughout every session so far this weekend; even if Hamilton has a challenge on his hands to get a result this weekend.

You cannot discount Ricciardo, Verstappen or Raikkonen even to be challenging also for the race win and could also be the dark horses to take the win away from Mercedes (and also Ferrari in Mercedes’ case) that could see gaining some points on their rivals to kick start their Constructors Championship.

Hulkenberg, Perez, Sainz Jr and Kvyat could also have a decent race and pick up some much needed points for their respective teams. Will it rain? I do not know. Who will win the Grand Prix on Sunday? I really don’t know.

But let’s see what happens tomorrow on the Marina Bay circuit on race day on Sunday…

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