SINGAPORE, September 17 (Reuters): Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg took pole position for his 200th Formula One race after a stunning qualifying lap around Singapore’s Marina Bay street circuit on Saturday.
The German’s best lap of one minute 42.584 seconds left him perfectly placed to retake the championship lead from British team mate Lewis Hamilton under the floodlights on Sunday.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo split the Mercedes pair to claim second spot in 1:43.115, the Australian edging out triple world champion Hamilton, a two times winner in Singapore who will start in third place.
Dutch teenager Max Verstappen will start alongside Hamilton after setting the fourth fastest time for Red Bull, with the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen rounding out the top five.
Last year’s winner Sebastian Vettel will start from the back of the grid, the German complaining over the radio of an anti-rollbar issue in the first qualifying session with his Ferrari team unable to repair the car in time to set a fast lap.
Hamilton leads Rosberg by two points in the championship.