Singapore: Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix with a stunning lap time at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Saturday.
Rosberg trails championship leader and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by two points in the championship. But the German put himself in the best possible position for a third consecutive victory with a time of 1 minute, 42.584 seconds – more than half a second faster than Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in second.
Hamilton qualified third, ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
The Red Bull cars start the race on harder tires than the Mercedes, allowing them to go longer on Sunday, before pitting.
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen qualified fifth but teammate Sebastian Vettel starts last after his car had an anti-roll bar failure in the Q1 session.
The Ferrari driver won last year's race from pole position for his fourth victory in Singapore, where he has topped the podium more times than anyone else.
But after limping round well off the pace in Q1, Vettel retreated to the Ferrari garage where engineers were unable to get him back on the road.
"It felt like an anti-roll bar broke but we need to have a look, what's most important is that the second car doesn't have damage like that," the German was quoted as saying by AFP.
"We couldn't save the car for the second qualifying and have a look, unfortunately we ran out of time.
"Obviously I was a bit annoyed because first we decided to go for another lap but it wasn't really any quicker.
"Then we decided to pit to try and fix it but there was no time to do it."
Grid lineup for Sunday's Singapore GP
Rosberg (Mercedes), Ricciardo (Red Bull); Hamilton (Mercedes), Verstappen (Red Bull); Raikkonen (Ferrari), Sainz (Toro Rosso); Kvyat (Toro Rosso), Hulkenberg (Force India); Alonso (McLaren), Perez (Force India); Bottas (Williams), Massa (Williams); Button (McLaren), Gutierrez (Haas); Grosjean (Haas), Ericsson (Sauber); Magnussen (Renault), Nasr (Sauber); Palmer (Renault), Wehrlein (MRT); Ocon (MRT), Vettel (Ferrari).