Singapore GP | Nico Rosberg fastest in FP3 as Hamilton struggles

Nico Rosberg sets the pace in Singapore GP FP3.

As the sun sets on practice, Rosberg set the pace in Singapore. Hamilton had bettered his team-mates first sector, but another lock up sent Lewis down the escape road. Allowing for Verstappen to creep in 5-hundredths of a second down on Rosberg after a lizard crossed his path.

Kimi Raikkonen had set the early pace of the day as the Finn begun proceedings on the ultrasoft tyres. But Kimi would lose the top spot to the Silver Arrows as the Mercedes duo bettered Raikkonen’s time despite being on the harder, supersoft tyres.

Initially Rosberg had held a two-tenth lead over his team-mate, who holds a two-point lead in the drivers’ championship. But once out on the ultrasoft tyres, it was Lewis leading by the first sector.

A lock up, however, sent Hamilton into the escape road and meant he would not set a flying lap time. Whereas Rosberg would take the line 1.1 seconds faster than his previous best time.

Coming in behind pace-setter was Max Verstappen, as he took the line just five-hundredths of a second slower than the Mercedes. Max’s lap also half a second up on his Red Bull team-mate who caught the birthday boy, Esteban Ocon, in the final sector. With the Manor driver celebrating his 20th birthday.

Early pace setter, Raikkonen, too crossed the line half a second off the pace being set by Nico Rosberg. With the Ferrari edging Ricciardo’s Red Bull by just 5-hundredths of a second.

Fellow Ferrari race, Vettel, ended the day 7-tenths of as second off the pace. With Sebastian unhappy with his rear set up.

“The problem seems to be the rear of the car is too nervous,” reported Vettel.
“I’m really struggling to really get a feel for the tyres, especially the rears. It just doesn’t seem to bite and grip up if you see what I mean.”

As the session went green, Romain Grosjean was out of the pits immediately as the Haas sought to make up for his lost Friday running.

Any early running, however, was temporarily halted as Pascal Wehrlein brought out a red flag for debris on the track.

Pascal had spun backwards in to the barrier, breaking his rear wing like Romain himself did in FP2, balancing his wing on the central pillar.

Massa, too, followed in the footsteps left by others on Friday as he became the latest to clip the turn 21 wall on exit. The contact between his rear tyre and the wall causing a flash of sparks and falling paint flakes.

year ago when Formula One visited Singapore, a man halted the Grand Prix as he took a stroll on the track mid-race. And while it was not a human crossing the circuit, today Verstappen found himself facing a lizard as he returned to the pits under Wehrlein’s red flag.

The lizard, believed to be a monitor lizard, even waited for the Red Bull to go by before sauntering across the road.

Verstappen: “There’s a giant lizard on the track!”
Max’s engineer: “Face to face with Godzilla then, mate.”

Pos Driver Laps Time Gap
1 Nico Rosberg 15 1’44.352
2 Max Verstappen 15 1’44.411 0.059
3 Kimi Raikkonen 15 1’44.860 0.508
4 Daniel Ricciardo 12 1’44.903 0.551
5 Sebastian Vettel 13 1’45.104 0.752
6 Nico Hulkenberg 13 1’45.316 0.964
7 Daniil Kvyat 19 1’45.503 1.151
8 Lewis Hamilton 9 1’45.806 1.454
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. 17 1’45.879 1.527
10 Valtteri Bottas 16 1’45.947 1.595
11 Sergio Perez 15 1’46.112 1.76
12 Fernando Alonso 13 1’46.164 1.812
13 Esteban Gutierrez 16 1’46.316 1.964
14 Felipe Massa 17 1’46.529 2.177
15 Kevin Magnussen 11 1’47.116 2.764
16 Jenson Button 16 1’47.277 2.925
17 Felipe Nasr 18 1’47.293 2.941
18 Romain Grosjean 20 1’47.411 3.059
19 Marcus Ericsson 20 1’47.956 3.604
20 Jolyon Palmer 13 1’48.689 4.337
21 Pascal Wehrlein 10 1’49.201 4.849
22 Esteban Ocon 14 1’49.565 5.213