Nico Rosberg will draw some encouragement from FP1 as he got the better of Lewis Hamilton in Singapore while Alexander Rossi's debut race ended in a crash.
Last time out in Italy, Rosberg dropped to 53 points behind Hamilton in the Championship race as his W06 suffered an engine failure.
Heading into this weekend's race at the Marina Bay Circuit, Rosberg was well aware that he needed to get the better of his team-mate and that's exactly what he did in FP1.
He dominated the early part of the session, lapping four seconds quicker than his rivals, even Hamilton. But as the chasing pack gained confidence in the track the gap was closed down.
Rosberg still led the early running by 0.412s over Daniel Ricciardo while Hamilton was a further 0.081s down.
Heading out for a second run as the lights began to take effect, Rosberg lowered his benchmark time to a 1:48.004 while the World Champion climbed up to second place.
Rosberg responded by upping his pace to a 1:47.995, extending his advantage over his team-mate to 0.319s. The Mercedes pairing held onto the 1-2 through to the chequered flag.
Ricciardo finished third as he was a further 0.017s off the pace while Sebastian Vettel, who had a late incident over a kerb that forced him to use the run-off area, was fourth.
Kimi Raikkonen was fifth and the final driver to get within a second of the P1 time. The Ferrari driver was 0.790s down.
Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg were next in line.
As for McLaren, Fernando Alonso spent a large part of practice in the top ten only to drop down to 11th, 2.128s off the pace, while Jenson Button was P15.
New kid on the block, Alexander Rossi, completed the timesheets by his 1:53.918 was only 0.015s slower than his Manor team-mate Will Steven's best.
It was a great start for the American right up until it wasn't. His session ended five minutes early when he lost the back end of his car and smacked the barrier, damaging the front and rear of the car.
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:47.995 27 laps
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:48.314 0.319 24 laps
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:48.331 0.336 21 laps
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:48.494 0.499 23 laps
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:48.785 0.790 20 laps
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:49.380 1.385 19 laps
7 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:49.466 1.471 17 laps
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:49.854 1.859 21 laps
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:50.019 2.024 28 laps
10 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:50.068 2.073 21 laps
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:50.123 2.128 21 laps
12 Sergio Perez Force India 1:50.125 2.130 23 laps
13 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:50.158 2.163 18 laps
14 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:50.341 2.346 23 laps
15 Jenson Button McLaren 1:50.455 2.460 21 laps
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:50.883 2.888 21 laps
17 Felipe Massa Williams 1:51.035 3.040 18 laps
18 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:51.188 3.193 8 laps
19 Will Stevens Manor 1:53.903 5.908 20 laps
20 Alexander Rossi Manor 1:53.918 5.923 19 laps