There was a familiar sight at the top in FP2 in Singapore, Sebastian Vettel saw limited action and Pastor Maldonado put his car in the wall.
Fernando Alonso and Ferrari causing a bit of a stir in the first session with the Spaniard setting the fastest time, but Mercedes were back at the front in the evening session through Lewis Hamilton.
The Brit set the benchmark time of 1:47.490 on the supersofts, but Alonso proved that perhaps Ferrari’s FP1 time wasn’t a fluke as he was just 0.133s behind the Merc driver while Kimi Raikkonen was down in fourth.
Raikkonen had some problems in FP1 when his right-front brake caught fire, but there was no repeat of that later in the day. The same cannot be said of Red Bull as they had a mixed session with Daniel Ricciardo third fastest, but his team-mate Vettel completed only five laps, but it was good enough to slot in him into P5.
The German suffered an engine failure at the end of FP1 and it usually takes just under four hours to replace it, but the mechanics scrambled to get him back out and he eventually emerged with just 10 minutes to go.
McLaren also showed their pace with Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button, who both changed their front wings during the session, sixth and seventh, but the battle for fifth in the Constructors’ Championship will be interesting this weekend as the Force India pair of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg were not far off.
Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso completed the top 10 while Nico Rosberg found himself down in P13 as he was forced to abort his initial run on the supersofts after Maldonado put his car into the wall.
The red flag came out after the Venezuelan locked up and smashed his Lotus into the barriers on the left-hander at Turn 10.
One team that has been slow out of the blocks in Singapore is Williams with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas 17th and 18th respectively. They were followed by the usual suspects with Jules Bianchi proving to be the best.
Of course the new radio transmission restrictions came into effect in Singapore this weekend and drivers and teams were still pretty wary about what to say and what not say.
Rosberg and his race engineer illustrated that point with the German asking if he’s allowed to be told his team-mate’s lap time, but the response was “you are quicker by three-tenths but not to your team-mate”.
01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:47.490 25 laps
02 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:47.623 +0.133 28 laps
03 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:47.790 +0.300 28 laps
04 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:48.031 +0.541 29 laps
05 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:48.041 +0.551 5 laps
06 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:48.358 +0.868 33 laps
07 Jenson Button McLaren 1:48.435 +0.945 30 laps
08 Sergio Perez Force India 1:48.653 +1.163 30 laps
09 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:48.751 +1.261 31 laps
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:48.770 +1.280 31 laps
11 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:48.800 +1.310 33 laps
12 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:49.062 +1.572 33 laps
13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:49.075 +1.585 30 laps
14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:49.139 +1.649 13 laps
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:49.170 +1.680 34 laps
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:49.290 +1.800 37 laps
17 Felipe Massa Williams 1:49.361 +1.871 29 laps
18 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:49.971 +2.481 28 laps
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:50.612 +3.122 24 laps
20 Max Chilton Marussia 1:51.558 +4.068 21 laps
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:52.075 +4.585 33 laps
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:52.936 +5.446 31 laps
F1’s Night Shift Gets Underway