WATCH LIVE: Singapore GP Qualifying – an open fight under the lights?

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Qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix is always an exciting affair under the lights, but today’s session could be particularly enthralling given that, for the first time this season, Mercedes appears to have a genuine challenge on its hands in the fight for pole position.

In the final practice session at Marina Bay on Saturday evening, it was Fernando Alonso who rose to the top of the timesheets ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, while Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton could finish just third and sixth respectively. Were they sandbagging? Or is Mercedes in trouble?

You can find out by watching qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix live on CNBC from 9am ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

After topping the second free practice session on Friday, Lewis Hamilton was quick to stress that Mercedes’ weekend was still a “work in progress”, and that securing pole position would be crucial on Saturday. If his final form in FP3 is anything to go by, the Briton may be facing yet another fightback in the race on Sunday.

Of course, the Silver Arrows are likely to still be in the fight for pole, but they may not enjoy as much of an advantage as we have seen of late in qualifying. Either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg has started on pole position for all but one race this season – Felipe Massa was the only man to break the silver cycle in Austria when both of the title contenders came unstuck.

Fernando Alonso will know that this weekend’s race marks his best chance of a big result this season, and if he were to stick his Ferrari on pole position, it would be his first in over two years – you have to go back to the 2012 German Grand Prix for the last time he started from first place on the grid.

The stage is set for an open fight under the lights on Saturday in Singapore. Make sure you join us at 9am ET on CNBC and Live Extra for all of the action from Marina Bay. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.