Nico Rosberg believes that lap that took him to pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday night is among the best three of his Formula 1 career.
Rosberg stormed to his 29th pole position under the lights at Marina Bay, his first lap in Q3 good enough for pole by over half a second from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.
After cutting Hamilton’s championship lead down to just two points with victory in Belgium and Italy, Rosberg can move back ahead in the standings with a third straight win on Sunday.
Speaking after qualifying, Rosberg made no secret of his delight after taking pole on the weekend of his 200th F1 start.
“Yeah definitely happy with that one for my 200th grand prix – for sure one of my top three laps ever,” Rosberg said.
“Happy with that, really went well.
“At times it wasn’t clear in qualifying how we were going to stack up against Red Bull because they were very quick on the super-soft in Q2.
“I knew I had to give it everything and really pull one out of the bag which is cool. Great feeling.”
Rosberg will start alongside Ricciardo on the front row in Singapore, who opted to fit the super-soft tire in Q2, meaning he can go longer into the race before stopping and has more strategy options.
When asked if he was worried about Ricciardo, Rosberg replied: “No, but for sure I’ll be keeping an eye on him yes.
“They were quick on race pace on Friday, I think more so than the qualifying pace.
“For sure he’ll be a threat, especially with that super-soft tire.”
Pole position in Singapore was the 29th of Rosberg’s F1 career, drawing him level with five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio for eighth place on the all-time record list.
The Singapore Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET on Sunday.