Formula One: Nico Rosberg will keep cool in Singapore with support from fans

Nico Rosberg signing autographs for fans during an event at ION Orchard on Sept 15, 2016.
Nico Rosberg signing autographs for fans during an event at ION Orchard on Sept 15, 2016.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg may be dreading the heat, humidity and twisting streets of the Marina Bay street circuit this weekend, but the German has found one "cool thing" about racing at night - the chance to stay up late.

Speaking at a public appearance organised by Hugo Boss, Mercedes-Benz and luxury watch brand IWC Schaffhausen, the 31-year-old said: "We're awake in the night and sleeping during the day, so last night my best friend and I were at a bar until three o'clock in the morning.

"It's very unusual, and that's what I like about this night race."

Yesterday's event at Ion Orchard saw a turnout of about 250 fans, who erupted in cheers of "Nico! Nico!" upon Rosberg's arrival.

The Monaco resident gamely obliged requests for autographs and wefies before settling down for a question-and-answer session with the host.

Ahead of this weekend's Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, Rosberg was in good spirits as he spoke about making his 200th grand prix appearance on Sunday.

"It's unbelievable that I've had so many races already. I'm not one of the young guys out there anymore and it's a bit strange," he said. "But I don't think about that. For me I'm just here trying to win the race and I'm excited about the weekend."

Rosberg, whose best result at the Singapore GP was a runner-up position with Williams in 2008, had finished fourth last year.

Referring to last year's race here, which Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel won, Rosberg said: "We're going to have to change that this year - I'll be out there doing my best for sure, and with your support, I can make it happen."

Rosberg fan Alma Macias, who left the event with an autographed pamphlet and wefie with the Mercedes ace, is certain he can do it.

The 21-year-old Mexican student had waited three hours for Rosberg's arrival at the mall, and was in shock after meeting her hero for the first time.

She said: "I have been a fan of Nico Rosberg for seven or eight years, and he's the best driver - he's so careful, clean, fast and intelligent in the way he drives."

Macias had caught a glimpse of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo at a Tag Heuer promotional event the day before, but for her, nothing could top her exchange with Rosberg.

Added Macias, who will be in town until Monday: "I'm not sure if I will see any other drivers, but Nico was the big one for me.

"I can't believe what just happened, I feel so excited and so happy!"