Formula One: Rosberg in pole position for Singapore GP, Vettel to start from back row

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg took pole position for his 200th Formula One race on Sept 17, 2016.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg took pole position for his 200th Formula One race on Sept 17, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

SINGAPORE - Mercedes' Nico Rosberg will start the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix in pole position after clocking a qualifying time of 1min 42.584sec.

The German, who has never taken the chequered flag in Singapore, has a good chance to break his duck, with six of the last eight winners starting at the top of the grid.

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton, the reigning world champion, will start from third place with a qualifying time of 1:43.288.

The Mercedes duo will sandwich Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo (1:43.115), last year's runner-up.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who has won the Singapore race a record four times, suffered a shock exit after the first qualifying classification due to a mechanical failure and will start from the back of the grid.

Overall, it was a good night out for the Silver Arrows, who struggled at the Marina Bay Street Circuit last year.

Rosberg had finished fourth last season, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton retired after 32 laps.

The duo can also pull further away from the chasing pack in the driver standings.

Hamilton leads with 250 points, two ahead of Rosberg. Ricciardo is third with 161 points.