Sebastian Vettel once again displayed his freakish dominance of Formula One with his fifth pole of the season in Singapore, but he was made to sweat after opting to sit out the final few minutes of the session.
The German has been quick from the start around the street circuit, posting the fastest time in practice on Friday and he continued that in qualifying posting a time of 1.42.841 in Q3.
The German had his heart in his mouth after deciding he had done enough and returning to the pits for the final minutes of qualifying.
That was almost a terrible misjudgement as Nico Rosberg produced a superb lap that saw him cross the line just 0.091secs behind a clearly fearful Vettel.
The world champion will head-off as the 4/11 favourite and it is hard to look away from a man who looks set to retain his crown for a fourth consecutive year and could move one step closer to doing so if he completes his hat-trick in Singapore.
It looked as if it would be plain sailing once again for Vettel as he set a time 0.59secs quicker than his fellow German in the early stages of Q3 and after discussions with his engineer opted to stick with what he had.
Rosberg, who secured second of the grid, attacked the championship leader as the Mercedes once again showed its pace in qualifying but he came up short, nevertheless his speed around the Marina Bay track will play on Vettel’s mind when they line up with the Silver Arrows man a 8/1 shot for glory.
Romain Grosjean was impressive in the middle sector of the track and that combined with steady performances in the opening and final sectors saw the Frenchman bag third place on the grid, he is available at 12/1 to score his maiden F1 victory here.
Fernando Alonso endured another trying day in his Ferrari, with the Italian giants struggling for grip all weekend and for the second race in succession the two-time world champion was out-qualified by team-mate Felipe Massa.
The Brazilian is 80/1 to secure a first win in Malaysia but will have to do so from sixth on the grid, while Alonso will start from seventh and is 16/1 to steal a win to keep his ever-fading title hopes alive.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim three £10 free bets when you bet £10