Nico looking to be first
Victory in his 200th GP will mean he'll be first winner here without a world title
The winners of the past eight editions of the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix have been drivers who have already won the world championship.
Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have both taken the chequered flag twice each, while Sebastian Vettel is the most successful on the 5.065km-long street circuit with four victories.
Tonight, Mercedes pilot Nico Rosberg will aim to be the first man to win the Singapore Grand Prix without a world title to his name, on his landmark 200th Grand Prix race.
TNP PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR
"I think it might be time to change that (statistic)," Rosberg, 31, said after topping the qualifying with a flying lap of 1min 42.584sec.
"I will give my everything tomorrow, but I was surprised to hear that only three people have ever won the Singapore Grand Prix.
"But anyway, I am feeling good for tomorrow and I have a good chance (to win the race)."
The German's qualifying result is his best here, after placing second in 2013 and 2014, and he will be aiming to better his second-place finish in 2008 tonight.
If he takes the chequered flag, Rosberg - now on 248 championship points compared to Hamilton's 250 - will take over the leadership of the drivers' championship.
With the exception of Felipe Massa in 2008 and Hamilton in 2012, the pole-sitters in six other editions have gone on to win the race in a narrow circuit that is famously difficult for overtaking.
When a journalist pointed out this statistic, Rosberg smiled and said: "I like that statistic."
His relaxed and smiling demeanour is in stark contrast with that of his teammate and world championship rival Lewis Hamilton, who finished third in qualifying with 1:43.471.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was second with 1:43.115.
Rosberg's attitude last night was also in stark contrast to his outlook even up until Friday night, when he finished the second free practice quickest.
Then, as he had preached just days before, Rosberg still felt that the Singapore street circuit was "a Red Bull track", given the team's troubles at the same race last year.
Rosberg finished fourth after having trouble all race weekend in the 2015 edition, while Hamilton had to retire midway through the race.
After qualifying last night, Rosberg paid tribute to his team for rectifying the problems.
He said: "It really shows the quality of our team - this being the most difficult track for us last year, we really learned what went wrong and turned things around up to qualifying.
"Of course there's still the race, but last year we were nowhere in qualifying, so that really shows the quality of the team to be able to understand something like that and turn it around in such a way."
Though brimming with confidence, Rosberg will be wary of Ricciardo tonight.
The Red Bull man will be starting on the longer-lasting supersoft tyres, compared to his ultrasofts.
Asked if he was apprehensive of having Ricciardo beside him at the start-line, Rosberg said: "Worried? No, but for sure I will be keeping an eye on him."
"I am definitely happy with that one. It was one of my top three laps ever." - Nico Rosberg, on his stunning qualifying lap of 1min 42.584sec last night.