Rosberg looks set for a charge in Sunday's Grand Prix
After a crash in first practice, German tops second session and aims for pole tonight
Two years ago, Nico Rosberg came to Singapore as the overall leader of Formula 1's drivers' championship, but was dethroned by teammate Lewis Hamilton when the Briton won at the Marina Bay street circuit, and went on to claim his second world crown.
This year, the German - who sits just two points adrift of leader Hamilton in championship - has a great opportunity to turn the tables on his Mercedes frenemy, if he finishes ahead of the reigning world champion tomorrow.
Last night, Rosberg, 31, topped the second free practice at the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix with a flying lap of 1:44.152sec.
Three-time world champion Hamilton, in contrast, had to retire towards the end of the second session after problems with his hydraulics.
"It has been an okay start to the weekend, but we know that this is the best track for Ferrari and Red Bull, so we have to be careful and do our best," Rosberg said, outside the team's garage last night.
"We must not get ahead of ourselves; last year we were looking okay on Friday and we were nowhere on Saturday (in qualifying)."
Ahead of the race weekend, Rosberg downplayed Mercedes' chances on the Marina Bay street circuit, after both he and Hamilton struggled on the 5.065km-long track last year.
In the 2015 edition, Rosberg topped the first practice, but struggled after that and finished fourth on Sunday, while Hamilton retired midway through the race.
In the first session last night, Rosberg evoked memories of the last year when he crashed hard into the barriers at Turn 18 at the Floating Platform after his wheels locked up approaching the bend.
He managed to escape with just a damaged front wing and punctured front left tyre, finishing the first session in fifth place, with Hamilton a place ahead and Max Verstappen topping the field.
He stunned a reporter when he joked that it was not him in the crash.
He then admitted: "I just braked too deeply and locked up."
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff looked a relieved man outside the team garage.
"So far, so good. We have been quickest this session and last year this was when it became more difficult for us," he told The New Paper.
"The track feels a little quicker for our cars this year than last year and I am feeling more optimistic (about the next two days) than last year," he said, just as Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene arrived.
"It seems like what we have found out is making the cars go quicker, but we could still lose to this guy and the Red Bulls," he added, prodding Arrivabene's chest lightly.
Rosberg will be gunning for pole in qualifying tonight, which will allow him to breathe a little easier tomorrow around a tight Singapore circuit that offers few overtaking opportunities.
Rosberg said: "It (pole) would definitely be important, even though we have seen in recent races that it is not the most crucial thing.
"But definitely, that is what I will try to aim for."