Mercedes dominated the Formula One (F1) 2015 Singapore Grand Prix as teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton came first and second respectively during Friday's first practice. German driver Rosberg clocked 1m47.995s during practice while British driver and teammate Hamilton came in 0.319 seconds later.
However, Hamilton is still leading the season going into the Singapore Grand Prix with 252 points followed by Rosberg with 199 points.
According to Auto Sport, Hamilton was hampered by several small mistakes on Friday, including missing the apex at Turn 2 and running wide. The Red Bull team, which dominated the Singapore Grand Prix by winning the 2011 - 2013 seasons, came in third with its driver Daniel Ricciardo arriving 0.017s after Hamilton.
The Singapore Grand Prix is sentimental for Hamilton as he tries to tie his victory records with Ayrton Senna in an equal number of starts.
Hamilton shares his thoughts on his website regarding the prospect of tying his hero's record this weekend titled Picking up The baton For Ayrton Senna, "I've only just realized I was that close to Senna's career statistics. Generally, I don't pay too close attention to those numbers or records. But now it has come around, I am so proud to be in a position to emulate him. At the same time, though, I am also aware that if he had not passed away he would have continued and won so many more races and championships, because he was that good."
Alexander Rossi, who is making his first full grand prix debut this weekend with the Manor team, had a trouble-free session and was 0.015s adrift of team-mate Will Stevens. The American driver hit the barrier at Turn 18 with a few minutes left into the first practice. That mistake damaged the fight-hand side of Rossi's car and earned him a red flag that ended the session early.
Manor earlier announced that Rossi would be driving the five of the remaining seven races left for the season. The team said Rossi will not be driving in the Russia and Abu Dhabi races because of conflict with his participation in the G2P series where he currently trails second in the championship points, said the Examiner.
BBC said Rossi would drive in Japan, the USA, Mexico and Brazil races with British driver Will Stevens as his partner with the Manor team.
The 23-year-old Rossi who replaces Roberto Merhi, commented, "This is a major step in really firmly putting myself on the F1 map and I'm just focusing on doing a really good job in these five races. I was on a plane Tuesday evening, and I booked the flight Tuesday morning. The discussions started taking place shortly after Monza."
Before joining Manor's forerunner Marussia before the end of 2014, Rossi was previously a reserve driver for the defunct Caterham team. He took part in three practice sessions in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He added, "Obviously I've had quite a bit of history with this team, in 2014, so we've always had good communication over the beginning of this year. But I wasn't expecting 2015 to be a year where I was racing an F1 car."
Broadcast network NBC has released its television and live streaming schedule for American fans of Formula One. Here is the schedule:
Saturday, September 19:
- 6 a.m. -- Free Practice 3 -- NBC Sports Live Extra -- LIVE.
- 8 a.m. -- Qualifying -- NBCSN -- LIVE.
Sunday, September 20:
- 1:30 a.m. -- Qualifying -- NBCSN (Rebroadcast).
7:30 a.m. -- Singapore Grand Prix -- NBCSN -- LIVE.