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Nico Rosberg has opened up fastest in first free practice for the Singapore Grand Prix, proving comfortably faster than title rival Lewis Hamilton around the Marina Bay Circuit.

Declaring he has 'nothing to lose' coming into the annual Singapore night race after his first DNF of the season set him 53 points adrift of his team-mate, Rosberg duly started as means to go on by pacing FP1 from start to finish, stopping the clocks with the only sub-1min 48secs lap of the session.

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More than three tenths faster than Hamilton, Rosberg enjoyed a more composed start to the evening compared with the defending champion, who endured more than one trip across the run-off areas en route to second place.

As anticipated, Red Bull began its weekend strongly with Daniel Ricciardo putting himself between the Mercedes and Ferraris, the Australian ahead of Sebastian Vettel - who suffered a stop as one of several drivers to get it wrong under braking around the 'green' street circuit - and Kimi Raikkonen.

Having languished down the order early on, Valtteri Bottas progressed to fifth for Williams as night fell, ahead of Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz and Pastor Maldonado, the latter escaping despite kissing the wall in the Lotus.

Tipping himself for a run at the top ten this weekend, McLaren's Fernando Alonso was just on the cusp in FP1 in 11th, ahead of Sergio Perez and Felipe Nasr, the latter taking the revised 'short nose' Sauber to 13th.

Elsewhere, Alexander Rossi got his first run in the 2015 specification Manor car ahead of his F1 race debut this weekend, but while he was a match for Will Stevens in terms of pace - just 0.015secs adrift of the Englishman -, he would end his session in the barriers after getting it wrong coming out of turn 18 over the bridge.