Though they won't be battling it out from the front row, championship rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg remain focused on their title tussle coming into the Singapore Grand Prix.

Though Mercedes' downturn in performance around the Marina Bay Circuit captured the headlines after qualifying, Hamilton and Rosberg nonetheless remained relatively evenly matched in fifth and sixth, ending the session a tenth apart.

Indeed, while both drivers are sceptical over whether they can challenge the resurgent Ferrari and Red Bull in the race either, it doesn't lessen the impact of their title tussle, particularly since Hamilton has stretched his advantage to 53 points.

"I'm ahead of Nico and I did everything I could with the car and the grip that I had," Hamilton said. "I'm going to approach it the same as I do every race, I want to win the race still and there is no reason you can't win from fifth, but the cars ahead have been quicker all weekend through every session and every run. You have to assume that it's going to be the same in the race, but I go ahead with the mentality that I will try to win."

Though he is starting behind Hamilton, Rosberg fees he has an opportunity to gain back ground on Hamilton, particularly if he can do so with other cars finishing between them.

However, he also admits he has to keep an eye on pole sitter Vettel, who is just 21 points behind himself, and hints that this may be the moment to adopt a more aggressive race strategy.

"The main goal is to try and beat Lewis," he said. "He is right next to me, so the chances are there. It is always complicated because we have to score for the team. Of course, Vettel is also a threat to me points-wise because he isn't that far away.

"We have more to gain than lose, so it is the time to maybe take more risks and to try and get up there. We need to look at that when deciding our strategy."


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