But while the chasing pack therefore closed in on Mercedes, polesitter Lewis Hamilton insists his duel with team mate and title rival Nico Rosberg will not be affected - and that his only focus is securing victory in Singapore.
Q: Lewis, it was pretty close in FP3 - and again in qualifying. Did you fear that you would not have enough in the car to get pole position?
Lewis Hamilton: I never look at what the others are doing - I only focus on myself and am trying to improve. Of course I see that my lap in Q1 wasn't really good and so the Ferraris were ahead of us, so I am conscious of it, but it is nothing that I focus on. You have to do the best you can and you end up wherever you end up. I think in Q3 in the first run I did a really good lap and it was not better then P6 or P7 - and even after that I gave it what I can. It was a big surprise that there was a real re-shuffle in positions in Q3 - and a nice surprise that Mercedes was doing so well.
Q: Given the small gaps between the first six drivers - competing for four different teams - are you afraid that these other drivers will disturb your championship battle with Nico Rosberg?
LH: No, not really! Yes, today it was close - and my guess is that we will also see the same situation in the race - but I also hope that I have a slight edge on others. The tyre degradation will be quite interesting to see, and who knows what weather conditions we will have tomorrow! It might just as well start to rain a bit earlier than it did today, so who knows! We came here with a predicted amount of pit stops and that can easily change - so it will be very interesting to see how that goes.
Q: Why do you think the gap was so much smaller here compared to some previous races? Does the track not suit your car?
LH: The car feels fantastic so I don't really have an answer to that. Probably the others have upgrades this weekend and we don't - maybe it's that.
Q: With heavy rain this evening the track will need sweeping clean tomorrow. What will that mean for you?
LH: My guess is that it will change the dynamics of the race a bit. The tyres will last in a different way with the cleaner track tomorrow. Probably we will face more rear degradation - and probably it will mean more pit stops. I imagine we will see more stops.
Q: On your final Q3 run it looked like you missed the braking point at Turn 1. Was that a mistake from pushing too hard?
LH: It doesn't feel as if it was a mistake really - actually I braked at the same place I did before. On this last lap everybody is backing up trying to get a gap in front, so when you are lucky you don't have somebody in front - so you can go on with your preparation programme for your brakes and tyres. I had Fernando [Alonso] right behind me and Sebastian [Vettel] and Kimi [Raikkonen] right ahead, and they were going much slower. I wanted to go quicker to get the temperature in the tyres - but obviously I didn't do a good enough job, as the temperature on the left front was not there, and that showed. Fortunately I got it back right in time!
Q: What is the atmosphere in the team after two tense races at Spa and Monza?
LH: It's nice and relaxed. We've ‘worked away' everything! We want to win - that is what we want to do.
Q: What would it be like to race here in the rain?
LH: I don't think I have ever experienced this race in the wet - maybe in one session, but of course when it is wet it will be even more demanding than it already is: too many corners and the potential of making a mistake looming behind each and every one of them. But street circuits are just the best!
Q: So what is the plan for tomorrow?
LH: Winning of course. Bagging all the points that I can come across!