Formula 1 News

Hamilton leads the way in first Singapore practice

The early running suggests that Mercedes and Red Bull have an edge over the rest of the field around the streets of Singapore
Friday, September 20, 2013

September 20th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Lewis Hamilton has finished the first practice for this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix at the top of the lap times for Mercedes, setting a fastest lap over a third of a second quicker than Mark Webber in the leading Red Bull. Last year's winner Sebastian Vettel was third in the second Red Bull ahead of Nico Rosberg in the other Mercedes.

Typically of a street circuit, the session saw lots of drivers slipping and sliding around the track as there was very little rubber down. But the surface soon improved, so much so that Lewis Hamilton commented on it to his Mercedes team over the radio. But a few drivers got caught out by the slippery track: Fernando Alonso seemed to be doing a lot of work to keep his car going in the right direction, while Sergio Perez and Kimi Raikkonen had to take to run off areas and execute 180 degree spins to get back onto the track when they got their braking wrong. A few drivers also brushed the walls with their tyres as they explored the track limits.

The lap times are considerably quicker than last year. Hamilton's leading time is 3.5 seconds faster than Sebastian Vettel's FP1 best from 2012, and just seven tenths of a second slower than last year's pole position time. And that's on the prime tyres. The softer option tyres will only appear on track for the first time this weekend during FP2, when it 's likely that last year's pole time wil be beaten. Part of the time improvement is due to the revised "Singapore Sling", the awkward triple apex chicane that has been replaced by a smooth left-hand corner for this year. But it sems that the resurfaced parts of the track are also providing significantly more grip than expected, which could account for some of the rest of the difference.

For Lewis Hamilton, his strong FP1 result was a statement of intent. The last two races - in Belgium and Italy - have not yielded the results Hamiton was looking for, and he is looking to get back on top in Singapore. Starting the weekend with the fastest time in FP1 will only give Hamilton confidence for the rest of the weekend, but he will be all too aware that there are no points for practice.

Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean returned to relative competitiveness, after struggling in Italy. Raikkonen set the fifth fastest time, just one hundredth of a second faster than Grosjean, who spent most of the session stuck in the garage while Lotus attended to a steering issue on his car. 

Fernando Alonso set the seventh fastest time, 1.307 seconds off the pace, ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso, Sergio Perez's McLaren and the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez. 

At the back of the field, the usual order was reversed. Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton set the 19th and 20th fastest time, ahead of the Caterham pair of Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic. While it's still early in the weekend, the FP1 result could be an indication that Marussia have made a step forward in their quest to hold on to their current 10th place in the Constructors' Championship.

Full results from FP1:

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:47.055   20
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:47.420 0.365 20
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:47.885 0.830 19
4 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:48.239 1.184 23
5 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:48.354 1.299 18
6 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:48.355 1.300 12
7 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:48.362 1.307 21
8 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:49.267 2.212 20
9 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:49.348 2.293 23
10 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:49.355 2.300 21
11 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:49.481 2.426 20
12 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:49.493 2.438 16
13 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:49.510 2.455 21
14 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:49.608 2.553 20
15 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:49.887 2.832 18
16 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:50.092 3.037 20
17 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:50.222 3.167 17
18 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:50.757 3.702 16
19 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:52.359 5.304 16
20 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:52.673 5.618 15
21 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:52.920 5.865 24
22 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:53.647 6.592 23


Your Comments


Formula 1 News

Monday, May 18, 2015

F1 changes yet to clear hurdles


F1 Standings

1 Lewis Hamilton 126
2 Nico Rosberg 116
3 Sebastian Vettel 98
4 Kimi Räikkönen 60
5 Valtteri Bottas 42
6 Felipe Massa 39
1 Mercedes 242
2 Ferrari 158
3 Williams F1 81
4 Red Bull Racing 52
5 Sauber 21
6 Sahara Force India 17

View complete standings table »


Last F1 Race

Monaco Grand Prix
Monte Carlo, Circuit of Monaco
Nico Rosberg
Sebastian Vettel
Lewis Hamilton
Fastest Lap


Pole Position

Lewis Hamilton

View all »


Follow Us