Max third quickest in Singapore FP1
Published on 15 September 2023 by Stefan Meens
Max Verstappen opened his Singapore Grand Prix weekend with the third quickest time in the first free practice session. Ferrari led the way on the altered Marina Bay Circuit with Charles Leclerc fastest ahead of team mate Carlos Sainz. Max’ Oracle Red Bull Racing colleague Sergio Perez was seventh quickest.
Due to taking place during the day time, FP1 in Singapore is traditionally not a good indicator of the conditions that the drivers will face during Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s Grand Prix as both sessions are scheduled during the evening.
Nevertheless, it is busy out on track as soon as the pitlane opens, with only Williams waiting to send their driver pairing out of the garage. Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas is the first driver to clock a time, which is soon bettered my McLaren’s Lando Norris.
Max’ first timed effort, completed on the hard Pirelli tyres, is good enough for P3. The Dutchman’s feedback to the team is clear and concise: “Pretty much in every corner, I have oversteer on corner exit”. On the other side of the Red Bull garage, Perez reports problems of his own, asking for his seat to be raised with the Mexican having trouble spotting the apex of the corners.
After a busy opening half of the session, the Marina Bay circuit goes quiet with the teams preparing for qualifying simulations on the red side-walled soft tyres. Pierre Gasly is the first driver to clock a flying lap on the quickest compound. The rest of drivers have to wait for a moment to unleash their potential after a yellow flag is waved due to a lizard trespassing on track.
When Max ventures out for his first flying lap on the softs, he has dropped down the order to P16. However, the reigning champion makes ample use of extra grip the Pirellis offer and clocks the second quickest time behind Leclerc. Shortly after, Max is relegated to P3, with Sainz completing a Ferrari double at the top of the leaderboards.
In the closing stages, another lizard-prompted yellow flag briefly interrupts the session but most drivers still head out to complete a long run simulation on the hards, meaning lap times are no longer bettered.
|3||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||1:33.476||+0.126s||21|
|4||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Mercedes||1:33.522||+0.172s||23|
|7||Sergio Perez||PER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||1:33.725||+0.375s||21|
|8||Fernando Alonso||ALO||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:33.974||+0.624s||27|
|9||Yuki Tsunoda||TSU||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||1:34.042||+0.692s||24|
|10||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Alpine Renault||1:34.066||+0.716s||23|
|11||Lance Stroll||STR||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:34.568||+1.218s||24|
|12||Pierre Gasly||GAS||Alpine Renault||1:34.639||+1.289s||22|
|13||Alexander Albon||ALB||Williams Mercedes||1:34.657||+1.307s||18|
|14||Valtteri Bottas||BOT||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:34.802||+1.452s||24|
|15||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||1:34.887||+1.537s||23|
|16||Liam Lawson||LAW||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||1:34.894||+1.544s||26|
|17||Nico Hulkenberg||HUL||Haas Ferrari||1:34.985||+1.635s||22|
|18||Zhou Guanyu||ZHO||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:35.456||+2.106s||24|
|19||Oscar Piastri||PIA||McLaren Mercedes||1:35.474||+2.124s||21|
|20||Logan Sargeant||SAR||Williams Mercedes||1:35.778||+2.428s||23|