In the Friday’s second practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc dominated as Red Bull and the title leader Max Verstappen battled. Before the first practice session on Friday, the Dutch driver celebrated his 25th birthday with cake in the Red Bull team lounge. He then spent the second practice session working with technicians on his front suspension setup. Verstappen did make an appearance late in the hour-long practice for one qualifying simulation lap. If other outcomes go his way, Verstappen can retain his Formula One world title with a race win on Sunday.
His timing of 1 minute, 42.926 seconds was just good enough for fourth place, 0.339 seconds behind Sainz’s 1 minute, 42.587-second lap of the Marina Bay street circuit.
Verstappen stated that during FP2, “we wanted to test a few things.” “I believe it started fairly well, and the car was performing quite well in FP1,” remarked Verstappen.
“They simply took a little longer to change at first, and then we wanted to try something else, and that took a while to change again so that we couldn’t run much.
Verstappen continued, “That’s why it’s not reflective of what we showed in FP2.” However, there is an opportunity for development.
Leclerc had a time of 1:42.795, 0.208 seconds behind his teammate, while George Russell’s Mercedes was in third at 1:42.911.
With the fastest time in the first practice session of the first Singapore race weekend since 2019 due to the Covid epidemic, Lewis Hamilton earlier surprised everyone.
Pain in Hamilton
Since his 2007 debut, Hamilton has finished first in the timesheets every season before this one, giving him hope that he would be able to win his maiden grand Prix in 2022 and continue his streak of victories.
However, the seven-time world champion later had trouble maintaining stability through curbs and bumps, forcing him to run wide on the penultimate turn of his final flying lap, dropping him to fifth place and 0.595 seconds behind Sainz.
Hamilton told reporters, “It got off to a good start. “The second session wasn’t as good, but it was typical of weekends.
It doesn’t feel like we’re significantly off this weekend, even if the car is how it is and is bouncing about erratically.
Drivers refer to the Singapore race as the most difficult on the calendar because of the street circuit’s 23 turns and 91 gear changes every lap.
Even Hamilton, who has won four times in Singapore, was having trouble due to the heat and humidity of the tropical city-state.
After the practice, he said, “I felt a little bit dehydrated and boiling.”
“However, the main issue was just how much you were bouncing o much that you just have a headache all of the time, and this is a very bumpy track.”
Esteban Ocon’s Alpine was faster than Valtteri Bottas’ Alfa Romeo to finish sixth.
Fernando Alonso of Spain was ninth quickest in his Alpine and will start a record-breaking 350th Grand Prix on Sunday, one more than Kimi Raikkonen’s previous all-time high.
Early on, Red Bull appeared to be more competitive, but both cars experienced setup troubles in the night session, with Sergio Perez finishing tenth, 1.3 seconds behind Sainz, as a result.
With five races remaining, Verstappen has a nearly insurmountable lead in the title battle, but to clinch, he has to win on Sunday and hope that his closest competitors stumble. If not, the fight will continue in Japan the following week.
Singapore is a narrow circuit where pole position is a significant advantage, making single-lap speed in qualifying essential.
Less than three weeks after suffering from appendicitis and post-operative difficulties, Alex Albon found encouragement in finishing two workouts in his Williams.
The British-born Thai driver placed 16th in both events, putting his endurance to the test in Singapore’s oppressive heat and humidity.
When Pierre Gasly had to get out of his automobile with flames shooting above his head, there was a commotion at the AlphaTauri garage. The pit staff put them out swiftly, and the Frenchman made it back to the track unscathed a little while later.