Rosberg fastest in opening Singapore Practice

Nico Rosberg ended the opening Free Practice session in Singapore with the quickest time as Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS once again finished first and second.

The German driver was quick throughout the session, ending with a time of 1m47.995s, with Lewis Hamilton 0.319s back in second. The British driver looked to be struggling in comparison to Rosberg, and made a small mistake during the session at the end of the back straight.

Daniel Ricciardo was in close order to Hamilton, ending just 0.017s back in third in the leading Infiniti Red Bull Racing machine, while Scuderia Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were fourth and fifth.  Vettel had a brief moment at turn four when he locked a wheel and almost hit the barrier, but was able to recover and return to the track without any damage.

Valtteri Bottas was sixth for Williams Martini Racing, albeit 1.385s back from the pace set by Rosberg, while Max Verstappen was seventh on his first visit to the circuit for Scuderia Toro Rosso a further 0.086s back.

Nico Hulkenberg of Sahara Force India, Carlos Sainz in the second Toro Rosso and Pastor Maldonado of the Lotus F1 Team completed the top ten. The Venezuelan surviving a brush with the wall but ended his session early when his engineers called him into the pits to ensure a developing gearbox issue could be solved.

Fernando Alonso was just outside the top ten for the McLaren-Honda team, just ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez, with Felipe Nasr thirteenth for Sauber, who are running with an updated package for the first time this season in Singapore. Nasr could be in trouble with the stewards for not adhering to the new turn one run-off regulations by cutting back onto the track before the bollard that drivers have been told to rejoin after.

Romain Grosjean was down in fourteenth in the second Lotus ahead of Jenson Button’s McLaren, with Marcus Ericsson sixteenth ahead of Felipe Massa of Williams and Daniil Kvyat of Red Bull, who spent the majority of the session in the pit lane with an assortment of issues.

Will Stevens beat new Manor F1 Team team-mate Alexander Rossi to nineteenth by just 0.015s, but the American debutant blotted his copybook by crashing in the final moments of qualifying at turn eighteen, breaking both the front and rear suspensions and causing a red flag that ended the session prematurely.

Singapore Free Practice 1 Times

16Nico RosbergGERMercedes1m47.995s
244Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1m48.314s
33Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Renault1m48.331s
45Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1m48.494s
57Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m48.785s
677Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1m49.380s
733Max VerstappenNEDToro Rosso-Renault1m49.466s
827Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1m49.854s
955Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1m50.019s
1013Pastor MaldonadoVENLotus-Mercedes1m50.068s
1114Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1m50.123s
1211Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1m50.125s
1312Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari1m50.158s
148Romain GrosjeanFRALotus-Mercedes1m50.341s
1522Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1m50.455s
169Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1m50.883s
1719Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1m51.035s
1826Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull-Renault1m51.188s
1928Will StevensGBRManor-Ferrari1m53.903s
2053Alexander RossiUSAManor-Ferrari1m53.918s