Formula 1

Ricciardo Leads Red Bull 1-2 in Singapore Practice; Leclerc Crashes

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Daniel Ricciardo - Aston Martin Red Bull Racing - Marina Bay Street Circuit
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Daniel Ricciardo finished the opening free practice of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend with the quickest time, with the Australian leading an Aston Martin Red Bull Racing one-two ahead of Max Verstappen.

Ricciardo ended the session with a best time of 1:39.711, just over two-tenths of a second ahead of his team-mate, while Scuderia Ferrari finished third and fourth, Sebastian Vettel ahead of Kimi Räikkönen.

Räikkönen, who announced his departure from Ferrari at the end of the season earlier this week, was one of a number of drivers to exceed the limit during the session, although his off-track moment only resulted in a visit to the run-off area, as opposed to his 2019 replacement Charles Leclerc, who clipped the wall on the Anderson Bridge in the closing moments of the session to break the right-front suspension of his Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team car.

Nico Hülkenberg placed fifth for the Renault Sport Formula One Team, whilst championship leader Lewis Hamilton was only sixth for Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, although neither he nor team-mate Valtteri Bottas used the Hypersoft Pirelli tyre, which was showing a pace advantage on the other runners in the field.

Carlos Sainz Jr. completed a good session for Renault by placing seventh ahead of Bottas, with the second Mercedes driver suffering two off-track moments of his own, one of which came early in the session when he spun at turn one.

Leclerc took ninth despite ending his session in the wall, while Romain Grosjean completed the top ten for the Haas F1 Team, 2.397 seconds off the pace of Ricciardo but three-tenths of a second clear of the second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.

Sergio Pérez was the leading of the Racing Point Force India F1 Team drivers in twelfth despite a spin at turn twenty, with the Mexican finishing just ahead of the second Haas of Kevin Magnussen, with Fernando Alonso fourteenth fastest for the McLaren F1 Team.

Esteban Ocon, who’s future in the sport remains uncertain, was fifteenth in the second Force India ahead of Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda duo Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley, while Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin were next up for Williams Martini Racing.

Stroll was an early spinner at turn one, but he at least had better luck than Stoffel Vandoorne, with the second McLaren driver completing only eleven laps after a floor change mid-session.  When he was able to return to the track, the team called him immediately back in after detecting a hydraulics issue; his best time was 5.449 seconds behind Ricciardo.

Track conditions in free practice one, as well as Saturday’s session will be unrepresentative of conditions that will face drivers in Qualifying and the race, so Friday evening’s session under the lights will have a much more importance to drivers as they prepare themselves for the weekend.

Lance Stroll - Williams Martini Racing - Marina Bay Street Circuit

Lance Stroll was an early spinner in Singapore – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Marina Bay Street Circuit Free Practice 1 Result

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