Max second fastest first day in Singapore: 'We had a good day'

Published on 20 September 2019 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen came in second fastest in the run up to the Singapore Grand Prix on the first day of practice. On the 5,071 meter long street circuit in Singapore, Lewis Hamilton was the quickest in his Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel took his Ferrari to P3. Max’ team mate Alexander Albon came in fifth fastest behind Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes.

“We had a good day”, says Max after the session. “We tried a few things on the car and they worked, also we seem very competitive but Lewis looks very fast as well. Mercedes is still the dominant team. I had some traffic in the last sector but in general it was a good day and I am happy.”

Despite it being evening the temperature at the start of the second free practice is still around 30 degrees Centigrade. Before the start of the second practice, the mechanics are still working on the cars of Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc. The Finn crashed out in the first free practice while the Monegasque had gearbox issues. It remains to be seen when the two of them will be able to head back out again.

After the lights turn green, Kimi Raikkonen is the first to get a time on the clock. It takes more than twelve minutes before Max is out on track, by that time Albon has briefly topped the board. Only Leclerc has not been on track yet. The first timed lap puts Max in seventh place. The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver is out and about on the hards. By now, Leclerc is also on the track after the problems he had earlier today.

Albon triggers a yellow flag twenty minutes well into the session by missing the apex in Turn nine and coming to a standstill in the barrier. He loses his front wing but is able to return to the pits. By now, Max has moved up to the second spot, behind of Hamilton who is making tracks on the medium tyre. Then follows a period of tranquility with only the Williams drivers on the circuit.

When things get going again, about 40 minutes later, we surprisingly see Albon move on to the top. Max betters that some time later and takes over the lead from his team mate. The Dutchman is almost a second faster. Hamilton is the next in line to take over the lead. The reigning world champion plants his Mercedes ahead of Max’ Red Bull in P1 by being a tenth faster.

With well over half an hour to go, it’s gone quiet again on the circuit. The drivers that are out, are primarily busy doing a race simulation. We see Max in the final 30 minutes of the session back on track again. On a scrubbed set of the soft tyres he also begins with a race simulation. Meanwhile it looks like the Haas F1 team will be facing a tough weekend. Both of their drivers are with a 17th and 19th fastest time almost at the back of the field.

In the closing stages, we see no to very little time improvements. Max switches to the harder compound tyre after he has done thirteen laps on the softs. The race pace of the Red Bull Racing looks, just like that of Mercedes, good. Ferrari appears to be straggling. Sergio Perez will have to report to the Stewards after the session. The Mexican had an altercation earlier on in the session with Kevin Magnussen and is required to exlain himself.

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Results second free practice Singapore:

1Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:38.773 29
2Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:38.957+0.184s29
3Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:39.591+0.818s31
4Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:39.894+1.121s30
5Alexander AlbonALBRed Bull Racing Honda1:39.943+1.170s30
6Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:40.018+1.245s31
7Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:40.145+1.372s33
8Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:40.324+1.551s30
9Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:40.361+1.588s35
10Pierre GaslyGASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:40.637+1.864s32
11Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:40.713+1.940s32
12Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:40.811+2.038s30
13Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:40.875+2.102s29
14Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:41.128+2.355s35
15Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:41.128+2.355s31
16Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:41.232+2.459s28
17Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:41.392+2.619s26
18George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:41.445+2.672s35
19Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:41.564+2.791s30
20Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:42.177+3.404s35