The Singapore Grand Prix weekend is in full swing, and Sport News Center is here to provide you with live coverage on our website and app. Join us as we delve into the action, starting with the build-up to the third practice session at 10:00 BST on Saturday, followed by the thrilling qualifying hour at 14:00.
In a surprising turn of events, Max Verstappen, the star driver for Red Bull Racing, expressed his disappointment, stating that the team’s performance was “worse than we expected” following the Friday practice sessions at the Singapore Grand Prix. Verstappen, who is known for his blistering pace, ended the day with the eighth fastest time on the track.
Both Verstappen and his teammate, Sergio Perez, found themselves grappling with a lack of rear grip, a critical factor in Formula 1 performance. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz led the charge for Ferrari, securing the top two spots with Charles Leclerc right behind him.
Verstappen attributed his struggles to issues with the car’s balance, stating that he “never got the car together.” He candidly admitted, “[There’s] just a few things that we don’t understand. I will try to improve, but it is quite a big gap.”
Sainz’s performance was particularly noteworthy, as he managed to outpace his Ferrari teammate by a mere 0.018 seconds. The Mercedes of George Russell followed closely in third place, just 0.235 seconds off the pace. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton in the second Mercedes, and Lando Norris in the McLaren, which boasted a major aerodynamic upgrade, completed the top six.
Verstappen’s woes were further emphasized when he lagged more than 0.7 seconds behind the leading pack during his one-lap qualifying simulation run.
Mercedes driver Russell suggested that Ferrari was in a strong position for qualifying, speculating that they might not have even used their maximum power mode. He remarked, “Ferrari are looking favorites at the moment, and I don’t think they were at maximum power either. The fight is on for the second row, probably, but we never know what’s going to happen.”
However, Carlos Sainz held a different view, believing that Red Bull could still contend for pole position on Saturday. He stated, “When you look at their long-run pace, they looked the strongest car. Once they sort out the one-lap pace, they will be there, and in the fight for pole. But Mercedes, McLaren, and Aston should also be in that fight, so I think we are in for quite an exciting day.”
Sergio Perez did manage to claim the title of the fastest driver during race-simulation runs later in the session, but his advantage over Alonso was a mere 0.03 seconds on average.
Verstappen, who has been on an astonishing streak of 10 consecutive wins, had predicted that Singapore would be a challenging track for Red Bull. So far, his assessment appears to be spot on.
The difficulties for Red Bull were evident during practice. Verstappen had a rear snap at Turn 13, and Perez voiced his concerns over the radio, feeling like he was on the brink of crashing in every corner.
Red Bull’s Team Principal, Christian Horner, acknowledged the challenge posed by the Marina Bay Street Circuit, saying, “This track is going to be one of the toughest of the season for us. The characteristics don’t play naturally to the strengths of the car, and we are going to have to be at the top of our game to keep this winning run going.”
In an effort to improve their performance, Red Bull was testing a new floor, with Verstappen using it in the first session and Perez in the second.
Interestingly, the first session, which took place in daylight at this night race, had some unexpected interruptions as monitor lizards, a local reptile species, ventured onto the track. One of them even appeared to be run over by Fernando Alonso, creating a bizarre and unforgettable moment during practice.
As the anticipation builds for the Singapore Grand Prix, it’s clear that Red Bull Racing has some work to do if they want to contend for victory in this challenging circuit. Will they overcome their difficulties and bounce back during qualifying? The stage is set for an exciting weekend of Formula 1 action.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Singapore Grand Prix
Q: What was Max Verstappen’s assessment of Red Bull’s performance at the Singapore Grand Prix?
A: Max Verstappen expressed disappointment, stating that Red Bull’s performance was “worse than we expected.” He ended Friday practice with the eighth fastest time and cited issues with rear grip and car balance as challenges.
Q: Who were the top performers during Friday practice at the Singapore Grand Prix?
A: Carlos Sainz led the way with Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari one-two, while Mercedes driver George Russell secured the third spot. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton in the second Mercedes, and Lando Norris in the McLaren completed the top six.
Q: What did Max Verstappen attribute his struggles to during practice?
A: Verstappen pointed out problems with the car’s balance and mentioned that he “never got the car together.” He acknowledged that there were aspects the team didn’t fully understand, which contributed to their challenges.
Q: How did Sergio Perez perform during the race-simulation runs?
A: Sergio Perez marginally outpaced the competition during the race-simulation runs, but his advantage over Fernando Alonso was only 0.03 seconds on average.
Q: Why did George Russell believe Ferrari was in a strong position for qualifying?
A: George Russell believed Ferrari was the favorite for qualifying, suggesting they might not have used their maximum power mode. He anticipated a tight battle for the second row but acknowledged the unpredictability of Formula 1.
Q: What did Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner say about their prospects at the Singapore Grand Prix?
A: Christian Horner acknowledged the challenges posed by the Marina Bay Street Circuit and noted that it would be one of the toughest tracks for Red Bull this season. He emphasized the need for the team to perform at their best to maintain their winning streak.
Q: Were there any unusual incidents during Friday practice at the Singapore Grand Prix?
A: Yes, the first practice session, held during daylight at this night race, saw interruptions when monitor lizards, a local reptile species, ventured onto the track. One of them appeared to be run over by Fernando Alonso, creating a unique and unexpected moment during practice.
More about Singapore Grand Prix
- Singapore Grand Prix – Official Formula 1 Website
- Max Verstappen’s Profile – Red Bull Racing
- Carlos Sainz’s Profile – Scuderia Ferrari
- George Russell’s Profile – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team
- Fernando Alonso’s Profile – Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team
- Lando Norris’s Profile – McLaren F1 Team
- Christian Horner – Red Bull Racing Team Principal
- Monitor Lizards in Singapore