Carlos Sainz leads Ferrari 1-2 while Red Bull loses pace in FP2

By | September 15, 2023

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz in action during free practice for the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix. Credit: Alamy

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz in action during free practice for the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix. Credit: Alamy

Carlos Sainz led a Ferrari one-two in FP2 of the Singapore Grand Prix as both Red Bull drivers looked off the pace by their extremely high standards this season.

Sainz narrowly edged out teammate Charles Leclerc in first place on Friday, with George Russell’s Mercedes third, Fernando Alonso fourth and Lewis Hamilton completing the top five.

Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen were only seventh and eighth fastest respectively, behind Lando Norris, as their pre-weekend predictions of a potentially struggling Red Bull at the Singapore Grand Prix looked accurate, although there is still plenty way to go on the weekend Still.

Ferrari leads the standings while Red Bull falters in FP2 at Marina Bay

After FP1 at dusk, FP2 began under the floodlights as Formula 1’s original night race featured testing in more representative conditions that drivers will face in the race, as well as the need to get used to artificial light versus natural light outside. start of session. day.

And the opening laps on medium and hard tires saw Fernando Alonso set the early pace for Aston Martin, a 1:33.964 slower than the fastest time achieved in FP1, but he was soon well beaten by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz with a 1:33.303. the Scuderia showed an unexpected change of pace from their first predictions, half a second faster than Charles Leclerc.

The Red Bull drivers were fourth and fifth after the first 10 minutes of the session, but Alex Albon – in his liveried Williams – suffered a loss of power and was forced to crawl back into the pit lane at lower speed for repairs . .

The track evolves significantly over the course of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, with the track winding around public roads and drivers wiping dust off the track surface with each passing lap.

Verstappen pushed the Anderson Bridge to the limit and slipped under braking, before skidding badly at the exit of the next hairpin and deciding to pit to carry out tests on his car.

Meanwhile, Albon remained in his garage and got out of the car, with the problem on his Williams more significant than perhaps initially expected, the team soon confirming a problem with the power unit on his FW45. recommends

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Back on track, the soft tires took their toll on the remaining drivers as the Ferrari duo looked to build on their promising performance – and Sainz’s time of 1:32.120 was just 0.018 seconds faster than Leclerc, and they blocked the leaders two places with Lewis Hamilton four tenths behind. in the third.

That was until the Red Bulls showed their hand, but even then Verstappen crossed the finish line 0.732 seconds ahead of Sainz when he encountered traffic during his flying lap.

And when Perez followed up with a lap of his own a tenth behind the Dutchman, they were only seventh and eighth in the times, as for the first time this season the RB19 looked outpaced.

Perez reported on team radio: β€œHe’s not coming. With every braking I feel like I’m about to crash. The rear end is coming out massively.”

Although the Mexican managed to improve on his best time shortly afterwards, it was just enough to take him above Verstappen in the standings, as Red Bull had to work to overtake their rivals, probably for the first time this year.

As always in FP2, qualifying simulations gave way to a race stint simulation for the final part of the session, as the drivers tested more fuel in their cars around Marina Bay.

This did not lead to any improvements in lap times, but valuable data was collected for the teams, who will now work late into the night as preparations for the race intensify.

FP2 standings: 2023 Singapore Grand Prix

1 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari 1:32.120
2 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.018
3 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.235
4Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +0.358
5 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.465
6 Lando NORRIS McLaren +0.591
7Sergio PEREZ Red Bull +0.692
8 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull +0.732
9Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas +0.897
10 BARREL Valtteri Alfa Romeo +0.985
11 Nico HULKENBERG Haas +1,019
12 Liam LAWSON AlphaTauri +1,165
13 Esteban OCON Alpine +1,241
14 Launches WALK Aston Martin +1,270
15 Oscar PLATES McLaren +1,341
16 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri +1,357
17 ZHOU Guanyu Alfa Romeo +1,455
18Pierre GASLY Alpine +1,704
19 Logan SERGENT Williams +2,207
20 Alessandro ALBON Williams +3,438

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