Charles Leclerc (1.33.350) led the first free practice session of the Singapore Grand Prix, the fifteenth round of the Formula 1 calendar, which took place in dry conditions and without any notable incidents. Ferrari, after the good performance of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc in Monza, where they finished third and fourth, respectively, has shown itself to be more competitive than it used to be on high-load circuits this season, with Sainz just 78 thousandths behind his teammate , although World Championship leader Max Verstappen (Red Bull) has placed himself just 1 tenth behind the Maranello tandem. McLaren and Mercedes have also shown positive signs, while Aston Martin has finished somewhat further behind.
News continues to arrive for Fernando Alonso’s AMR23 and at the Marina Bay circuit, where he is aiming for his eighth podium of the season, the Asturian has a new front wing, different from the one seen in Zandvoort (another high-load circuit). The British team has chosen to approach this first session with the hard tire in order to be able to do the maximum number of laps at a stable pace, since as Pedro de la Rosa explained “we believe that this session is very unrepresentative of the track conditions that we are going to meet this weekend.” With everything, Alonso did not finish far, eighth, half a second behind the Ferraris.
The anecdote of the session involved a large lizard that caused a yellow flag as it crossed the track. “Godzilla has had a son!” Max Verstappen exclaimed on the radio, who already had to avoid another similar specimen in the 2016 Singapore GP. And he was not the only one that appeared on the track today, since Sainz and Russell have also warned of the presence of these reptiles at other times during the session.
This afternoon, starting at 3:00 p.m., the drivers will face a second round of free practice that in theory should provide more information about the real position of each team in Singapore with a view to the ‘qualy’ tomorrow Saturday, which will be essential on a narrow and winding circuit, where the walls are very close and it is very difficult to overtake.
Singapore GP. Free 1:
1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 1’33,350
2. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) at 0.078
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) at 0.126
4. Lando Norris (McLaren) at 0.172
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) at 0.190
6. George Russell (Mercedes) at 0.345
7. Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) at 0.375
8. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) at 0.624
9. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) at 0.692
10. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) at 0.716
11. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) at 1,218
12. Pierre Gasly (Alpine) at 1,289
13. Alex Albon (Williams) at 1,307
14. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) at 1,452
15. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) at 1,537
16. Liam Lawson (AlphaTauri) at 1,544
17. Nico Hülkenberg (Haas) at 1,635
18. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo) at 2,106
19. Oscar Piastri (McLaren) at 2,124