Verstappen tops final Singapore practice

2017 Singapore Grand Prix third practice

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Max Verstappen was quickest for Red Bull in final practice for the Singapore Grand Prix, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen’s 1’41.829 was not the fastest time of the weekend but it was enough to give Red Bull a clean sweep of topping the timesheets for each of the three practice sessions.

It was a clear evening in Singapore as teams prepared for final practice around the Marina Bay circuit.

Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll both clipped the wall on the exit of turn 21 on early runs, but only minimal damage was done to either car.

The session was red flagged with just under half an hour remaining after Marcus Ericsson spun his Sauber into the wall on the exit of turn 19, causing major damage to the rear of the car.

In the closing minutes of the session, drivers prepared for their qualifying simulation runs on the ultra soft tyres.

Despite Red Bull’s pace, there was trouble for both the team’s drivers late in the session. Daniel Ricciardo clipped the barrier exiting the fast left hander of turn 10 and cruised back to the pits with minor damage, while Verstappen complained that his car was “shifting by itself” before pitting and resuming shortly after.

Verstappen’s 1’41.829 was not bested, putting the Red Bull driver quickest of all and reflecting the team’s genuine pace. Vettel was second fastest ahead of rival Lewis Hamilton, with the two McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne showing a surprising level of pace in fourth and fifth.

PositionDriverTeamLap time
1Max VerstappenRed Bull1’41.829
2Sebastian VettelFerrari1’41.901
3Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’41.971
4Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1’42.383
5Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1’42.439
6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1’42.517
7Nico HulkenbergRenault1’42.549
8Valtteri BottasMercedes1’42.592
9Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’42.708
10Sergio PerezForce India1’43.010
11Esteban OconForce India1’43.109
12Carlos SainzToro Rosso1’43.356
13Jolyon PalmerRenault1’43.368
14Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1’43.574
15Felipe MassaWilliams1’43.724
16Kevin MagnussenHaas1’44.041
17Lance StrollWilliams1’44.223
18Romain GrosjeanHaas1’44.295
19Pascal WehrleinSauber1’45.760
20Marcus EricssonSauber1’46.339

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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20 comments on “Verstappen tops final Singapore practice”

  1. But after Monza the season is over and there’s no point watching…

    1. Mercedes is far closer than I hoped they would be. We may have an unexpected Hamilton pole with engines turned to the max in Q3.

      1. They are 0.1 behind or 0.1 ahead depending on what drivers you compare..

  2. Hamilton so close to Vettel with Red Bull ahead: that’s interesting.

  3. Really excited for max. Youngest polesitter

    1. He had gearbox issues towards the end so it might be yet another penalty for him. Also, despite hitting the wall today, my bet is on Ricciardo to be the cooler head when it matters.

  4. So by this logic, Mclaren should win at least 3 races with Renault engines?

  5. Really it’s going to be head shaking irony levels next year if Honda turn out to have finally solved their gremlins.

    1. And the biggest losers is gonna be Sauber.

      1. Exactly.
        Sauber have missed a huge upportunity to get the team ready for competitiveness.
        The extra funding could have gone towards building a very decent chassis.

    2. Let’s wait for the race. The Honda engine seems to do OK during quali and then is much worse during the race.

      1. @aapje Lets wait for the quali first ;)

  6. McLaren showing again that their actual car is very good. Can’t wait to see how they do without Honda, should be at least the 4th best team.
    Next season will be very interesting, as Renault themselves should improve, Williams with Paddy Lowe, Force India always seem to pull a good car out of the bag. Will be very interesting to see who gets into Q3 most races. Expecting Toro Rosso to be at the back with Sauber, and Haas filling the gap between the midfield and the rear. But 2018 has a very exciting prospect to it, especially in the midfield battle.

    1. Paddy low was talking to the BBC about how they might need to revise their design phylosophy in terms of the chassi because the low drag design doens’t work. My guess is that it’s to late to do this for next year’s car, so I don’t fancy them in the midfield next year.

      Unless Renault make a jump in terms of engine power, I recon it’s still Ferrari and Mercedes ahead at most tracks bar Hungary, Monaco and Singapore. The midfield could be close with Renault, McLaren and RedBull in the mix to pick up podiums and the occasional win.

      FI will probably do a step back because they don’t have the resources but still be the better team of Haas, Williams and themselves. Sauber will have more budget and an up to date engine. The car will probably already designed though, so let’s wait and see. The question mark ofcourse is Toro Rosso… how bad will Honda be next year? STR isn’t doing great with Renault this year so imagine what a Honda one will do for them.

      1. “Too late for next year’s car” (Williams) @jeffrey. ? ? But it’s only September, surely they can fast track a new design concept by Jan/Feb 2018? If they can’t and are already locked into their whole design strategy for next year, that’s really an indictment of F1 isn’t it? To be competitive in any industry you surely have to move quicker than that, unless of course, you meant this year’s car?

  7. The TR standings are way of what you expected. They had the Merc philosophy but not the power to pull the car through the slow corners.

  8. I’m curious as to how you design a ‘low drag’ philosophy into an F1 chassis. Anyone with an engineering head on actually know? I thought drag was a function of body design i.e. Aero.

    1. They probably just mean there are two options you can take. Start with a loose, but fast car, and dial in the downforce to make it driveable. Or, start with a driveable, but slower car, and dial the downforce out.

    2. You call it low drag when you can’t figure out how to generate dowforce

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